Europe

El Gordo: Bar erupts over €200m Spanish lottery prize

People, who bought winning tickets of the biggest prize of Spain's Christmas Lottery, celebrate in Vilalba Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Celebrations erupted in front of the bar in Vilalba

Spain's Christmas lottery has paid out some €200m (£177m; $235m) to tickets sold by a bar in a village in the north-western region of Galicia.

The parish priest in San Juan de Alba urged the winners to use the money "wisely". The bar's owner said they were "humble and hard-working" people.

El Gordo, the world's biggest Christmas lottery, has no single jackpot, with winnings distributed among thousands of people in a complex system.

This year the prizes totalled €2.38bn.

Each ticket has a five-digit number, reprinted numerous times in so-called series, costing €200. Because of the price, they are divided into 10 sub-tickets or décimos, each costing €20.

El Gordo, Spanish for "the Fat One", is a Christmas tradition. People traditionally chip in together, participating with friends, families or workmates.

It has a huge impact for the winners, as the national unemployment rate is around 17%, even higher among the under-25s.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There were also winners in Spain's capital Madrid

Some 130 series with the winning number 71198 were sold in Vilalba, a town of 15,000 people and annual budget of around €11m. They will share a prize of some €520m.

Of those series, 55 were sold in the San Juan de Alba parish, Efe news agency reports.

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