Page last updated at 22:46 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 23:46 UK

Huge Italy jackpot still not won


Italy's jackpot still up for grabs

The jackpot of Italy's national lottery has reached almost 116m euros ($166m), after no-one got the correct six numbers in Tuesday night's draw.

The new prize breaks Italian records and is the second-highest ever offered in Europe.

No-one has hit the jackpot in the SuperEnalotto game since January.

Ahead of Tuesday's draw, people from neighbouring countries crossed the border to join Italians in placing bets on the winning combination of numbers.

Mathematicians estimate that the chances of guessing the correct six numbers are 622m-1.

The European lottery jackpot record of $181m (£107m) was set in Spain last year.

Sicilian scheme

An advertising board shows the rising jackpot total in Italy's SuperEnalotto lottery on 25 July, 2009
The new lottery jackpot of more than $166m breaks Italian records

A Sicilian mayor who bet local officials' salaries on Tuesday night's draw in the hope of resolving his town's cash-flow problems will be disappointed not to have won the jackpot.

Ficarra Mayor Basilio Ridolfo and his colleagues stumped up 115 euros from their pay packet to buy tickets.

Before the draw, Mr Ridolfo told Ansa news agency that they chose numbers which were connected with the town's patron saint, the Virgin Mary of the Assumption.

If Ficarra had struck it lucky, Mr Ridolfo said half of the winnings would be spent on municipal projects while the rest would be divided between the town's 2,000 residents.

He also said the chances of winning Tuesday's draw were higher than those of receiving funds pledged by the state.

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