ALMERIA residents have so far spent more than €48 million on Christmas lottery tickets.
The Spanish Christmas Lottery, held on December 22 and known as El Gordo, is a ray of hope for the province, which is one of the worst affected by the financial crisis.
Between 2008 and 2010 participation fell in Almeria by about seven per cent, but sales have picked up to make it the third highest spending per head province in Andalucia.
Biggest regional spenders are in Malaga, with €82 million spent, but that is nowhere near the €500 million worth of tickets bought in Madrid.
On average, €250 million is spent throughout the year on lotteries in Almeria, including the ONCE lottery, Euromillions, La Primitiva and Bono Loto.