Mazaltov to Martinelli

Arsenal star wins voucher at London Jewish school raffle

Encouraged to buy ticket for local Jewish school charity event, Brazilian soccer player Gabriel Martinelli reportedly scores a £100 prize

Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli waves fans at the end of the Europa League round of 16, first leg, soccer match between Sporting CP and Arsenal at the Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli waves fans at the end of the Europa League round of 16, first leg, soccer match between Sporting CP and Arsenal at the Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Arsenal’s Brazilian soccer star Gabriel Martinelli got an unexpected assist with his Passover shopping this year after he purchased a raffle voucher from a group of students from a local Jewish school.

But reports that the soccer star had won first place and snagged a £100 ($125) to the UK kosher supermarket chain Sheffa Mehadrin, appear to have been exaggerated.

After pictures were published of Martinelli with several students from Shalom Noam primary school, in London’s Edgware neighborhood, who had knocked on his door and sold him a ticket, news of the Arsenal winger’s purported win was widely shared among Jewish supporters of the north London club.

However, once the story went viral and was picked up by the media, one fan came forward to confess he may have slightly embellished the story.

Arsenal fan Jez Livingston told the UK Jewish News that he added a few details to the story to make it more entertaining.

“On Sunday afternoon my mum told me a story about kids collecting for that school. She mentioned that the prize was a kosher butcher voucher. When I sent the message, I put in Shefa Mehadrin because I knew they were the most religious,” he said, adding that he was just trying to make his friends laugh.

 

Livingston noted that the story was already corrupted by the time it reached him. Martinelli had indeed purchased a ticket, but won second prize — a slightly more practical £100 Amazon voucher.

The first prize in the raffle was a designer bag worth £225.

“This is just a funny anecdote that I’d heard. Martinelli did buy a raffle ticket. But it’s got lost in translation,” Livingston said.

Livingston said he was hoping that he might get some free vouchers from Sheffa Mehadrin for “the national exposure.”

Meanwhile,  Martinelli is doubtlessly hoping to improve on his second-place result, with his team, currently placed first in the Premier League, aiming for a first title since 2003.

* Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an earlier version that said Martinelli had won the raffle and the prize of a kosher supermarket voucher.

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