Lottery “El Gordo”: The lucky ticket came from the train station

Status: December 22nd, 2021 4:53 p.m.

The lucky numbers of the Spanish Christmas lottery have been determined. But anyone who hoped to see the winners of the “El Gordo” main prize celebrating was disappointed.

The winners of a total of 2.4 billion in the traditional Spanish Christmas lottery have been drawn in the Teatro Real opera house in Madrid. The main prize, called “El Gordo” (the fat one), is four million euros for a whole ticket. It is paid out 172 times as each of the 100,000 ticket numbers is sold just as often.

Lottery employees celebrate another winning ticket with the number 89109.

Image: EPA

That year it fell to number 86148. Most of the lucky tickets had been sold at a kiosk at the Atocah long-distance train station in Madrid, from which the high-speed trains leave. However, nobody can go to the shop in the station to celebrate. “Almost only travelers buy here. The winners are probably spread all over the country,” said the administration.

“El Gordo”: Lotto madness in Spain

Natalia Bachmayer, ARD Madrid, daily news 12:00 p.m., 22.12.2021

The other prizes were fairly evenly distributed among ticket outlets across the country. However, the wish of many residents of the volcanic island of La Palma did not come true. They had bet on number 19921, which stands for the date of the outbreak on September 19th. Lots with this number, of which there were a total of 1720 due to denominations and parallel series, were sold out throughout Spain within hours. Almost all of them, the newspaper “El Mundo” reported, citing ticket sellers, had been bought by Palmeros.

Lots for 3.4 billion euros

Overall, the Spaniards bought tickets again this year for 3.4 billion euros. 30 percent or a billion euros go directly to the state, the rest are profits. But here too the tax authorities are holding out their hand again. Only the first 40,000 euros are tax-free. Almost everyone buys at least one so-called “Décimo”, a tenth of a ticket. The profit of the tenth share of the “Gordo” is 400,000 euros – that makes a total of 72,000 euros in taxes that have to be paid.

Millions of Spaniards sat spellbound again in front of the TV to watch the drawing live at the Teatro Real in Madrid. The lottery, which was launched more than 200 years ago, is considered the oldest and, because of the total amount played, also the largest tombola in the world.

Students from the San Ildefonso boarding school in Madrid sing the winning numbers.

Image: EPA

Traditional process

The drawing, which lasts several hours, is a rather complicated affair: There are two lottery drums. In the first, larger drum there are 100,000 wooden balls with the ticket numbers, in the second a good 1,800 wooden balls with the winnings. During the draw, two balls fall simultaneously from the two drums into a glass bowl. The numbers are singing and recited by schoolchildren from the San Ildefonso boarding school in Madrid, who are considered good luck charms.

Spain draws the big lot: Christmas lottery pays out 2.4 billion

Oliver Neuroth, ARD Madrid, December 22nd, 2021 10:41 am

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