Italian mother wins Picasso worth £900,000 in a raffle

Italian mother wins Picasso worth £900,000 in a raffle after her son bought her a ticket

  • Winner is Claudia Borgogno, 58, an accountant from Ventimiglia, northern Italy
  • The painting, Nature Morte – or Still Life, painted in 1921, is valued at £900,000 
  • 51,140 tickets sold for £88 each, raising approximately £4.5 million for charity

An Italian mother has been identified as the lucky winner of a Pablo Picasso oil painting worth £900,000 after her son bought her a raffle ticket for Christmas.

Claudia Borgogno, 58, an accountant from Ventimiglia, in northern Italy was announced as the winner of the charity raffle by organisers on Wednesday.

The painting, called Nature Morte – or Still Life, painted in 1921, has been valued at one million euros, or £900,000.  

Her winning ticket, bought for £88 and gifted to her by her son Lorenzo Naso, was picked out in an electronic draw at the auction house Christie’s in Paris.  

Raffle organizer Peri Cochin poses with the painting Nature Morte, 1921, by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso after the raffle draw at Christie’s auction house in Paris, May 20, 2020

Ms Borgogno called the win ‘incredible’, adding that she had never won anything before. 

While her son Mr Naso, who works as an analyst for the European Union’s securities markets regulator in Paris, said: ‘It was maybe the best decision in my life.’

Organiser Peri Cochin announced the winner’s name via live stream: ‘Claudia has won this extraordinary painting tonight that is worth one million and so is a millionaire.’ 

However neither Ms Borgogno or Mr Naso were watching the live stream draw, leaving it down to Mr Naso to break the good news to his mother after receiving a surprise call from the organisers.

Raffle organizer Peri Cochin delivers a speech as the name of the winner of the painting appears on the screen during the charity raffle official draw, May 20, 2020

He said: ‘When I arrived and I told her she has won she was like, ‘Please don’t joke”. She is not going to sleep tonight.’ 

Mr Naso has been staying with his mother in Italy during the pandemic, adding: ‘It was a pretty awful period for us during this lockdown and now it’s great news.’

The 51,140 tickets sold for £88 (100 euro) each, raising approximately £4.5 million. Proceeds are going to provide water for villagers in Madagascar and Cameroon. 

The 51,140 tickets sold for £88 (100 euro) each, raising approximately £4.5 million

Billionaire art collector David Nahmad parted with the painting after being approached by organizers Péri Cochin, a television producer, and Arabelle Reille, an art historian.

His hope for ‘Nature Morte’ is that the winner will be someone who appreciates it. If not, ‘I will be very unhappy’ and ‘would like to buy it back,’ Nahmad said.

‘There’s nothing worse than to own something without understanding that thing,’ he said.

‘It’s like people: If you don’t understand a person — whether it’s your wife, your girlfriend or whatever — you can never like them.

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