A man jailed for stealing a winning lottery ticket has won 18,000 pounds with his own ticket just months after being released.

Stelian Ogica, 36, from Bucharest, Romania, went to prison for two years after a court convicted him of stealing a lottery ticket which won an 800,000 jackpot from his friend.

The friend left Ogica to check the numbers on the local TV and when he came back to the room it was empty - and the ticket missing.

He reported Ogica to police who denied the charge but who was convicted anyway.

He has been playing the lottery since he got out of jail earlier this year.

Ogica told the Realitatea Romaneasca newspaper: "It is not such a big amount, but it is a good news now that the winter holidays are coming.

"It is a sign that God has forgiven me and has finally given me some money."