Italian woman wins Picasso worth more than $1 million in fundraising raffle

Ya Chun Wang

    (CNN) -- An Italian woman won a Picasso painting worth 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in a fundraising raffle overseen by auction house Christie's in Paris on Wednesday.

The initiative, "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" is organized by the Aider Les Autres (Help Others) charity, with the permission of the Picasso Administration. More than 51,100 people participated by buying a ticket for 100 euros ($110) each, with Claudia Borgogno emerging as the winner.

The 1921 oil painting known as "Nature Morte" (Still Life) had been in a private collection in France before this raffle. It is signed by the artist in the top left-hand corner.

The donations will be used by the NGO CARE International to build and rehabilitate wells, washing facilities, and toilets in villages and schools in Cameroon, Madagascar, and Morocco. The project is intended to last five years and hopes to improve the lives of 200,000 people living in the areas.

"There are so many people who need help around the world. We wanted to make something different to enable lots of people to take part in charity actions," said Péri Cochin, a French TV host who came up with the idea.

The initiative started in 2013, when a $1 million Picasso drawing "L'Homme au Gibus" (Man with Opera Hat) was raffled off to save an ancient Phoenician city in Lebanon.

All proceeds from the raffle went towards financing two arts and cultural projects in the UNESCO World Heritage city, with 50,000 tickets on sale.

The winner was Jeffrey Gonano, a 25-year-old project manager in a fire sprinkler contracting firm from Wexford, Pennsylvania.

Another raffle is due to take place next year.

This story has been updated to correct the number of people who bought raffle tickets.

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