A lottery showered €840m (£680m) on ticket-holders in five regions of Spain yesterday in the midst of a deep recession and high unemployment.
The “El Nino” (The Child) lottery is held on each Feast of the Epiphany and the top prize tickets were sold in Alicante, Leon, Madrid, Murcia and Tenerife. The lottery’s name refers to the baby Jesus, who according to tradition was visited on 6 January by three kings from the Orient bearing gifts.
The lottery tickets cost €20 and the most one can win is €200,000. A cheering crowd gathered at one ticket office in the Madrid suburb of Alcorcon, where 200 of the winning numbers were sold, totalling €40m in prize money.