On Sunday afternoon, hours after he was expected, the mega-winner of the national lottery arrived at Mifal Hapayis’ offices to pick up his prize – 80 million shekels. This is the biggest payout in the lottery’s history.
The unnamed Mr. X found out about his win in the early hours of Sunday morning and woke up his wife to tell her the good news. The couple spent the rest of the night excitedly phoning relatives – and then Mr. X headed off to work, just like any other day. Only after finishing work did he head to Mifal Hapayis.
All that is known so far of Mr. X is that he is in his thirties and lives somewhere in the center of the country, with his wife and three children. He is also the co-owner of an esthetics-related business.
In an interesting twist, X related that it was the first time he ever entered a lottery, after hearing that the prize money had reached its maximum of 80 million shekels – a “double-lotto.”
“I saw the ads on television and also at the lottery kiosks and I decided that for the first time in my life, I would fill in a lottery form,” X related. “I didn’t even know the rules, so the guy at the kiosk explained them to me. He said I had to pick six numbers and another ‘special’ number on each table. I was short on time, so I took a short-cut and I only picked out the special number – I let the automated system pick out the other six numbers for me.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing, but whatever it was, it worked. In the first draw, the automated system got four numbers right for me, and in the following draw, it got five numbers right. I had this feeling that luck was on my side and that if I kept going, I might even win first prize,” he said.
Not long afterward, the lottery results were called on television and Mr. X went on the lottery’s website to check things out. “The moment I saw the winning numbers I knew they seemed familiar,” he said. “A light switched on in my head; it was a feeling I couldn’t explain. I glanced at the ticket in my hand and realized that I’d hit the jackpot. But I still didn’t know if it was just me who had won, or if there were other winners too and I’d have to share the prize with them.”
By then it was late at night, and X’s wife was already asleep. He woke her up to tell her the news. “I whispered in my wife’s ear that it looked like we’d won the lottery,” he said. “She was fast asleep and didn’t grasp what I was saying right away, but once she did of course she was delighted. Even though it was late already, I started calling up all my relatives to tell them. When I told my father, he said I should scan my ticket into the lottery website. I did that while we were still on the phone and it was then that I discovered that I was the sole winner.”
When asked what he plans to do with the money, Mr. X replied, “We already have everything we need. I have a career that comfortably supports my family and our standard of living is quite good enough. But of course a little bit more is always nice – and naturally it’s great to know that my children’s futures are now assured.”