“El gordo” brings downpour of money in spain

In the world’s biggest lottery, "el gordo" (the big one), many poor people in spain were swallowed up with big winnings two days before christmas eve. A total of almost 2.4 billion euros was raised in sunday’s draw at madrid’s teatro real opera house.

The main prize in the christmas lottery was ticket number 26590. It amounts to four million euros for a whole lot, but is paid out 170 times, since each lot number is sold 170 times. Two tipsters in germany also bought this number.

In front of TV cameras on sunday in madrid, there were endless hugs and kisses, tears of joy, singing and shouts of joy. "I think i’m dreaming," stammered a woman in madrid who had won with a ten-dollar ticket 400.000 euros before taxes won. In front of the "dona manolita" sales outlet in the center of madrid, she rejoiced with other winners. In between, she shouted to her husband – an unemployed lathe operator – "i’m not cooking today!". Another main winner said on TV: "we have suffered a lot in the last few years, not only financially. My daughter had to go to germany to find work."Spain has the second-highest unemployment rate in the EU.

There was a particularly heavy downpour of money in catalonia. In the coastal town of salou, 90 of the 170 copies of the winning number were sold, as reported by the media with reference to the lottery company. The burger club "el cachirulo" in reus north of salou had acquired 80 of these series and resold whole lots and tens of lots to members and friends.

Among the winners of reus is also pink. The 72-year-old can put the money to good use. "Today we celebrate the birthday of my daughter angels. "It was supposed to be a poor man’s party, but now we’re banging the drum," she was quoted as saying by "el pais. Her family had won a total of one and a half million euros.

The company lottoland announced that there were also two german main winners. One is from berlin, is 28 years old and has acquired a tenth of a lot, which means he can look forward to 400,000 euros before tax deductions. The second winner was a 31-year-old from friedrichshafen, germany. He participated with one hundredth of a ticket. His winnings amount to 40 000 euros. Both had been informed.

Measured by the total amount of almost 2.4 billion, the spanish christmas lottery is considered to be the world’s largest raffle. The "loteria de navidad" looks back on a tradition of over 200 years and is therefore also considered the oldest in the world. The first drawing took place already in 1812.

Nationwide, betting syndicates are formed by office colleagues, neighbors, pub friends and even entire villages. Individuals were mostly content with a ten-digit draw. The prize is not cheap: a whole lot costs 200 euro. Also more and more germans take part, according to reports recently more than 150 000.

The drawing of the lucky numbers was broadcast live on television two days before christmas eve in front of an audience of millions. Since there are also many smaller prizes, the drawing lasted over three hours. In keeping with tradition, the numbers drawn and the amount of each prize were once again sung by 18 students from the san ildefonso boarding school – a madrid institution for children from complicated family backgrounds. Participation in school uniform is a gross honor for the often difficult-to-educate children between 9 and 14 years of age.

However, the duo that is allowed to sing the number of the main prize and the amount of the prize is the one that really pulls the strings. This time it hit 12-year-old schoolgirl noura and her classmate elizabeth (13). Unlike many other children, the "christmas girls" on the stage were able to underpress the tears. The joy was nevertheless noticeable to them. "My legs were shaking," said elizabeth. And noura added: "I was shaking too. Tried to prevent it, but it did not work."

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