New Christmas Lottery Article on ¡Vaya Madrid!

I have a new article up on ¡Vaya Madrid!

This will be the last for the year. It’s about the Christmas lottery and the strange superstitions surrounding it.

Check it out here: ¡Aquí toca el Gordo!

Updated: Vaya Madrid is gone, but the article is still there. Or more accurately, here.

christmas lottery in spain

In the process of writing the article, I took about a hundred photos of the lottery resale people out in Puerta del Sol–all the while trying to avoid being beat up by some of the really shady characters who are always hanging around.

Unfortunately, photography is not one of my greatest talents, and most of the photos suck.

Another thing that didn’t make it into the article is a long discussion of the odds of a number like 77.777 being drawn. A couple of Spaniards had a long conversation (in my presence) about how no matter what the statistics say, they really strongly feel that a number like 77.777 (or a round number like 50.000) has a lower probability of being drawn than other seemingly more “random” numbers like 24.651.

Of course, a statistician would tell you that if you have a hopper full of 100,000 balls, the odds of any one of them being drawn is exactly 1 in 100,000.

Oh well. People and their feelings. The most interesting fact, for me, is that people spend an average of over 60 euros apiece on the lottery. That’s not 60 euros for every adult, that’s 60 euros for every man woman and child–employed and unemployed, Spaniard or foreigner.

That’s a lot of money.

Anyway, have a great Christmas, everybody! I don’t have any lottery tickets personally, so I hope that YOU win.

Yes, you.

Have a good one,

Mr Chorizo.

P.S. More about Christmas, etc in the article 8 things that might surprise you about holidays in Madrid.


How did I end up in Madrid? Why am I still here 12 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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