World's richest Christmas lottery gives away more than $4.4 million in Spain

Spain’s iconic annual Christmas lottery kicked off Friday, rewarding winners across several regions with its €4 million ($4.4 million) prize.

Publication: 23.12.2023 - 15:38
World's richest Christmas lottery gives away more than $4.4 million in Spain
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El Gordo, or “The Fat One,” is celebrated yearly on Dec. 22.

The draw features school children singing the winning numbers in a ceremony at the Madrid Royal Theater. Traditionally, the ceremony lasts around four hours. But the ceremony broke tradition this year and surpassed its four-hour mark.

The lucky number for the top prize was 88008. Winners who bought a €20 ticket with the coveted number each won €400,000.

The bulk of Gordo-winning tickets were sold in Madrid, while additional tickets were sold in Jaen, Ecija and Seville in the southern region.

Other winning tickets were sold to Valencia, Balearic Islands, Murcia, A Coruna, Caceres, Teruel, Toledo, Granada, Zaragoza, Salamanca, Las Palmas, Lleida, Tarragona, Guipuzcoa, Castellon, Avila, Badajoz, Almeria, Navarra, Alicante, Lugo, Malaga, among others.

The draw is a significant event in Spain, as millions queue at lottery booths hoping to win the grand prize.

With cash awards distributed nationwide, the lottery is intended for as many individuals as possible to win or, at the very least, break even.

The government established the first El Gordo lottery in 1812 to collect funds for soldiers battling Napoleon’s armies.

Today, it continues to boost the state’s coffers, as tax collectors are entitled to 20% of winnings beyond €40,000.

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