London, Aug 13 (ANI): The world's biggest lottery draw, the SuperEnalotto, which is worth 112 million pounds, will be taking place in Italy on August 13.
The country's national lottery jackpot has gone unclaimed since January and since then has been attracting record sales as millions of Italians, and tourists, try their luck despite the odds of winning being one in 622 million.
A total of 338 million six-number combinations were played last week compared with 304.2 million the week before, a jump of 11.1 percent.
So far this month, SuperEnalotto has raked in some 193 million pounds, 37.3 percent more than the whole month of August last year.
But the Roman Catholic Church officials in Italy have expressed concerns about the huge amount of prize money and called for a cap on the jackpot.
"This draw is immoral and continues to feed a desperate initiative of hope," Sky News quoted Monsignor Domenico Sigalini, of the Italian Catholic Bishops Conference as saying.
"It really has become a form of idol worship as here man really is worshipping money instead of God.
"It's a well-known fact that all those who have won a lot of money in the past have ended up being worse off - winning a lot of money is not a stroke of luck but a stroke of tragedy," he told Radio Vatican.
The Archbishop of Lecce, Cosmo Francesco Ruppi, was equally upset.
"There should be an immediate law putting a cap on the size of the jackpot," he said.
"This lottery fever must be stopped as soon as possible as it has created a form of idolatry," he stated.
Some within the Catholic Church have suggested that the top prize should be scrapped and the money instead go towards reconstruction in the earthquake-ravaged area of Abruzzo where 300 people were killed and 50,000 left homeless in April.
SuperEnalotto this year has already taken in nearly 1.7bn pounds more than all of 2007, and is on course to surpass the 2.2bn pounds collected last year.
SuperEnalotto, which made its debut in December 1997, has been a boom for Italy's state coffers, which receive 49.5 percent of all bets made, far more than other national betting games, which pay the Treasury between 20 percent and 25 percent. (ANI)