Spain braces for annual ‘Fat One’ Xmas lottery game

Large queues developed beyond booths ahead of the nationally telecasted draw for the Xmas lotto game, which features kids from the San Ildefonso college singing out the winning numbers and matching prizes
Spain kicks off its festive duration on Friday with the world’s wealthiest lotto game, spraying prize money and cheery cheer throughout the nation.

Huge lines up developed beyond booths ahead of the nationally telecasted draw for the Xmas lotto, which features youngsters from the San Ildefonso institution– a former home for orphans– singing out the winning numbers and matching prizes.

” I have actually bought lottery tickets for the whole household, everybody understands I’m coming and they’re making use of it,” said Jose Moreno, who queued for over 2 hours to acquire tickets at Dona Manolita, a little shop in central Madrid thought about by numerous to be the luckiest in Spain.
I bought the same number, so if it is picked we will all win,” the 52-year-old structure superintendent, who was visiting from Barcelona and sported a thick black layer and Actual Madrid cap to guard against the cold, informed AFP.

Purchasing and sharing 20-euro tickets, called “decimos”, is a major custom among families, friends, associates and in bars, and in sports and social clubs.

The prominent state-run lotto game will certainly dispense a total of 2.59 billion euros ($ 2.83 billion), a lot of it in numerous smaller sized prizes.
Prizes vary from 20 euros– to put it simply you get your money back– to the 400,000 euro top prize, referred to as “El Gordo” or “The Fat One”, which goes to countless holders of “decimos” bearing the same winning number.
Other lottos around the globe have larger specific top rewards yet Spain’s Christmas lotto game, held yearly on December 22, has the most overall prize money involved.

Glued to TV

The draw, which obtains underway at Madrid’s Teatro Real on Friday at 9 am (0800 GMT), lasts around 4 hours, bringing Spain to a virtual grinding halt with people glued to television set, radios and computer systems, waiting to see if they obtained lucky.

” I get 2 ‘decimos’ a year, one for my parents and one for me. We watch the draw in the house on TV … and if we win something, we hug each other,” claimed Karin Arizaca, a 25-year-old Peruvian who research studies and works as a store assistant in Madrid.

Using a pink winter months coat, Arizaca likewise awaited over two hours to purchase her tickets at Dona Manolita since it “usually has even more good luck”. Ratings of resellers established short-term stands where they offer tickets originally bought at Dona Manolita at a small markup.

” The line up is long, so I made a decision to pay two euros much more for each ‘decimo’,” claimed Daniel Gomez, a 70-year-old pensioner from the southern city of Granada after he bought tickets from one such vendor.


Throughout the day of the draw, tv stations broadcast live pictures of champions throughout the country commemorating with cheers, hugs and champagne.

The lotto usually generates heart-warming stories, such as in 2017 when 22 employees at a retirement community in a struggling community each contended the very least one “decimo” bearing the winning number for the leading prize of 400,000 euros.

Tickets go on sale in July and numerous Spaniards like to get a “decimo” in the seaside resort or community where they invest their summertime holidays.

Spaniards invested an average of 67.11 euros on tickets for the Xmas lottery game in 2014, according to Spain’s state lotto firm that organises the draw. It raises around one billion euros a year for public coffers.

The Christmas lottery has actually been held continuous since 1892. Even Spain’s 1936-39 civil battle did not end it, as each side held its very own draw during the dispute.

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