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Iconic Italian Car's Rusty License Plate Brings Lottery Gold

A car that became famous in Italy because it had been parked in the same spot since 1974 helped bring some luck to a Sicilian shopkeeper.

photo of old car in front of the building

Of course the Lancia Fulvia was also there when the Google Streetview car came by...

Screenshot - Google street

We humans have a thing for old cars. We also appreciate a prime parking spot. But what do you do if you find a nice old car occupying the same parking spot for 47 years? Well, you jot down its license plate number for good luck! Let us explain...

Last month in Conegliano, in northeast Italy, city officials decided it was finally time to resolve a question that had been gathering dust for decades. Back in 1974, Angelo Fregolent, who is now 94, had parked his 1962 Lancia Fulvia outside the newsstand he ran with his wife.

Fregolent never drove the sporty car, but he liked having it there because he could use the trunk to hold newspapers and magazines that were delivered each morning.

A plot twist from Palermo

When he retired, as the regional daily Il Gazzettino reports, he simply left the aging Lancia in the same place, which was also right next to the apartment where he and his wife lived. Every year, he would pay the automobile registration and insurance fees, and have the luxury of seeing his "baby" as he passed by to run errands or go to the local bar. It also became something of a local (true) urban legend.

But as parking rules have changed, Conegliano's city authorities finally insisted that the car be removed. Fregolent agreed when he was told that the car would be restored, and turned into a tourist attraction. The small-town story made both national news, and even got some press abroad.

But here comes the final twist: The story of the legendary Lancia reached to the extreme south of Italy, in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. There, as Italian-language local daily TrevisoToday reports, a tobacco shop owner saw the number of the license plate (TV 202277), and decided to play it on the weekly lottery.

When 20, 22 and 77 were the first numbers drawn on the national wheel, the Sicilian shopkeeper won 4,500 euros. That kind of luck beats winning a brand new car!

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

The Great Powers Don't Want A World War — But We May Get One Anyway

Ever since Hamas launched its attack on October 7, experts have feared that the conflict, alongside the one in Ukraine, could spill over into a large-scale war between the world's major geopolitical players. Nikolai Kozhanov, associate professor at the Center for Gulf Studies at Qatar University, analyzes how likely this is and who would benefit from such a conflict.

Photo shot through a cracked window showing people waiting at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

People waiting at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Nikolai Kozhanov


Most of the world condemned the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas, but Israel's massive response on Gaza has shifted the focus of many countries, especially those in the Middle East, to the humanitarian situation for Palestinian civilians even as a temporary ceasefire has been holding for a week.

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