When an unnamed 66-year old Norwegian stepped out of his house to take a walk on the streets of Tromsoe, a scenic town of 70,000 inhabitants in the country’s far north, he had no clue that a few minutes later he would be returning as a multi-millionaire.
His wife was fortunately watching the Viking Lotto draw on TV, ticket in hand, and began ticking off the numbers one by one, until she was holding a winning ticket, worth a record breaking NOK 216,125,520 (around USD 37 million).
In fact, the record they broke had been established only 12 days earlier, when a man from the southern town of Skien made the Norwegian gambling news by winning the top prize in the Eurojackpot lottery, worth NOK 102 million. That huge prize has now been dwarfed by this new payout.
When staff from Norsk Tipping, the country’s lottery and gambling monopoly under Norwegian gambling laws, rang the couple in Tromsoe earlier this morning to confirm the lucky person’s identity, the winner relayed his first reactions from yesterday.
The man was quoted as saying: “It’s just a phenomenal feeling. My heart was racing!”
Regarding future plans, the couple was more reserved. “Yesterday we looked at some charter tours and would like to take a trip to Gran Canaria. That will be enough for us and the price it’s not a big deal anymore,” said the husband.
Both the man and his wife realize that this is a huge sum of money, on a scale that is somewhat beyond comprehension. Consequently they would like their identities to be kept secret for the time being.
Viking Lotto is a joint game between the Scandinavian and the Baltic countries, as well as Finland and Iceland. The biggest prize is the same for all countries, and is awarded to the person or people who guess 6 numbers correctly out of the possible 48. Numbers are drawn on Wednesdays.
The immense popularity of Lottery the Nordic country may in part be explained by the lack of land-based or online casinos in Norway that could offer serious prizes through progressive jackpot slots.