Along with the Christmas-tree lighting ceremony and the unveiling of the Nativity creche, Pope Francis’ raffle to benefit those in need is becoming an annual holiday tradition at the Vatican.
For 10 euros – about £9 – one lucky winner will win the first prize: a red Opel Karl, a German-made, five-door hatchback car.
Announcing the raffle on 20th October, the Vatican said that for the first time, tickets would also be available for purchase online. Previously, people hoping to nab a prize could purchase tickets only at the Vatican post office or pharmacy.
The proceeds of the raffles go directly to charitable causes chosen by the pope; this year’s raffle will benefit victims of the devastating earthquake that struck central Italy on 24th August and to the homeless.
‘To this end, he personally donated some of the prizes,’ said a statement from the Vatican City State governor’s office.
Picture: An earthquake rescue team member is seen in Amatrice, Italy, on 31st August. Pope Francis’ raffle this year will benefit earthquake victims. (CNS photo/Massimo Percossi, EPA).