Each December 22, school children from Madrid schools sing probably one of the most joyous songs ever – the winning numbers for the El Gordo Lottery. The lottery is famous for having the biggest total prize pool ever. Although the top prizes are not nearly as big as other lotto games, there is an increased likelihood of landing a prize in the millions – there are hundreds of them.
In this year’s draw, tourist town Malaga had the most luck. In one Malaga outlet alone, 32 top prize tickets paying out a total of €128 million was sold. Two other outlets in the town sold a tenth of the top prize each, for another €800,000. Since Malaga is a tourist destination, there is a chance that some visitors may have won!
There are rumors that a Malaga town council worker had bought 70 decimos (1/10 of a full ticket) for himself and colleagues. And the greater number of large prizes have helped a pull lot of people from poverty. Romanian immigrant Antonela Basca, is one of them. Her decimo gave her €400,000 at a time when she was having difficulty putting food on the table. She says she will not quit her day care job despite the win because she loves helping people.
For the number of new millionaires it creates in a single day alone, the El Gordo deserves its fame.