How bad luck turned into good. In July 2021, Europe was hit by a flood disaster, and the German community Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler was at the centre. More than 100 people lost their lives. Now, exactly six months on, the Monthly Prize from the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie happens to be drawn in the Ahr Valley community.
Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in the Eifel region was among the areas hardest hit by severe storms that have killed at over 100 people in western Germany. A tidal wave of several meters high were sent rushing down the streets, sweeping away cars, sheds, trees and destroying hundreds of homes. The historic centre of the town was littered with debris, and there was mud everywhere, lots and lots of mud.
Six months later, while the community is still recovering from the disaster, the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie is visiting the municipality. With good news. The Monthly Prize is drawn in the municipality: 319 players win a total of 1,4 million euros. Most lucky winners are Irena and Rita: Lotterie ambassador and famous TV presenter Kai Pflaume presents them cheques of 700,000 euros in total. Irena (52) started playing just last December and wins, thanks to her two tickets, €466,666 in total.
Irena, a mother of two, is close to tears, talking about the strokes of fate over the past few years. Within a few months she lost both parents to Covid, in July 2021 the flood came, which also reached her house: "It was a terrible night. We heard people's cries for help, you don't forget something like that.” Irena was lucky, her apartment on the second floor was spared by the flood. A luck she would like to share with others: "I bought the two tickets mainly because 30 percent goes to a good cause."
Irena's direct neighbour Rita is also delighted with her €233,333 win - which Kai Pflaume gives her in the garden behind the house where she was surprised by the flood six months ago: "My apartment was completely destroyed by the flood. Our belongings, the furniture, personal memories – everything is gone”.
The 64-year-old has been living with her daughter since. In Spring, however, she wants to finally move back into her apartment. Rita hopes that this wish will also soon come true for many other residents of the Ahr Valley: "It is very important for our people to finally have a bit of luck again after everything they have experienced."