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Frenchman to give away most of lotto jackpot

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The man won a total of €72,149.579 in the jackpot. File photo: Alain Jocard/AFP
10:04 CEST+02:00
A lucky Frenchman who recently landed a €72 million EuroMillions jackpot said he'll give two-thirds of the loot to national charity groups. It's a first in France.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, won a total of €72,149.579 in the jackpot, according to RTL radio.

He validated his ticket at an outlet in Haute-Garonne in south-western France in February this year but waited several days before cashing in his prize.

The jackpot is the seventh highest in France since the EuroMillions lottery began in February 2004 and the second largest prize in the department since a player won €101,855.641 in December 2012.

The winner now plans to give at least €50 million to around ten large national charities, making him the only lottery winner in French history to donate so much money to charity. 

Not much is known about the mysterious benefactor except that he is around 50 years old, is childless and that his decision was motivated by a “sense of solidarity”. He asks only that he sees evidence that the funds be put to good use.

Such large donations – especially anonymous ones – are rare in France.

In 2008, a man named Michel who won €50 million in town of Saint-Michel in the south-western Charente department donated €400,000 to the mayor for a cultural centre and paid off the debts of the local retirement home. In 2009 he paid for all the children’s meal cards at school cantines in his village, an initiative which he has repeated each year ever since.  

In April 2013 a female lottery winner of €26 million in the northern city of Boulogne-sur-mer region who was helped by her local branch of the Red Cross decided to make a donation to the charity.

Meanwhile, stories of unusual lottery winnings continue to make headlines in France.

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In May 2013 a French grandfather won a whopping €132 million in the EuroMillions lottery when he played for the first time

And more recently in December 2013, a lucky French punter won €15 million in the EuroMillions lottery on his birthday.

SEE ALSO: French and charity - why don't they go together?

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