Tomorrow is the drawing of El Gordo, the Spanish Christmas Lottery. It will award €2,240 million euros (US$2,783 million) – but that money will be split up into a wide variety of prizes and sub-prizes.
The top prize is 4 million euros, and I bought a décimo, a tenth of a ticket, which cost €20, so I could win at most €400,000 (US$500,000) – but I wouldn’t complain.
Or I could win a smaller prize. If I have one of the numbers before or after the first prize – I have 20889 and if 20888 wins – I would get €2,000 for my décimo. Or if I have the same last two digits as the third prize, I would get €100. One year I won €20 for having the same last digit as the first prize – that is, I got my money back for the ticket purchase.
It’s complicated, so I’ll just go to a newspaper website that has a widget where I can enter my number to learn what I’ve won. Odds are that I’ll win nothing, but I can hope.
Of course, I’ll follow the drawing. As always, it will be carried out by the students of San Idelfonso School, who will sing – yes, sing! – each number and prize. The drawing goes on for three or four hours and will be carried live by every major television station, radio program, and newspaper internet site.
What everyone’s talking about is this year’s advertisement with the slogan, “El mayor premio es compartirlo,” (The best prize is to share). Usually, you buy your lottery décimo from someplace where you have ties, like your workplace or a club so you and your friends all share the same number, and if it wins, you can celebrate together. In the ad, a man didn’t buy a ticket from the corner café where he’s a regular and where a major prize fell. Still, his wife convinces him to go down and offer congratulations, and then ... no spoilers.
I bought my ticket at the local lottery shop, not the most personal place, but if it wins, I can go down there and find plenty of new friends to celebrate with.
I’ll share the outcome of my luck with you tomorrow for number 20889.
— Sue Burke