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Spanish Christmas lottery pays out billions

El GordoEl Gordo: Spanish Christmas lottery pays out billions
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Days before Christmas, a tiny town of 2,000 in cash-strapped Spain found itself richer by €720 million (US$940 million) Thursday after scooping the top prize in the nation's famed Christmas lottery.

Billed as the world's richest, the lottery dishes out some €2.52 billion (US$3.29 billion) to winners across the nation.

The top prize — dubbed "El Gordo" (The Fat One) — was split among the holders of tickets bearing the number 58268. The number appeared on 1,800 tickets, giving winners €400,000 for their €20 ticket.

The state lottery agency said all 1,800 tickets with that number were sold in the town of Granen, located in the arid and barren northeastern Los Monegros area.

The news brought the town's residents out onto the street to dance, sing, hug each other and spray sparkling wine all over.

"It's brilliant!" Pilar Azagra, who runs the town's lottery store, told Spanish National Television. She appeared a bit stunned.

"I haven't had time to react, the number came out and then people started flocking to the shop," she said, adding that many in her family had bought €20 tickets.

Azagra said the windfall was more than welcome as several companies in Granen had closed because of the economic crisis forcing many residents to seek employment in neighboring towns and cities.

Spain is struggling to emerge from a near two-year recession that has left it with a eurozone-high 21.5 percent unemployment rate.

The Gordo lottery aims for a share-the-wealth system, rather than a single jackpot, and thousands of numbers yield at least some kind of return. Lots of people chip in together and buy shares of several or many tickets, meaning it is common for multiple prizes to go to the same town.

Other lotteries have larger individual top prizes but El Gordo is ranked as the world's richest for the total sum paid out.

The winning number was picked and announced by pupils of Madrid's Saint Ildefonso School in a nationally televised draw.

Since it began in 1812, the Dec. 22 lottery has become a favorite holiday tradition. This year, it sold an estimated €2.7 billion in tickets and the state lottery agency estimated per-capita spending of about €70.

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.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to TheRightPrice for the tip.

AP

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19 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by psykomo.
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LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
British Columbia
Canada
Member #116101
September 4, 2011
4033 Posts
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Posted: December 23, 2011, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

El Gordo Smash

"You have to be in it to win it!"

    Avatar
    charlotte, nc
    United States
    Member #108516
    March 26, 2011
    53 Posts
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    Posted: December 23, 2011, 1:19 pm - IP Logged

    Wow that's got to be and exciting feeling 1800 tickets so just imagine if someone purchased like 10 of those tickets and they are worth $400K. I feel like when the  powerball and the mega millions jackpot hit $200- $300 million dollars it should be like this that way this would give others a chance to win maybe not 1800 but at least 100 people but us lotteries don't want to do that because they are greedy they are scared that if this happens the lottery sales will decrease because people will already have won money.

      gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
      ONEONTA,NEW YORK
      United States
      Member #30516
      January 17, 2006
      419 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 23, 2011, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

      OK...So now i know what my spanish friends were saying to me when they would call me "EL GORDO"....

      Wait till i see them.....lol......HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL MY L/P FRIENDSPartyUS FlagPartyNoel

        dpoly1's avatar - driver
        PA
        United States
        Member #66141
        October 16, 2008
        1672 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 23, 2011, 4:06 pm - IP Logged

        Wow that's got to be and exciting feeling 1800 tickets so just imagine if someone purchased like 10 of those tickets and they are worth $400K. I feel like when the  powerball and the mega millions jackpot hit $200- $300 million dollars it should be like this that way this would give others a chance to win maybe not 1800 but at least 100 people but us lotteries don't want to do that because they are greedy they are scared that if this happens the lottery sales will decrease because people will already have won money.

        No Pity!just imagine if we had very large jackpots that 1 person could potentialy win ........... oh wait, we do & it works very well .........

          Guest


          Member #0
          January 1, 2000
          0 Posts
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          Posted: December 23, 2011, 5:17 pm - IP Logged

          does no one else find it strange that all 1800 tickets won in one town only?

          This is what lotteries should do here.


            Bahamas
            Member #114685
            August 5, 2011
            422 Posts
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            Posted: December 23, 2011, 5:23 pm - IP Logged

            does no one else find it strange that all 1800 tickets won in one town only?

            This is what lotteries should do here.

            NO not strange if you understand how the game works. The ticket numbers are like SERIAL NUMBERS. Almost like buying scratch offs if you will. Think of it as a grand scale raffle concept

              Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
              S.E.Iowa
              United States
              Member #120504
              December 21, 2011
              534 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 23, 2011, 6:08 pm - IP Logged

              Maybe when our unemployment gets to 21.5% Mr Obama will let us have an El Gordo type of lottery so that we can afford to eat and buy essentials.

                Avatar
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #77101
                July 13, 2009
                7805 Posts
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                Posted: December 23, 2011, 6:48 pm - IP Logged

                No Pity!just imagine if we had very large jackpots that 1 person could potentialy win ........... oh wait, we do & it works very well .........

                IMO This is the way a huge $$$ lottery should be won - spread the $$$ around - DPoly, I know that's your dream but  the "whole one winner of a huge jackpot" is just selfish and greedy - especially with so many people in needSmash

                Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

                  time*treat's avatar - radar

                  United States
                  Member #13130
                  March 30, 2005
                  2171 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 23, 2011, 7:29 pm - IP Logged

                  Tax free?

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

                    TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #71120
                    February 19, 2009
                    1209 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 23, 2011, 7:53 pm - IP Logged

                    Thats what I have been preaching about for years.Let many people win,not just one.They would have more people playing.I could use 5 Thousand right about now couldnt you?  So could alot more poor folks.i wish I run a State Lottery it would be the best in the country............Next to Georgia that is.

                      Bondi Junction
                      Australia
                      Member #57242
                      December 24, 2007
                      1102 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 23, 2011, 9:16 pm - IP Logged

                      Other state lotteries should start a 'Fat One', it would be fun and raise much-needed revenue.

                      We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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                        Inland Empire
                        United States
                        Member #118116
                        October 22, 2011
                        316 Posts
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                        Posted: December 24, 2011, 1:31 am - IP Logged

                         El Gordo-type lottery makes more sense. To most people out there, even $100,000 will make a huge difference in their lives. Even better, it will change many people's lives. I'd rather see 1000 $100,000 winners than 1 $100,000,000 winner.

                          Avatar
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #77101
                          July 13, 2009
                          7805 Posts
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                          Posted: December 24, 2011, 7:23 am - IP Logged

                          No winner on last night's Mega Millions but 31 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $250,000 prize: 5 from California, 1 from Connecticut, 1 from Georgia, 1 from Illinois, 1 from Indiana, 3 from Massachusetts, 3 from New Jersey, 5 from New York, 3 from Ohio, 2 from Tennessee, 3 from Texas, 1 from Virginia, 1 from Washington, and 1 from Wisconsin.

                          Now that's what I like to see - lots of second prize: winners will have an even happier holiday seasonHurray!

                          Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

                            sully16's avatar - sharan
                            Ringleader
                            Michigan
                            United States
                            Member #81740
                            October 28, 2009
                            40340 Posts
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                            Posted: December 24, 2011, 7:44 am - IP Logged

                            Congrats to all the winners.

                            Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                            For a lead role in a cage?

                             

                                                                        From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"