The El Gordo or "the fat one" is a Spanish mega-raffle held once a year near Christmas day and offers its players billions in potential prizes.
Yes, that's not a typo, we said billions. While other lotteries are content to offer millions as their jackpot, the Spanish El Gordo raffle had over €2-billion in its prize pool to give away.
Roquetas de Mar in Spain saw the biggest amount of winners (with 1600 tickets priced at €20 each) with each raffle ticket holder winning €400 000, or €640 million in total!
Once the winning raffle ticket was announced, residents of Roquetas de Mar (a beach town with a population of just over 91 000) went into party mode right in front of the lottery outlet that sold them each of their tickets. The first person to hear of this enormous win was the café owner who sold the raffle tickets to the townsfolk.
The mayor of the small town stressed how important the win was.
"It's very important for the town, especially given the difficult times we've been facing. Nearly everyone here has a ticket or a share in one. People are going crazy, nobody can believe it. The money went to 'down to earth' people who work hard and who really needed it."
Spain is facing dire economic straits and the province of Almería where Roquetas de Mar is situated has an unemployment rate of 31%, which is well over the national Spanish average. Therefore, this win couldn't have come at a better time for these local town people.
The El Gordo raffle is over 200-years old and because the ticket prices are usually so expensive, it's common for whole families or offices to chip in to buy "shares" in the El Gordo raffle. It's national event that is broadcasted on Spanish TV and as the winning raffle numbers are drawn, children sing them out!
So why not try your luck with Spain's biggest lottery, La Primitiva and stand a chance of winning millions of Euros!