Spain’s Christmas lottery, a profitable and much-loved annual custom that always ends within the joyous detonation of cava corks and the hatching of huge plans, happened on Wednesday amid hovering Covid infections and the primary ever strike by ticket distributors.
After the nation recorded a document 49,823 new coronavirus circumstances on Tuesday night time, many Spaniards welcomed the possibility to focus as an alternative on El Gordo (the Fats One) and its €2.4bn in prizes.
As custom dictates, the draw for the lottery, which dates again to 1812, was held on the Teatro Actual opera home in Madrid, with kids from the town’s San Ildefonso college calling out the successful numbers.
For the December draw, many Spaniards membership collectively to purchase tickets, or fractions of them. However because the celebrations started throughout Spain, dozens of lottery ticket distributors assembled exterior the opera home to demand an elevated share of the gross sales revenues.
The distributors, who had shut up store for the day, say they deserve greater than the 4% of the ticket price they currently get, arguing that 80 cents on a €20 ticket shouldn’t be sufficient. They level out that their fee fee has been frozen for the previous 17 years regardless of big rises in dwelling prices – not least Spain’s skyrocketing electricity prices.
“Costs go up, taxes go up and the commissions stay the identical,” Natalia de la Fuente, the daughter of a lottery vendor, informed Reuters. “We’ve to pay our payments … That is unimaginable.”
One other protester, Álvaro de Miguel, mentioned he and his fellow distributors would do “no matter it takes to get individuals to hearken to us”.
This yr’s successful quantity, 86148, paid out a €400,000 prize. A stall at Madrid’s Atocha prepare station reportedly bought tickets that received their patrons – who most likely come from all spherical Spain – a complete of €516m.
“I’m tremendous excited,” mentioned the stallholder, 56-year-old Javier Moñino. “Most people who purchased them have been individuals who handed by my window on their manner by way of the station.”