Lottery tourists descend on Italy for $194 million jackpot


It's nothing for die-hard lotto fans in the U.S. to travel to a neighboring state when a triple digit jackpot makes headlines, but would you fly to another country just for a chance to buy lottery tickets? That's what's happening in Italy, thanks to a record-setting $194 million dollar jackpot in the national lottery.

It seems all of Europe has caught "Lotto Fever," with 140 Germans boarding a plane, after being selected by a newspaper, to make the trip to Italy to buy a spaghetti dinner and lotto tickets at a "smoke shop" in the airport. They were then rushed home to watch the lottery results.

The craze isn't just for foreigners. The San Francisco Chronicle tells the sad tale of an individual in Italy who spent $2,800 on lottery tickets, despite the 1 to 622 million odds against him.

If you think that's bad then wait until you hear about the Mayor who took money from the salaries of city council members and played the lottery in a bid to recoup money the Italian Government failed to deliver on, despite a harsh criticism on the lottery from the Catholic Church.