A couple who immigrated to Israel from France are the first winners of the Israel lottery in 2019, raking in a 30-million-shekel ($8.1 million) jackpot.
The winners, Israel Hayom reported Tuesday morning, are a couple in their 50s who emigrated from France a decade ago and now live in Tel Aviv. The couple has three children, and identify as traditional.
The couple won last Tuesday’s Double Lotto draw, getting all six of the numbers correct on their 64-shekel ($17) ticket for the 30-million-shekel ($8.1 million) grand prize.
It took three days, however, until the couple discovered that they had won the lottery, when the husband checked the Israel Lotto’s website Friday afternoon.
“We’re very busy, and he always takes his time,” the wife said following their win. “I wanted to check it again, I was afraid that he had made a mistake. It can happen. Until we went to the lottery offices and got the money, I didn’t really believe we had won.”
After their win, the couple remained mum, the husband going to synagogue Friday night as usual for Shabbat prayers, silently making a special prayer of thanks for the big win, without letting anyone else know about his new wealth.
During the Sabbath, the couple kept the secret to themselves, not letting on to their guests that they were the winners of that week’s lottery.
What are their plans for the money?
“First of all, it’s important to us to give charity. We’ve given all these years, and will do so now as well. We will tithe our winnings, and then buy each of our children their own apartment.”
“We’re happy that we immigrated to Israel, and now we’re even happier,” the wife said.
“In France, we were Zionists, and now we’re real Israelis. We always believed that you have to work for your money. After this win, my husband asked if I will keep working. I told him without thinking twice that ‘Of course I will.’”