The first prize in Tuesday’s El Gordo lottery was sold in Roquetas del Mar and Laujar. The total first prize was worth 640 million euros, split amongst everyone who held ticket number 79,140. In all, the holder of every decimo (tenth) of that ticket won 400,000 euros.
Many of the tickets were sold by school children at Laujar secondary school, who had been fund raising for their annual school trip. This is an annual Spanish tradition, where children sell the twenty euro lottery tickets with a two euro “tip” for their fund.
The rest of the 160 decimos were sold at lottery stand number 2 in Roquetas del Mar.
Winners must temper their delight with the thought that 20% of their win will be taxed – they will have to pay €66,250 tax on each first prize decimo.
The annual El Gordo (the fat one) Christmas lottery is the largest in the world by prize fund. Each ticket number is divided into series, with each series then being divided into 10 decimos costing €20 each.
The children of San Ildefonso school sing the numbers aloud as they are drawn, a ceremony which is broadcast live across the nation.
The lottery was originally established in 1812 to raise funds to help pay for the Peninsular War against Napoleon, and has been held annually since then.