THE SPANISH Christmas Lottery is the biggest and most popular draw of the year in Spain and months of preparation goes into making sure the day runs smoothly.
Before the start of the draw, the employees of Loterías y Apuestas del Estado prepare to have their big day: taking care of the balls, making sure they all fall into the cylinder correctly etc. However yesterday, just as the most important draw in Spain was about to commence images of one of the operators goes viral. Footage shows the operator introducing “something” into the drum after the cylinder fell and before closing it.
At all times the man’s right hand is shown to maintain three fingers closed, which would indicate that he is holding something. The man then opens the cylinder to let the balls in. After all the balls have entered, the operator puts his hand into the drum, slightly, and drops something.
Se puede saber que escondía en la mano derecha?
No os perdáis el detalle hasta el final.
La Lotería está manipulada?pic.twitter.com/aooKHhlbu3
— Octavi Nonell i Carulla. ||⭐|| 🌊 ♏✌ (@Pepsina_Mataro) December 22, 2019
The Loterías y Apuestas del Estado clarified in an official statement that “one of the circumstances foreseen in the process of introducing the balls in the drums is that one of the balls many bounce outwards. That being the case, the ball is then introduced by hand by the operator.
This circumstance is the one that is reported to have taken place the morning of the draw which resulted in the controversial images and cries from some on social media to repeat the draw.
— Loterías del Estado (@loterias_es) December 22, 2019
The winning number in this year’s Christmas lottery – popularly known as El Gordo (The Fat One) – is 26590. The lucky five-digit figure corresponding to the top €4 million prize was sung out by two children from San Ildefonso school as per tradition at 9.19am – just eight minutes after the draw began.
The first prize-winning number in the hugely popular draw was sold at lottery offices in the municipality of Salou in Tarragona province, as well as Salamanca (Castile and León) and Alicante (Valencia). The number was also sold in Madrid’s famous Doña Manolita lottery shop.
Other prizes are also allotted to other numbers with a combined 2.24 billion euros up for grabs.
All prizes of over €2,500 are subject to a 20% tax which means holders of a décimo will take home €320,050 with the rest going to the tax office.
The Christmas extraordinary draw takes place every December 22 and it is the biggest and most popular draw of the year.
Lotería Nacional, with its first draw held on 4 March 1812, is the second longest continuously running lottery in the world.