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Weird Europe: Italian shopkeeper ‘stole’ scratchcard win

News that you might have missed from around the continent, selected by Steve Anglesey.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and depiction of the Last Judgment on the altar wall.

The tale of a tobacconist who is alleged to have run off with a customer’s winning scratchcard worth 500,000 euros (£428,000) is captivating Italy.
It is claimed that when an elderly lady went into his shop in Naples’ Via Materdei for confirmation that she had won the jackpot, an employee verified the win by using a special machine before the owner said he wanted to check it personally.

The woman says he then put the scratchcard in his pocket, put on a motorcycle helmet and drove off on his scooter. He was arrested later at Fiumicino airport after booking a ticket to Fuertaventura.

The winning ticket is still missing and has been cancelled by lottery authorities, while the tobacconist’s son has told reporters: “Who says that we sold that ticket and that the win was really that?”


A study of Michelangelo’s shoes has revealed the man famed for painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling was only 1.57m (5ft 2ins tall).

Researchers came up with the figure after examining a pair of leather shoes and a single leather slipper, thought to belong to the artist and housed in Florence’s Casa Buonarroti museum. The second slipper was stolen from the museum in 1873.

They say that it matches up with a contemporary description of Michelangelo as being of “middle height”, as people were smaller in the 15th and 16th centuries than now. However, they cautioned that it was possible the three shoes actually belonged to a relative of Michelangelo’s.


A 92-year-old who set off to pick up his granddaughter from school in Nidderau, near Frankfurt, entered the wrong location into his satnav and drove 550km (340 miles) in the wrong direction.

The pensioner, from Bad Hersfeld in East Hesse, was eventually found with a flat tyre in Rostock, near the Baltic Sea, after his incredible journey.
“Obviously, he had entered the wrong destination in the navigation system of his vehicle and had strictly followed the instructions of the computer voice for several hours,” said a police spokesman.

The man’s son said that as far as he was concerned, his father was mentally fit and able to drive.


A Swiss millionaire has been fined 192,825 euros (£165,000) for speeding under a law that calculates fines based on the income and assets of the offender.

The woman was clocked in her Range Rover going 93km/h (58mph) in a 50km/h (31mph) zone through the Swiss village of Wollerau. She was initially set to be fined 370,000 euros, but that was reduced to 175,000 euros on appeal, with the added amount tacked on because of two previous driving offences.


A shoplifter from Västervik, eastern Sweden, was so mortified to read a report of her theft of curtain fabric from a local store that she handed herself into police.

It has not been decided whether she will face charges for the crime, which involved material worth several thousand krona. Police said: “It is unusual that you hear from someone admitting that they have done wrong, and quite honourable.”


The German government has been criticised after it emerged that they flew home 65,000 cans of beer and 340 bottles from Afghanistan on a day they evacuated only seven people.

The move, which involved a total of 22,500 litres of alcohol, took place in late June as the country’s army completed its withdrawal of troops.

Janine Wissler of the Left party said: “I think we have a shameful attitude towards local staff when we see that 65,000 cans of beer were transferred from Afghanistan while people who worked for the army and other German institutions were left stranded.”


A baby born on the Paris metro will not receive a free subway pass until she is 25, as with previous births on the city’s underground lines. Instead, her mother will receive a bouquet of flowers, baby clothes and a Navigo pass for one year.

The woman gave birth after her train made an emergency stop at Reuilly Diderot station. In 2012, two babies were born three days apart on the Metro, the first on a train at Porte de Clignancourt, and the other on the platform of Daumesnil station.

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