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El Gordo lottery awards more than $3 billion

El GordoEl Gordo: El Gordo lottery awards more than $3 billion

MADRID, Spain — Spain's Christmas lottery showered hundreds of thousand of euros in prize money on the country's capital Tuesday.

The top prize of the lottery, ranked among the world's richest, went to holders of tickets bearing the number 78294. The number appears on 1,950 tickets, and each holder stood to win euro300,000 ($430,000).

Organizers said the tickets bearing that number were sold in a lottery office in the central Madrid area of Cuatro Caminos.

Two of the lucky ticket holders were immigrant workers.

"You go to bed at night with nothing and the next day you're a millionaire!" joked telephone shop worker Rafael Lara, 24, from the Dominican Republic, who won euro300,000 ($430,000).

"When I found out, I didn't know what to do, how to react. I rang my mother and she can't believe it. I still don't know what I'll do with the money," he told The Associated Press.

Just as jubilant was unemployed 50-year-old Ecuadorean Sabino Calderon, who also won euro300,000 ($430,000).

"I rang my family in Ecuador and they can't believe it," said Sabino, who has five children.

"This is a present," he said. "I will invest the money in a business and also give some to my people in Ecuador."

Thousands of other people won smaller prizes in the lottery, which is known as "El Gordo" (The Fat One) and is held each year on Dec. 22. The lottery dishes out euro2.32 billion ($3.33 billion) in prize money.

The numbers were drawn by pupils of Madrid's Saint Ildefonso School in a nationally televised draw.

Although other lotteries have bigger individual top prizes, the Gordo is ranked as the world's richest for the total sum paid out. Rather than a single jackpot, the lottery aims for a share-out in which thousands of numbers yield at least some prize money.

The Gordo is a favorite holiday tradition in Spain. Excitement builds up for weeks before the draw as workers and relatives pitch in to buy tickets while clubs, shops and bars sell shares in their tickets to clients.

This year, it sold an estimated euro2.7 billion euros nationwide — nearly 3 percent down on last year, the state lottery agency said.

The agency estimates per-capita spending of some euro60 ($86) on the Gordo this year.

Seventy percent of lottery sales goes out in prizes, and 30 percent goes to the state.

Spain established its national lottery system as a charity in 1763, but its objective gradually shifted toward filling state coffers.

Spain holds another big lottery Jan. 6 to mark the Feast of the Epiphany. It is known as "El Nino" (The Child), in reference to the baby Jesus.

AP

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9 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by sunjune6.
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dphillips's avatar - littleuns
Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States
Member #5128
June 18, 2004
377 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 24, 2009, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

Gee, I was wondering, if an American on a visit to Spain purchases a ticket and wins, will he or she pay Spain's taxes (if any) or U.S. taxes? Wow, what a treat!

See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley

    CARBOB's avatar - FL LOTTERY_LOGO.png
    ORLANDO, FLORIDA
    United States
    Member #4924
    June 3, 2004
    5901 Posts
    Online
    Posted: December 24, 2009, 3:34 pm - IP Logged

    Gee, I was wondering, if an American on a visit to Spain purchases a ticket and wins, will he or she pay Spain's taxes (if any) or U.S. taxes? Wow, what a treat!

    Both. Unless you  work for U.S government and salary is tax exempt, you might only have to pay Spain.

      time*treat's avatar - radar

      United States
      Member #13130
      March 30, 2005
      2171 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 24, 2009, 4:31 pm - IP Logged

      Gee, I was wondering, if an American on a visit to Spain purchases a ticket and wins, will he or she pay Spain's taxes (if any) or U.S. taxes? Wow, what a treat!

      Spain and the U.S. have a tax treaty to avoid double taxation, but you'll still have to file two returns -- well your "financial people" will do the filing. Wink

      In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
      Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

        truecritic's avatar - PirateTreasure
        Michigan
        United States
        Member #22395
        September 24, 2005
        1583 Posts
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        Posted: December 24, 2009, 7:36 pm - IP Logged

        "You go to bed at night with nothing and the next day you're a millionaire!" joked telephone shop worker Rafael Lara, 24, from the Dominican Republic, who won euro300,000 ($430,000).

        Huh? Looks like Rafael Lara doesn't know the true value of the prize - far less than a millionaire.  Not even a half a millionaire!

          Avatar
          New Member
          Canadian, Oklahoma
          United States
          Member #80302
          September 20, 2009
          5 Posts
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          Posted: December 24, 2009, 11:47 pm - IP Logged

          When a person goes "to bed at night with nothing" and the next day has $430,000 in his pocket, I'm sure he feels as close to being a millionaire as one can or ever will be.

           

          Perhaps you should try some (+) positive criticism instead of (-) negative..... if you can.Banana

            truecritic's avatar - PirateTreasure
            Michigan
            United States
            Member #22395
            September 24, 2005
            1583 Posts
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            Posted: December 25, 2009, 6:38 am - IP Logged

            When a person goes "to bed at night with nothing" and the next day has $430,000 in his pocket, I'm sure he feels as close to being a millionaire as one can or ever will be.

             

            Perhaps you should try some (+) positive criticism instead of (-) negative..... if you can.Banana

            The numbers don't lie.  It is not a choice to make a positive or negative comment - I simply stated facts. That was a hugely exagerated statement.  Your bookkeeping is sloppy, if that is close enough for you.

              Avatar
              New Member
              Canadian, Oklahoma
              United States
              Member #80302
              September 20, 2009
              5 Posts
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              Posted: December 25, 2009, 11:16 am - IP Logged

              My "book-keeping" has nothing to do with you being an acrimonious troll.

                jeffrey's avatar - moon
                Hamilton, OH
                United States
                Member #4162
                March 27, 2004
                277 Posts
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                Posted: December 25, 2009, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

                My "book-keeping" has nothing to do with you being an acrimonious troll.

                To a man who is starving is not a mouthful a banquet. To a man who has no clothes is not a leaf a wardrobe. To a man who has no money is not $430,000 a fortune. He will invest in a business and help his family. Sounds like a plan to me. Congratulations to a man who deserves to win.Banana

                  sunjune6's avatar - Lottery-010.jpg
                  Atlanta,GA
                  United States
                  Member #79429
                  September 1, 2009
                  103 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 26, 2009, 11:03 am - IP Logged

                  I am going to Spain next year. Got to be in it to win anything. Get a ticket and have a chance.

                  If you think you can or if you think you can't you are right!

                  Today could be the day!