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.
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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