The winning number in this year’s Christmas lottery – popularly known as El Gordo (The Fat One) – is 66513. The lucky five-digit figure corresponding to the top €4 million prize was sung out by two children from San Ildefonso school as per tradition at 11.57am.
The first prize-winning number in the hugely popular draw was sold at the lottery office of 53-year-old Agustín Ramos in Paseo de la Esperanza Street in the Madrid suburb of Acacias.
Agustín, who has only been running the outlet for four months, and has also won a €400,000 share of the winnings, was visibly affected on hearing the news of the office’s success. With hands shaking, he held on tightly to a flower in a plastic vase which José Luis Villasevil, the owner of a nearby bar – and another of the lucky winners – had brought him.
Agustín’s wife María José Rojo said that many of the winning tickets has been sold to people in the neighborhood, including residents of an old people’s home up the road, where celebrations were already underway.
Villasevil couldn’t believe his luck and looked serious despite having just learned he will be taking home winnings of €400,000. He says he will use the money to “pay off a few debts, although it sounds like a cliché.”
Agustin (left) is the owner of the lottery outlet where all tickets of the winning number were sold.
In Spain’s Christmas lottery, every number is divided into 10 identical segments, or décimos, costing €20 each. Because numbers are also divided into series, there are in fact 1,600 tickets with the same number sold at lottery sales points across the country, making it impossible for one person to buy them all.
Many people buy even smaller stakes in several décimos to increase their chances of winning something. A €1 stake in the winning number is worth €20,000, while a €20 décimo pays out €400,000 before taxes.
All prizes of over €2,500 are subject to a 20% tax which means holders of a décimo will take home €320,050 with the rest going to the tax office.
Residents and workers at the Peñeulas celebrate. They have been buying lottery tickets with the same number for 14 years.
English version by George Mills.