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Babies Bring Good Luck, Big Bucks For One Norwegian Family

Forget four-leaf clovers, horseshoes and rabbit feet. The secret to a three-time-lottery-winning family in Norway is simple: getting pregnant.

Or, more accurately, making sure Hegge Jeanette Oksnes has recently given birth — or is just about to.

Last week, her brother, 19-year-old Tord Oksnes, won 12.2 million kroner ($2.12 million) and became the latest member of the Oksnes family to win Norway's national lottery — a few months after his sister gave birth to her third child.

In six years, members of the Oksnes family, who lives on a small island off Norway's west coast, have won a total of $3.9 million. And the wins have all coincided with the birth of Hegge Jeannette's children.

Despite the windfall, the family remains down to earth. Tord, for example, told the Daily Mail that he would keep his position as a trainee with a local energy firm and would continue to drive his 11-year-old car as long as it was still roadworthy. Sister Hegge Jeannette, who won 8.2 million kroner in 2010 a day before giving birth to her second child, has kept her job selling hot dogs at a local gas station.

The family's string of lottery wins began in 2006, when father Leif won 4.1 million kroner — and Hegge Jeanette gave birth the next day

She tells AFP that her three other brothers have been paying special attention to the size of her belly.

But her husband has other ideas.

"[He] thinks we have enough money now," she told Reuters.

Officials from lottery operator Norsk Tipping have said there have been past instances of the same person, or groups of people, winning twice. But nothing like the lucky — and expanding — Oksnes family.

"This has to be unique and just goes to show that anything is possible," lottery spokesman Roar Jodahl told Norway's The Local.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Maureen Pao is an editor, producer and reporter on NPR's Digital News team. In her current role, she is lead digital editor and producer for All Things Considered. Her primary responsibility is coordinating, producing and editing high-impact online components for complex, multipart show projects and host field reporting.