Meiningen, Germany - A German man who won more than a million Deutschmarks playing the lottery eight years ago admitted on Monday that he committed a string of burglaries after the cash trickled away.

Prosecutors said the father-of-three decided in 2003 to live by theft, and broke into nearly 70 homes, bars and cars in search of cash. He also took jewellery, watches, cameras and even three pairs of deer antlers, and kept them in a room in his basement.

Police near Meiningen, 150 kilometres east of Frankfurt, have returned much of the hoard, worth €13 000, to the owners.

The 49-year-old tiler, whose 1997 win was worth $935 000 at current values, said he had spent or given away the lotto prize, including presents to his mother and two sisters.

He built a house, but had to sell it after he ran out of money.

"I don't know where the money went," the former millionaire said.

The trial was adjourned to June 27. - Sapa-dpa