'World's humblest president' stops to pick up hitchhiker

It's not often that a world leader stops to give you a lift.

But a hitchhiker in Uruguay found himself in a car with the country's president and first lady when they stopped to help him.

Gerhald Acosta was walking the 100 miles between his place of work and hometown as dozens of cars went past without stopping.

But when a car finally did, he was shocked to see Jose Mujica and Lucia Topolansky, who is also a senator, inside.

"I know this woman. It was Lucia, with Manuela the dog, and [Jose] in the front seat. I couldn't believe it," he told El Observador newspaper. "The president was giving me a ride."

He added: "When I got out, I thanked them profusely because not everyone helps someone out on the road, and much less a president."

Mujica is described as the world's humblest president, giving away as much as 90 per cent of his presidential salary to charity and preferring to live on a small farm instead of his official residence.

He also drives around in a battered old VW Beetle, for which he received a million dollar offer last year.

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