SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand, Sept. 2 (UPI) — A Buddhist monk living in a monastery in Thailand won a nearly $175,000 lottery jackpot thanks to a “lucky” number revealed to him by a tree.
Phra Prawit Techapalo, 41, of the Cheepakhao Temple in Samut Sakhon, located just outside of Bangkok, revealed he won first prize in the lottery after a longtime habit of purchasing several tickets every month.
Phra Prawit’s announcement was seen as controversial by some who pointed out monks are supposed to forgo luxuries such as money.
Phra Prawit, who became a monk about 10 years ago, said he chose “84” as the last of the numbers on his winning ticket after the “lucky” number was revealed to him while examining the textures of a teak tree on the monastery grounds.
The monk said his $173,493 windfall will go toward buying his mother a house, school tuition for his son and a funeral for his temple’s recently deceased abbot.