Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited January 29, 2022, 7:27 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Spain's huge Christmas lottery offers distraction from virus

Dec 22, 2021, 1:08 pm

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter
El GordoEl Gordo: Spain's huge Christmas lottery offers distraction from virusRating:

MADRID, Spain — Spaniards looking for a respite from the pandemic's gloom and doom turned their attention Wednesday to a rite that for more than two centuries has marked the beginning of the festive period: the country's bumper Christmas lottery, known as "El Gordo," or "The Fat One."

The draw, held annually since 1812, dished out a total of €2.4 billion (US$2.7 billion) in prizes this year, or 70% of the proceeds from ticket sales.

The top-prize number holder — number 86148 this year — gets €400,000 (US$450,000) or about €328,000 after taxes (US$370,000).

Javier Moñino Paniagua, a lottery ticket seller at a stall in Madrid's central Atocha train station, said his outlet sold tickets that won a total of €520 million (US$588 million).

The prizewinners for those tickets are probably scattered all over the country because the stall is right by the platform from where high-speed trains depart to many corners of Spain, he said.

He said he bought some tickets himself but missed out on the top prize.

People line up for hours in the days running up to the lottery to snatch their 20-euro tickets from the most popular vendors.

Some buy them for themselves or as gifts for others. Work colleagues, relatives or friends also pool money to buy them, with their eyes set on sharing the prizes.

Other lotteries have bigger individual top prizes but Spain's Christmas lottery, staged each year on Dec. 22, is ranked as the world's richest for the total prize money involved.

Despite a spiraling number of coronavirus cases — Spain on Tuesday scored its pandemic record of new infections, with nearly 50,000 reported in one day — spectators returned to Madrid's Teatro Real opera house for the draw after last year's hiatus.

Following the tradition, children from Madrid's San Ildefonso school call out the prizewinning numbers, followed by jubilant street and bar scenes of winners celebrating with bottles of sparkling wine.

The lottery is run by the state and supports several charities.

AP

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

6 comments. Last comment 1 month ago by dannyct.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Gallatin Tennesee
United States
Member #194096
November 29, 2018
127 Posts
Offline

"El Gordo" sounds like a lot of fun. But I can't help but wonder what the security was like back in the early 1800's when the drawing first started. How were they able to keep the organizers and other employees from cheating since there were no computers or security cameras? I can imagine someone in Barcelona winning the top prize, but it takes them 2 months to ride to Madrid on horseback to pick up their prize. Today we have everything. We were born in the right century.

SantaUS Flag

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163182
    January 22, 2015
    2808 Posts
    Offline

    I need my eyes checked....skipped two key words from the train station.   Thought initially it said sold 520 million Euros of lotto tickets!  Will be looking forward to reading of winners.   Quite an interesting lottery!

      jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
      Harbinger
      Maryland
      United States
      Member #44102
      July 30, 2006
      6314 Posts
      Online

      That top prize is way too low I believe it much higher. 172 • 4Million euros split between the holders of fractions of the winning number. Very diff from our lotteries.

      FJB

        Avatar
        Blue Bell,Pa
        United States
        Member #156241
        June 12, 2014
        63 Posts
        Offline

        ot : Powerball now at $400 million.

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163182
          January 22, 2015
          2808 Posts
          Offline

          ot : Powerball now at $400 million.

          They decided since the next drawing falls on Christmas they'd increase the payout up $22 million vs the 'normal' 10-15 million.   So thoughtful of them--insert sarcasm.

          Just bought a PB/PP ticket with my $5 Cashball winnings.   Quick pick and my Birthday was in the mix...so that means I'm a winner.

            Avatar
            Northern Beaches
            Australia
            Member #187034
            January 9, 2018
            174 Posts
            Offline

            "El Gordo" sounds like a lot of fun. But I can't help but wonder what the security was like back in the early 1800's when the drawing first started. How were they able to keep the organizers and other employees from cheating since there were no computers or security cameras? I can imagine someone in Barcelona winning the top prize, but it takes them 2 months to ride to Madrid on horseback to pick up their prize. Today we have everything. We were born in the right century.

            SantaUS Flag

            That's why lotteries were prohibited in the US, lottery fraud was major issue. The irony is, illegal lotteries was the reason some states introduced lotteries in the twentieth century.