Looking for the Fat One

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Spanish Christmas lottery 2021
CHRISTMAS LOTTERY: Spain’s chance to win a fat prize Photo credit: LotosPhoto.com

THE first prize in Spain’s National Christmas lottery has landed seven times in Almeria province.

Called El Gordo owing to its fat prizes, the winning number was sold twice in Almeria City – the first time in 1896 – twice in Ejido, and on one occasion in Tijola, Roquetas and Vicar.

This year Jesus Ibañez, who runs the city’s Number 13 lottery administration, has put El Gordo within reach of local punters by giving away four tickets each day between December 13 and 17 in his own mini-treasure hunt.

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As he has done since 2019, Jesus has hidden a voucher for a Christmas lottery ticket in and around Calle Artes de Arco, hoping to bring a little life back to the neighbourhood.

He conceals four vouchers bearing the number 47017 on street benches, lampposts, low-lying branches and other hiding places.  Once found, these can be exchanged for a decimo or tenth of an entire ticket that is the most usual way of acquiring National Lottery at Christmas or any other time.  Jesus has also reserved a decimo for those whose homes and lives have been affected by the La Palma volcano.

He has to go out at dead of night to hide the vouchers to avoid being seen, he said: “I feel I am being watched all the time but it’s worth it.”


Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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