There aren't exactly any losers in this raffle: One person will walk away with a Picasso worth $1 million for the price of a single raffle ticket. The other 49,999 hopefuls can lick their wounds with the knowledge that their $135 ticket helped save an ancient city. The face behind the charity auction is Oliver Picasso, the artist's grandson via Picasso mistress Marie-Therese Walter, reports the AFP, which adds that the younger Picasso never met his famed grandfather.
Only 50,000 tickets are available at www.1picasso100euros.com. That's considerably better odds than most lottos; Bloomberg points out that your chances of winning the New York state lotto, for instance, are 3.8 million to 1. AFP explains that "L'Homme au Gibus" ("Man in the Opera Hat") was purchased from a New York gallery anonymously and donated to a UNESCO-registered charity trying to save Lebanon's Tyre. Bloomberg gives a brief history of the 4,700-year-old Phoenician city, which was battered by Alexander the Great millennia ago and, more recently, ravaged during the span of Lebanon's civil war, from 1975 to 1990. The intention is to use the $5 million generated by the raffle to develop an artisans' village that will employ youth, women, and the disabled. The winner will be selected Dec. 18.