Spain's Christmas lottery is a distraction from the pandemic

MADRID (AP), -- Spanish people are seeking a break from the pandemic's gloomy and doom. They will be focusing their Wednesday attention on a rite that has been a part of Christmas for over two centuries: "El Gordo," also known as "The Fat One," the country's huge Christmas lottery.

Spain's Christmas lottery is a distraction from the pandemic


This draw is held every year since 1812. It will award prizes totalling 2.4 billion euros ($2.7billion) or 70% of ticket sales proceeds.

The highest-prize number holder receives 400,000 euros (or approximately 328,000 euros after taxes)

In order to grab their 20-euro tickets, people can wait for hours.

They can be bought for yourself or as gifts. They can also be bought by friends, family, or colleagues.

While other lotteries offer higher individual prizes, Spain's Christmas lottery is the most lucrative for its total prize money.

Despite an increasing number of coronavirus infections -- Spain scored Tuesday its pandemic record for new infections with almost 50,000 cases in one day -- the public is now returning to Madrid's Teatro Real operahouse after last year's hiatus.

Children from Madrid's San Ildefonso School call out the prize-winning numbers. They are followed by celebrations in bars and streets with winners drinking sparkling wine uncorked.

The state runs the lottery and funds several charitable efforts.



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