‘El Nino’ Lottery in Spain Gives Away $1.1 Billion

It pays to be a lottery winner in Spain.

Despite a deep recession and high unemployment rate, Spain made it rain $1.1 billion on ticket holders with its annual lottery called “El Nino” (The Child). It’s held each Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 6 and is named in honor of baby Jesus on the day the three Kings of Orient presented Him with gifts.

The lottery tickets reportedly cost €20 ($26), and the most one can win is €200,000 ($260,240). But there’s a catch: anyone who wins above 2,500 euros ($3,250) in the lottery has to pay 20 percent income tax on their windfall.

But still more money means less problems for the 200 winners who crowded around an Alcoran ticket office, cheering for the total €40 million ($52 million) given away in prize money.

“I am very excited because I really needed this,” said Josefina, one of three winners celebrating there. “Now that I’ve won, I just think I’ve been very lucky.”

Via: CS Monitor