Spain´s Christmas is officially underway now that the El Gordo ( the fat one) Christmas lottery has been drawn with an estimated 2.6 billion Euros distributed to winners across the country, with Madrid this year, being particularly lucky.
The lucky holders with the winning number of 88008 were celebrating throughout Madrid with the winning ticket number which pays out 400,000 Euros.
Winning numbers were sold at lottery posts all over Madrid including in Barrio del Pilar, Carabanchel, Barajas, Puente de Vallecas, Ciudad Lineal, Latina, Villaverde, Chamartín, Salamanca, Chamberí and of course Doña Manolita in the centre of town
The winning number was called out at 1.16 p.m by the children from Madrid’s San Ildefonso school. The children sing out the winning ticket numbers, drawn from two giant rolling drums in a sequence that is known to everyone in Spain.
The annual lottery draw, unofficially marks the beginning of the Spanish holiday season, that last until 6th January.
Buying and sharing tickets, known as “décimos”(tenths) is part of any Spanish Christmas with families, friends, co-workers, fellow drinkers in bars, social and sports clubs all taking part.
Whilst the prizes are not massive, there are lots of winners. Numbers are divided into 170 series, there are actually 1,700 décimos for every one of the 100,000 numbers. Work colleagues often buy a décimo with the same number. So when a number wins, everyone wins
Bars fill up and of course yesterday being the last working day before Christmas was also an opportunity for a seasonal drink with colleagues to enjoy the Christmas spirit Spansh style.
The Spanish national lottery was set up during the reign of Carlos III (whose many innovations are marked on his statue in the Puerta de Sol in Madrid) with the 22nd December draw dating back to 1812.
But those who miss out on El Gordo can still win significant amounts. Second prize awards €125,000 to each winning décimo and third prize is €50,000.
Punters also have the chance to win back the cost of a décimo (the Reintegro) if the last digit of their number matches the last digit in the six-digit sequence that wins first, second or third prize.
To check your lottery ticket click HERE