Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'Fat One' jackpot brings Christmas cheer

23 December 2013, 10:34

Madrid - Champagne corks popped across Spain on Sunday as the annual "Fat One" Christmas lottery, which has the world's biggest total pay-out, spread €2.24bn in prizes around the country, where one in four is out of work.

Millions of people were glued to TV sets as children from a Madrid school that used to be a home for orphans picked wooden balls bearing the winning numbers and prizes out of two giant golden tumblers and then sang them out in a live draw lasting over three hours.

Unlike other big lotteries that generate just a few big winners, Spain's Christmas lottery aims for a share-the-wealth system rather than a single jackpot, and thousands of numbers yield at least some kind of return. It is known as "El Gordo" in Spanish, or the "Fat One".

Prizes range from the face value of a €20 ticket - in other words you get your money back - to the top prize of €400 000which this year went to the number 62246.

A total of 1 600 tickets with that number were sold - just over half of them in Leganes, a working class suburb south of Madrid that is home to around 200,000 people.

"I was in bed and my heart started racing when I heard that the top prize fell in Leganes," Alfonso Martinez, 53, told reporters outside the state lottery office where he bought his winning ticket.

"I checked in various places and finally decided to come to the lottery office to make sure I had really won. I still can't believe it," added Martinez, who was been out of work for eight months.

Winners opened bottles of bubbly outside of the office and celebrated together in scenes of joy repeated across the country.

Before Spain's property-led economic boom collapsed in 2008, sending the jobless rate soaring to 26%, winners often talked of buying new cars or taking a luxury holiday.

Now they mostly speak about paying their mortgage and helping their families.


Tags spain

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...