By Pierre-Henry Deshayes (AFP) – Sep 25, 2012
OSLO — A Norwegian family has hit the lottery jackpot not once but three times and won a total of more than three million euros, with each win coinciding with the birth of another family member.
By winning 12.2 million kroner (more than 1.6 million euros or $2.1 million) last week on Norway's national lottery, 19 year-old Tord Oksnes became part of a lucrative family tradition.
Before him, his 26 year-old sister Hege Jeanette had pocketed 8.2 million kroner (1.1 million euros, $1.4 million) in 2010, only four years after their 58 year-old father Leif won 4.1 million kroner (554,000 euros, $718,000) on the same lottery.
The lucky numbers were drawn every time Hege Jeanette was pregnant or had just given birth. Two of those births took place within only hours of a family member winning.
When asked by AFP about the family's secret to winning the jackpot, the lucky mother replied: "Getting pregnant."
Her three other brothers who have (yet) to win the lottery have begun paying special attention to the size of her belly, she added.
"They're urging me to have at least 10 children, she said with a smile. "Having children is always nice, but it doesn't happen on command. Maybe..."
However, a spokesperson for Norsk Tipping, the Norwegian national lottery, cautioned that the brothers' plan for growing the family fortune by having more babies may not be foolproof.
"I've tried myself twice and I've never won anything," said Roar Joedahl.
Calculating the probability of one family winning the lottery three times is extremely difficult, since there are so many factors to consider, he added.
The Oksnes family, who live near Bergen in southwest Norway, say their winning numbers were chosen by a machine, and that they never used the planned birth dates of the children.
Tord plans to keep his job as a technician in the energy sector, just like his sister has stayed at the petrol station where she works, although she is currently on maternity leave.
"I'm going to buy one or two apartments to secure my future," the newly minted millionaire told AFP.
Once he's pocketed the money, Tord allowed himself to go on a small shopping spree to buy a new computer, glasses and some clothes. "I'm also going to pay back my sister, who lent me the money to get a drivers' license," he said.
His recipe for success? "I don't know. The whole thing is inexplicable."
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