- Title: SPAIN: Spaniards queue to buy lottery tickets in final days before draw
- Date: 20th December 2008
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PEOPLE QUEUING TO BUY CHRISTMAS LOTTERY TICKETS IN THE PUERTA DEL SOL IN CENTRAL MADRID PEOPLE WAITING TO BUY TICKETS CLOSE UP OF PURCHASED CHRISTMAS LOTTERY TICKET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOTTERY PLAYER, JEFFERSON DAVID, SAYING: "Today, I'm probably going to buy more lottery tickets than last year, because the way things are we want to have the chance of winning at least something. It's all you can do." PEOPLE IN THE STREETS OF CENTRAL MADRID QUEUE OUTSIDE "DONA MANOLITA" A POPULAR PLACE TO BUY LOTTERY TICKETS IN MADRID CLOSE UP OF BOARD SHOWING TICKETS PRICES OF POTENTIAL WINNINGS IN SPANISH CHRISTMAS LOTTERY "EL GORDO" DONA MANOLITA MANAGER, CONCHA CORONA, OUTSIDE ENTRANCE TO DONA MANOLITA (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DONA MANOLITA MANAGER, CONCHA CORONA, SAYING: "In Spain, everyone buys a lottery ticket, it's like nougat. Christmas starts in Spain when the Christmas draw takes place. It starts then. It's part of the tradition." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BUYING CHRISTMAS LOTTERY TICKETS IN CENTRAL MADRID VARIOUS OF LOTTERY TICKET VENDORS
- Embargoed: 4th January 2009 12:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA83217EU0TMCX0NU0HLEEJXL6E
- Story Text: With time running out before Monday's El Gordo lottery draw, Spaniards are waiting on long queues to buy tickets.
Ahead of the draw for Spain's most important Christmas lottery, El Gordo, or the "Fat One" on Monday (December 22), the people of Madrid have been queuing up at kiosks selling lottery tickets to get their lucky numbers before time runs out.
The Christmas lottery vendor cries can be clearly heard above the noisy bustle in the plazas of central Madrid and trade has been brisk with people making sure they get their tickets, hoping to get a welcome seasonal bonus, now more than ever as the effects of the crisis are being felt.
"You always have the crisis at the back of your mind, and you think that if you win then it would be doubly welcome," said one Madrid resident, Luis, who bought several tickets, although he claimed not to have spent more than in previous years.
However , it's expected the current economic situation will push lottery sales past the 2007 figure of 2.867 billion euros, a view borne out by the reaction of some lottery players who have been spending more than usual this year in the hope of reaping greater rewards.
"Today, I'm probably going to buy more lottery tickets than last year, because the way things are we want to have the chance of winning at least something. It's all you can do," said Jefferson David, who had come to the centre of the capital to buy extra tickets from a kiosk that has a name for being lucky.
And with the tempting top potential prize of three million euros it comes as no surprise that it is outside these "lucky" kiosks that the largest queues form, none more so than outside Dona Manolita in Madrid's main street of Gran Via.
Dona Manolita was founded in 1931, and according to their website www.loteriamanolita.com) they are the oldest, and luckiest, lottery ticket vendor in Spain.
Having sold the winning numbers last year, manager Concha Corona said that business had been much better this time around. She went on to say that despite the current economic situation she hadn't seen a change in the type of customers buying tickets adding that in good times and bad, El Gordo, or the Christmas lottery was something entrenched in Spanish tradition.
"In Spain, everyone buys a lottery ticket, it's like nougat.
Christmas starts in Spain when the Christmas draw takes place. It starts then.
It's part of the tradition," she said.
Earlier in the year national lottery sales reported an increase prompting speculation that more and more people were turning to the to lady luck to find a way out of the credit crunch.
In the first half of this year, just one of the state lotteries, the Primitiva, made sales of 1.9 billion euros, a 4.6 percent hike on 2007.
It remains to be seen after the main draw on Monday if the trend remains for Christmas or if the crisis is just another reason to take part in one of Spain's favourite Christmas traditions.
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