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6 Dec, 2019 07:17

Luckiest man in India? Lottery winner unearths pot of 2,500 antique coins

Luckiest man in India? Lottery winner unearths pot of 2,500 antique coins

An Indian man who won more than $800,000 in a lottery has struck gold again – this time after digging up a large cache of coins dating back 100 years.

B Rathnakaran Pillai, a former sawmill operator, used part of the Rs 6 crore ($842,000) he won in a lottery in January 2018 to buy some land in his hometown of Kilimanoor, located in India’s state of Kerala. The plot, situated next to an old Krishna temple, yielded more than just vegetables for Pillai: While tilling the soil, the lucky lotto winner stumbled across a pot containing more than 2,500 coins. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the coins came from the defunct Kingdom of Travancore, which ruled southern Kerala for hundreds of years.

Weighing more than 20kg, the coins were minted in silver, copper, and gold, and are believed to be around 100 years old. The currency was used before India introduced its rupee-paise system in 1949.

Pillai quickly alerted authorities to his incredible discovery. The treasure will be sent to a laboratory to be cleaned, as most of the coins have turned green from oxidation. Their value will then be assessed by a panel of experts.

The government is reportedly planning to present Pillai with a reward for turning in the trove of antique coins.

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