Spain’s El Gordo lottery, the world’s wealthiest, declares winners

Winners of the 20-euro tickets with the number 88008 are set to celebrate this Friday after each winning 400,000 euros ($585,000 Cdn), or approximately 325,000 euros after tax in the top prize of Spain’s Christmas lottery, known as “El Gordo” (the fat one).

The highly anticipated event saw people across Spain tune in to watch the live announcement of the prize-winning numbers by children from Madrid’s San Ildefonso school. This year, the immensely popular lottery will distribute a total of 2.6 billion euros ($3.8 billion Cdn) in prizes, making it one of the world’s richest lotteries in terms of total prize money involved.

The tradition of purchasing and sharing tickets, known as “decimos” (tenths) in Spanish, has been a major part of the holiday season in Spain for generations, being passed down among families, friends, co-workers, and in bars, sports clubs, and social clubs.

The historic lottery, which began in 1812, was established in 1763 as a charity during the reign of King Carlos III with the objective of supporting state coffers and various charities.

Following the announcement, street and bar celebrations are expected to break out, with winners toasting their success and enjoying the festivities. The event is nationally televised from Madrid’s Teatro Real opera house and is known for drawing crowds and creating an atmosphere of excitement and celebration.

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