Monday, December 22, 2014

I stand no chance

El Gordo, the fat one or Christmas Lottery is an obsession for many Spaniards. It is their chance to become millionaires and so they buy tickets like they are going out of fashion. With 2,240 million euros in prizes to be distributed, the chance of winning are a lot higher than in most other lotteries.

Two years ago, the chances were even higher when the pot was 280 million more and in those days you were not taxed on the winnings. Now, every prize over 2,500 euros is taxed at 20%. None of that has put anyone off though. The average spend on lottery tickets in Alicante province is said to be 65 euros per person, lower than last year.

In the past I have bought the odd ticket for the lottery and once I got my stake back because my number ended in a 5. However, I am not a gambling person and never have been. We did buy tickets for the National Lottery in England when it first was introduced and I even ran a syndicate at school for awhile but it soon became obvious that it was just money down the drain so I stopped contributing.

Having not bought a ticket for El Gordo, my chances are nil – zilch, zero, nada. I content myself with the knowledge that I haven’t wasted the 65 euros or more that others have. If one of my neighbours or friends wins, I will congratulate him/her and expect nothing in return.

The draw has been running for just over 40 minutes now and there are no signs of gasps or sounds of champagne corks flying yet. 

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