Massive Lottery Win in Brazil’s Congress Sets Capital City Abuzz

Simone Iglesias

(Bloomberg) -- A multi-million dollar lottery haul by members of Brazil’s left-wing Workers’ Party has become the talk of the town in the capital city of Brasilia.

Forty-nine lower house advisors to that party, which is known as the PT and counts former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its best-known member, will split a prize of 120 million reais ($29 million). Those aides became aware of their good fortune in the middle of a floor vote in the Chamber of Deputies late on Wednesday, and it didn’t take long before lively banter erupted.

Deputy Kim Kataguiri of the pro-business DEM party interrupted the session to ask if the winners would "spread they money around," prompting the influential lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia to chuckle and jokingly chide the lawmaker for "wanting other people’s money." PT Deputy Jose Guimaraes congratulated his colleagues, but noted with a smile that he will continue to defend higher taxes on large incomes.

The news provided a moment of comic relief in Brazil’s notoriously fractious Congress, which is debating a series of crucial economic proposals including overhauls of the country’s pensions and taxes. Tensions often run high among lawmakers who have overseen the impeachment of a former head of state from the PT party and massive corruption scandals in recent years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simone Iglesias in Brasília at spiglesias@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Walter Brandimarte at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.net, ;Julia Leite at jleite3@bloomberg.net, Matthew Malinowski

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