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Thursday 28 August 2014

Homeless man wins €2m in lottery – and will donate cash to addicts, abuse victims and others sleeping rough

Adam Withnall

Published 17/02/2014 | 14:13

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Screenshot from Hungarian TV channel RTL Klub shows homeless László Andraschek speaking about his €2m

A homeless man has won €2million after buying a lottery ticket on his way to a meeting for recovering alcoholics, and says he now plans to use the money to help other addicts.

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Hungarian László Andraschek’s windfall went almost completely unnoticed until earlier this month when he made a significant donation to a hostel for the homeless, the Guardian reported.

Mr Andraschek said he had no job or place to live and was in heavy debt when he decided to spend his last few coins on a lottery ticket at a railway station.

He was headed for Budapest at the time, and told reporters: “I had only picked six numbers and the female shop assistant reminded me that I needed to pick a seventh,” he said. “I told her to make it 24 – it doesn't matter, anyway.”

The 55-year-old was proved wrong when he received 630 million Hungarian forints – one of the biggest ever lottery wins in the country.

His first act after the win was to pay off his debts to family members, after which he bought flats for his three children to live in and a car to share.

As well as donating a significant sum to a homeless charity – in a country where politicians face protests after attempting to ban sleeping rough – Mr Andraschek says he wants to use the money to set up a foundation for addicts and women who have been abused.

He said that after never before holding a passport, he and his wife Aniko would be taking a holiday to Italy but that they would be making sure they spend their money cautiously. “I have become rich but I have not become a different person,” he told the Guardian.

Mr Andraschek has been attending workshops to help with his addiction since he quit alcohol five years ago. After winning the lottery, he said, he “now has no need to return”.

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