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The traditional rain of millions of the lottery inaugurates Christmas in Spain

The extraordinary lottery draw this Wednesday distributed billions of euros in prizes for Spain, a tradition that marks the start of Christmas in the country every year, whose celebrations are once again in question this year due to the increase in COVID infections -19.

From the jackpot, popularly known as the Gordo, to many others that at least allow to recover the euros that have been played, the Christmas draw kept many Spaniards in suspense, as every December 22 since this tradition began more than Two centuries.

A million in prizes

According to data from this body, this year tickets were sold for the equivalent of about US $ 3,422 million, of the US $ 3,875 million that went on sale months ago, an amount of which 70% is destined for prizes.

That means that some US $ 2,713 million could be distributed in prizes on this day, which in Spain keeps many pending for almost the entire morning of the balls that some children extract from the drums that rotate in a theater in Madrid.

The draw has a whole ritual, with the children of a Madrid school, that of San Ildefonso, “singing” the winning numbers, amidst the excitement waiting for one of them to be El Gordo, which awards 400,000 euros (about US $ 452,296) each tenth or ticket of 20 euros (US $ 22.6).

This year was one of those that the big prize was distributed by the Spanish geography, because other times the rain of millions falls in a single place.

The 86,148, the highest number for El Gordo in the history of a draw that began in 1812, was sold among other places in one of the main train stations in Madrid, so that fortune has surely traveled to different parts of Spain .

One of the typical images of this day is that of those lucky ones who come to celebrate it at the place where they bought their winning ticket, but this year some were closed in protest against what the sellers, the lotteries, consider unfair sales commissions, without updated for almost two decades, in a draw that also represents many millions in revenue for the State.

Nor was the atmosphere that of previous years at the Royal Theater in Madrid to witness the ritual live, with a capacity of half due to the anti-COVID measures, although there were those who came in disguise after waiting at the entrance for hours.

Rain also of curiosities

What was not lacking was either the anecdotal of each December 22 as the children of San Ildefonso sing the lucky numbers and those who are lucky enough to have bought them become known.

Although they did not play the Gordo, in Basauri (north) no less than the equivalent of US $ 200 million of a second prize was distributed, most of them in tickets distributed by the handball club of this Basque town among members of their teams, family members and fans.

Some pinches, as the rest of the minor prizes are popularly called el Gordo, were for the Atlantic islands of the Canary Islands.

The Christmas lottery in Spain is accompanied by a series of superstitions, as many seek a specific termination of the number they play, for a myriad of personal reasons.

One of them is that luck will arrive with the number that represents a significant event of the year, this time 19921, the date on which the eruption of a volcano began on the Canary island of La Palma.

The small town of Ruiloba (north), with just over 700 inhabitants; A modest club, the Unión Deportiva El Espinar-San Rafael in the province of Segovia (center) or those who obtained their tenth in a raffle from a hairdresser in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Atlantic) were other lucky ones, although it is also customary let others keep quiet about their luck without celebrating it in public.

For the rest, the consolation of having health and work, as is also a tradition to repeat on this day among those who saw luck pass, the vast majority of Spaniards.

Even more so when the country is going through a sixth wave of the pandemic with soaring infections, at an extreme risk level from the virus and with possible new restrictions to stop it in the face of Christmas.


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