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Hundreds of Treasure Hunters Search Dump For Lost Lottery Ticket

December 30, 1988

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ Hundreds of people are seeking their fortune in the Managua city dump, scrambling through tons of garbage in search of a lost lottery ticket worth $1,300.

A restaurant employee mistakenly threw away the ticket on Monday, the day before the drawing that made it worth 6 million cordobas, or nearly 750 times the daily minimum wage.

The owner of the restaurant, Andres Pastora, asked the National Lottery to pay him anyway. But the head of the lottery, Luis Guzman, said the prize will go to whoever presents the ticket.

Pastora has offered a $100 reward, a sum several treasure hunters scorned as a ″miserable tip,″ according to the daily El Nuevo Diario.

Sandinista TV and El Nuevo Diario showed pictures hundreds of people picking through the municipal garbage Thursday and Friday for the ticket.

Dump employees said they burn trash every day and that it would be a miracle if anyone found it. But the treasure hunters seemed undeterred.

″It is worth making the effort,″ said Juan Jose Alvarado, who is unemployed.

The minimum wage in Nicaragua is 8,000 cordobas a day, or about $1.70. A movie ticket or a pound of beef costs nearly half a day’s wage and a pair of imported jeans costs 90,000 cordobas.

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