La lotería


But perhaps the biggest deal about Christmas in Spain is el gordo. The national Christmas lottery. Last year I couldn’t wrap my mind around people’s obsession with this dang lotería. I’m understanding more and more.

The way it works is that there are lots and lots of numbers to be sold. And schools, companies, bars, stores, et cetera, have numbers–the same number every year. My association with the lottery, of course, is through my school. Number 41975 is ours and all the teachers buy a part of it. Last year, under pressure from my colleagues, I bought a décimo (a tenth) for 20 euros and played. We didn’t win. But we did get our 20 euros back because the big winner shared the same final digit as ours.

The idea of the lottery is nice, I’ve decided. You play as a group and it’s a whole camaraderie thing. People’s favorite words to utter this season are, “¿Y si nos toca?” (“And if we win?”) And they are also the words you think when you find out that the school’s number is agotado (sold out) and you don’t have your décimo.

That’s what happened this year. They ran out of our number! Oh, the scandal! If we win and a quarter of the staff didn’t get a chance to buy their part? The principal, herself, was left without a lottery ticket for our number.

It was the talk of coffee break.

Knowing that surely our number would win this year, the year in which a number of us don’t have it, the assistant principal took action. She asked those who already had their décimo to sell half of it to we poor souls and bought us décimos in another number to sell half to the people who’d shared with us. So now six of us have 10 euros in the school’s number and 10 in another number, which we’re hoping will be lucky.

The drawing is December 22nd. ¿Y si nos toca?

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1 Response to “La lotería”


  1. 1 Raronauer Tuesday, 19 December, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    There is a great This American Life episode about performers in Riverdance who bought a powerball ticket and convinced themselves they would win. Shockingly, they didn’t win.


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