December 22nd – El Gordo

El Gordo

The financial crisis has everyone down. This year, the kid’s getting wooden toys carved by dad, and dad’s getting ugly socks knitted by mom. Mom’s getting nuthin.

Our only savior? The Christmas lottery! Tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd, is Spain’s biggest lottery drawing in Spain… the largest in the world. El Gordo, which we were introduced to last year, is a way of life here. Something like 97% of Spaniards have at least some stake in the gigantic Christmas lottery. If all the payouts are totaled together, the prize money is well over two billion dollars. It’s incredible.

People here usually buy tickets with friends and family… it’s a social event, and if you hit the big jackpot, the chances are that some of your buddies have, too. This year, we forced all our visitors to buy tickets with us, even if they didn’t want to.

If you don’t have any numbers, you have very little time remaining to go out and get some. The draw is tomorrow at 8am, and you can expect most of Spain to be huddled around their TVs or radios for 3 hours. It’s worth watching the draw even if you don’t have a stake… orphaned children sing out hundreds of winning numbers and prizes. Surreal.

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