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Pa. Man Wins $1 Million Picasso With $140 Raffle Ticket

Picasso's 1914 cubist drawing <em>L'homme au Gibus,</em> or <em>Man in the Opera Hat,</em> is presented at Sotheby's auction house in Paris.
Picasso's 1914 cubist drawing <em>L'homme au Gibus,</em> or <em>Man in the Opera Hat,</em> is presented at Sotheby's auction house in Paris.

A Pennsylvania man who bought a raffle ticket for $140 has won the top prize — a Picasso worth $1 million.

Jeffrey Gonano, 25, entered a raffle put on by Sotheby's in Paris offering "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" as a fundraising event for the International Association to Save Tyre, an ancient Phoenician city in Lebanon.

Gonano, who works for his family's fire sprinkler business, found out on Wednesday that he'd won with one of the 50,000 tickets sold and is now the proud owner of the 1914 Man in the Opera Hat, which dates to Pablo Picasso's cubist period.

"I'm still in shock. It's still very odd," Gonano said. "I never thought I would win. I just saw a news article on Yahoo and bought a ticket. I don't even know why."

The Associated Press quotes Gonano as saying he "wants to keep the artwork, which features vivid shapes in opaque gouache paint."

"Maybe I'll lend it to a museum and let them put it on display rather than putting it in a vault, so other people can enjoy it," he told the newspaper. "It all depends. I don't know what the taxes are or anything."

Having sold all 50,000 tickets, Sotheby's should have raised close to $7 million for charity event.

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