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Spain: Hopefuls queue around the block for world’s most lucrative lottery

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Thousands of locals queued up in Madrid to purchase an El Gordo (The Fat One) lottery ticket on Saturday, in the hope of winning part of a possible €2.4 billion ($2.69 billion) in prize money.

El Gordo has a long sociable tradition wherein people often purchase tickets in groups and divide the spoils. It also is said to have the biggest prize pool of any lottery pot in the world, and dates back to 1812, making it one of the world’s oldest lotteries.

The first draw for this year’s Christmas Lottery will take place on December 22. Some prospective customers fancied paying off debts or splitting up the share with family if they won.

Itziar, a lottery customer, said “It’s the first year I wait in this line, it took me two hours, it’s impressive, I always had to buy in other places because this line was too much for me, but I said ‘this year I have to do it’, because they never fail to sell a prizewinning ticket, and I need one of those.”

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