A $2.4 BILLION Lottery
MADRID (AP) -- Spaniards are taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather and a "day of reflection" break in political campaigning ahead of a general election to buy tickets for the world's richest lottery.
Long lines formed Saturday as people hoped to buy a winning share in Spain's Christmas lottery, known as El Gordo (the Fat One), which will hand out 2.24 billion euros ($2.43 billion).
It's estimated that three-quarters of Spain's 46 million people will take part in Tuesday's lottery.
Although other lotteries have bigger individual top prizes, the Gordo is ranked as the world's richest for the total sum paid out. Instead of jackpots, Saturday's draw spreads the wealth, with thousands of numbers yielding prizes. The top prize is limited to $435,000.
The Yuletide tradition dates to 1812. The drawing is broadcast nationally, gluing hope-filled Spaniards to radio and TV sets for hours as winning numbers are called out.