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El Gordo(The Fat One), the famous Spanish Christmas lottery has once again lived up to the player's expectations across the country, awarding a box full of Holiday joy €2.5 billion (US$2.67 billion) in prizes.
The entire world watched on Thursday as El Gordo distributed billions of euros to lucky winners all around Spain.
Ibrahim Cante, a singer from the Gambia, had spent the previous five years traveling through several African nations before taking a boat over the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy and then taking a bus to Spain.
Following the sketch, he discovered himself in Catalonia €125,000 richer and ready to make an investment in a studio.
Since moving here in 2017, "this is the first lottery ticket I have purchased", he told TVE.
Every €200 ticket in Spain's Christmas lottery has one raffle number that can be bought in full or split into 10 identical pieces called "décimos" for €20 each. Due to the fact that numbers are also broken down into series, 180 whole tickets with the same number are actually offered at lottery sales locations across the nation, making it impossible for one person to purchase them all. There is a one in 100,000 chance of earning the grand prize.
El Gordo's top reward this year, after taxes, is worth €325,000 per décimo. While celebrations broke out in towns around the nation, the theatre where the drawing took place even witnessed celebrations taking place in the crowd as they watched. At least one spectator had their own fortunate ticket in hand.
To boost their chances of winning a prize, many people purchase décimos with several ticket numbers. A €200 complete ticket pays out €4,000,000 before taxes, while a €20 stake [décimo] in the winning number is worth €400,000.
However, even those who miss out on El Gordo can still win something. Each winning décimo played receives a second reward of €125,000. The third award is worth €50,000 per decimo. Additionally, 1,794 prizes of €1,000 each décimo for the Pedrea are included in the Christmas lottery. If the final digit of their number matches the final digit in the six-digit sequence that wins first, second, or third prize, players also have the chance to win back the cost of their ticket (the Reintegro).
Winners who get prizes worth less than €40,000 will not be required to pay taxes on them, just like in 2020 and 2021.
The winning numbers were 05490 for the top prize, 04074 for second place, and 45250 for third place.
One unemployed woman who described the feeling of being able to provide for herself and her children while holding back tears said that the drawing delivers a gift of hope during the most joyous time of the year.
Peruvian native Perla Gavidia told reporters, "I believed [the award] would strike me here today." She explained that since she had lost her work at a café two years prior, the wins would enable her to purchase a home in Madrid and cover her children's college expenses.
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