El Gordo: Bar erupts over €200m Spanish lottery prize

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People, who bought winning tickets of the biggest prize of Spain's Christmas Lottery, celebrate in VilalbaImage source, Reuters
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Celebrations erupted in front of the bar in Vilalba

Spain's Christmas lottery has paid out some €200m (£177m; $235m) to tickets sold by a bar in a village in the north-western region of Galicia.

The parish priest in San Juan de Alba urged the winners to use the money "wisely". The bar's owner said they were "humble and hard-working" people.

El Gordo, the world's biggest Christmas lottery, has no single jackpot, with winnings distributed among thousands of people in a complex system.

This year the prizes totalled €2.38bn.

Each ticket has a five-digit number, reprinted numerous times in so-called series, costing €200. Because of the price, they are divided into 10 sub-tickets or décimos, each costing €20.

El Gordo, Spanish for "the Fat One", is a Christmas tradition. People traditionally chip in together, participating with friends, families or workmates.

It has a huge impact for the winners, as the national unemployment rate is around 17%, even higher among the under-25s.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
There were also winners in Spain's capital Madrid

Some 130 series with the winning number 71198 were sold in Vilalba, a town of 15,000 people and annual budget of around €11m. They will share a prize of some €520m.

Of those series, 55 were sold in the San Juan de Alba parish, Efe news agency reports.