Search is on for Montefrio lottery winner

LAST UPDATED: 8 Feb, 2008 @ 11:11
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Did winner escape to Barcelona after 76m euro win?

A LUCKY Montefrio resident is 76 million euros the richer after a record lottery win.

With the numbers 2, 6, 9, 19 and 45, the unknown person scooped the highest amount ever won by an individual in Spain.

As news broke that the winning ticket for the continent-wide Euromillions draw had been bought in Montefrio, scores of journalists descended upon the small Granada town.

But either locals did not know the identity of the mystery multi-millionaire or they were keeping quiet.

“Someone woke up on Saturday with a lot of money, but it was not me. I would have preferred to have woken up to snow. Money does not bring happiness,” Juan Bermúdez told reporters from TV channel Antennae 3, as he entered the state betting office that sold the winning ticket.

Rumours around the town had it that the lucky winner was waiter José Chipiola, but he was swift to dismiss those claims.

“I went to work last night. Would I have done if I had won that much money?” he said.

According to British residents in the town, however, the winner fled to Barcelona the moment they discovered they held the winning ticket.

“A local family disappeared on the night of the draw. A friend’s daughter is a classmate of the daughter of the missing family. Everyone has tried to telephone them, but their mobile phones are always switched off,” Alan Russell said.

Alan, a heating engineer and property agent who has lived in Montefrio for five years, described the scenes when it became apparent the record winner had bought the ticket in the Granada town.

“We awoke on the Saturday morning to bedlam. Journalists and television crews were camping outside the shop that had sold the winning ticket. All the locals were buzzing, asking each other if they knew who the winner was.

“Everything has since died down, but for a short while the small town of Montefrio was the most famous town in Spain,” he told the Olive Press.

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