Italian woman wins $1m Picasso painting in raffle

2020-05-21 19:55
The Picasso painting. (Twitter/Sara_Xiv)

The Picasso painting. (Twitter/Sara_Xiv)

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An Italian accountant whose son bought her a €100 ($110) raffle ticket as a Christmas present has won a Pablo Picasso oil painting valued at €1 million ($1.1m).

Claudia Borgogno summed up her amazement in one word: "Incredible."

"I have never won anything before," the 58-year-old told The Associated Press news agency from her home in Ventimiglia, northern Italy.

She said she likes Picasso, and the prospect of being able to hang one of the 20th-century master's paintings on her wall was still sinking in.

Her son, Lorenzo Naso, bought two tickets in December, sending one to his mother. 

'Best decision'

"It was maybe the best decision in my life," he told the AP.

The ticket was picked out in an electronic draw at the auction house Christie's in Paris.

Organisers valued the painting - Nature Morte or Still Life - as being worth €1 million. The billionaire art collector who provided it, David Nahmad, said the work is worth "at least two, three times" that.

"Claudia has won this extraordinary painting tonight that is worth one million [euros] and so is a millionaire," organiser Peri Cochin announced after Borgogno's name and winning ticket number were displayed on a screen.

The 51,140 tickets sold online for €100 each. Proceeds are going to provide water for villagers in Madagascar and Cameroon.

The draw was originally scheduled for March but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The small still life, which is signed "Picasso", shows a newspaper and a glass of absinthe on a wood table. Picasso painted it in 1921.

Tickets were bought in more than 100 countries, with the bulk sold in France, the United States, Switzerland and Italy. 

The winner of a similar raffle in 2013 was a 25-year-old fire sprinkler worker from Pennsylvania.

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