- Title: SPAIN: El Gordo lottery winners celebrate fat win
- Date: 23rd December 2010
- Summary: ALCORCON, SPAIN (DECEMBER 22, 2010) (REUTERS) PEOPLE CELEBRATING AND CHANTING: "I AM ALCORCON, ALCORCON, ALCORCON" ALCORCON LOTTERY STAND OWNER CHANTING: "I AM ALCORCON, ALCORCON, ALCORCON" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALCORCON LOTTERY STAND OWNER, AGUSTIN RUBIA SAYING: "This is the second time we distribute "El Gordo", we've also distributed a fifth prize." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALCORCON LOTTERY STAND OWNER BEATRIZ DIAZ, SAYING: "We've also distributed a European prize." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALCORCON LOTTERY STAND OWNER AGUSTIN RUBIA, SAYING: "Sixty million euros, 20 years ago. Twenty years ago today. I haven't got any voice left, I feel overwhelmed, really happy." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALCORCON LOTTERY STAND OWNER, BEATRIZ DIAZ SAYING: "He has found the way to get it." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALCORCON LOTTERY STAND OWNER, AGUSTIN RUBIA SAYING: "We've done all we can to get it."
- Embargoed: 7th January 2011 12:00
- Location: Spain, Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA1XULAZ0FAEO00EKNG08CWMKJH
- Story Text: Spain's two-hundred year old annual Christmas lottery, which boasts the world's largest total payout, gave out 2.32 billion euros (3.05 billion U.S. dollars) in prizes to hundreds of lucky winners across the country on Wednesday (December 22).
The top prize, 'El Gordo', Spanish for 'The Fat One,' went to number 79250 and spread three million euros to winners throughout Spain.
The draw which brings the country to a virtual standstill for more than three hours every 22nd of December, sends winners into a frenzy when El Gordo's number is revealed.
This year 'The Fat One' was split amongst lucky winners who purchased lottery tickets in Madrid, Alicante, Zaragoza, Murcia, CÃ¡ceres, Palencia, Tenerife, GuipÃºzcoa and Barcelona.
In the town of Palleja in the province of Barcelona, some of the winners celebrated at Bar Maldonado where they bought the tickets that will change their lives.
"I asked for it for my kids, and I got it for my kids. My kids are my soul. What I love most in this world. It's for them!" said Pedro Centello Gomez who purchased two tickets, or two tenths, of the 79250 'El Gordo' winning number.
El Gordo goes to a series of tickets sold in a strip of 10. Each 'tenth' costs 20 euros and only those who paid 200 euros for the whole strip get the full prize.
Agustin and his mother Beatriz, who have owned their lottery stand in Alcorcon for more than 20 years, are able to distribute three million euro this year for their second time and were delighted despite they fact they didn't have any tenth of the winning number.
"This is the second time we distribute "El Gordo", we've also distributed a fifth prize," Agustin said.
"We've also distributed a European prize," his mother Beatriz added.
"Sixty million euros, 20 years ago. Twenty years ago today. I haven't got any voice left, I feel overwhelmed, really happy," Agustin said.
"He has found the way to get it," Beatriz said.
"We've done all we can to get it," Agustin stated.
This year, an altar had been set up at their lottery stand as they decided to trust a local medium, Ayala, who said she had concentrated positive energy with numerous rituals to make the "Gordo" touch her neighbours.
"What we've tried is to do is to join our energy in this lottery stand. So that the joint positivism coming from everybody in this lottery stand, through the rituals we performed would manage to get that ball to have some link to us. And it did with exactly three million euros," she said.
The lottery stand in Madrid's northern train station Chamartin, which operates since 1975, was also in charge of distributing a part of "El Gordo," and the owner, Elena de la Camara was delighted and showed the prized number as she firmly hugged one of her employees.
"El Gordo" was distributed mainly between three of the biggest Spanish cities, Madrid, Barcelona y Zaragoza.
This year's draw may be the last 100 percent publicly run Christmas lottery after the government announced plans on December 1 to partially privatise the state lottery.
The government wants to sell 30 percent of the state lottery, by far its most lucrative public enterprise, with an estimated 2.6 billion euros of revenues for 2010.
A government spokesman said it expected to raise 5 billion euros from the sale of the lottery business, which is best known for not only its massive "El Gordo," draw but also "El NiÃ±o" draw, on January 05.
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