MADRID, Spain – A duo of Spanish garbage men who emerged victorious in a recent strike demanding bonus pay now have won something bigger: $600,000 in lottery booty.
Joaquin Ligero, a 56-year-old driver, and Vito Marquez, a 42-year-old trash collector, shared a ticket and won second-prize money of $600,000 Sunday in a sweepstakes known as the Euromillions, the newspaper El Mundo reported.
They had been sharing lottery tickets and soccer bets for more than a decade.
Their stroke of luck came a day after they and some 80 colleagues ended a five-day strike that left 700 tons of garbage rotting in the hot streets of Almunecar, a southern beach town of 24,000 that sees of its population quintuple in summer.
Among other things, the strikers were demanding extra pay for handling what they call dangerous material, and they won this concession from management.
When Ligero saw the number he shared with Marquez come up on a TV screen as a winner, he called his wife.
"I turned palid, and I told her, 'Quick, put your glasses on to see if what I am seeing is for real," he said.