Today the famous and traditional Christmas Lottery has taken place in Spain, it is one of the most popular gambling games in this country and one with the most important prizes distributed. Luckily the prizes of this year have been widely spread all over the country and it is great that so many millions of euros have gone to people who is in bad economical situations, such as unemployers.
Lottery has centuries of tradition and the habit of buying a lottery ticket for the Christmas lottery is deeply rooted in Spanish society, in fact many people do not play for the rest of the year but in Christmas time they buy more than ever and is very rare to find someone who has not a décimo (the ticket lottery) and many people gives lottery as a present for family, friends or even clients on business. Besides Spanish Christmas lottery on December 22 kick off the Christmas holiday, while the Child Lottery (another famous lottery) on January 4, recalls the near end of the days of leisure.
Though the tradition of celebrating lottery first time was promoted by Francis I of France, in Spain the lottery comes from the hand of Carlos III who imported this custom from Naples in 1763. On September 30, 1763, King Carlos III signed a royal decree which included the creation of the national lottery, whose proceeds went to charity and for providing poor maidens.
For over two centuries of history the “San Ildefonso children” sing in the Christmas Lottery. The history of San Ildefonso school dates back to 1543, the year in which Emperor Charles V granted a royal decree in which it gave to this institution of the goods necessary for their maintenance. Since then, the school has been under the patronizing of the city of Madrid. To participate in the lottery draw Christmas, they select children with good tone of voice and clear pronunciation, but that's not all. The tricks to quickly read the numbers are very important too and they should not forget to test the material from the National Lottery to properly manage the lottery balls on the big day (there are two big balls, one with the numbers and the other with the prizes).
Over 90% of Spanish people say there is no magic numbers, but the truth is that the 11710, the date on which Spain won the World Cup, has been sold out this year…….. but the lucky number, that's it, "el gordo" (or big prize) has been 79250.
The best option to get a ticket has always been to go to a lottery shop. Doña Manolita takes distributing awards since 1931 and there are many people who travel to Madrid only to buy several tickets at this establishment. The Bruixa d'Or (Golden witch) located in the town of Sort (in Lerida-Catalonia, that means, by the way, “luck”) is also another famous shop when it comes to buying Christmas Lottery. And the luckiest areas in Spain are Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia.
And the truth is that fate does not understand of mathematical formulas to win and guess the prizes and as my father always says: "There is not better lottery than work and economy", but of course .... Sweet things never made anyone bitter. And who wouldn’t like to be on the 22nd of December one of the lucky people that come on TV dancing and cheering their good fortune with a bottle of champagne? And if you are not lucky enough you can always say: well…. health is the real important thing, after all! That is why this day is also known as Health’s Day!