El Gordo puts Sodeto on the world map

El Gordo

Those who visit Spain for recreation or work-related purposes won’t include Sodeto on the must-see places and most of them don’t even know where this tiny village is located. Lottery enthusiasts on the other hand, might have heard about it and remember the stories about this being the luckiest village in the world. Two years ago the farmers who live here won the El Gordo lottery and their lives were changed forever, now serving as a source of inspiration for other lottery players in Spain and elsewhere.

All town residents got rich overnight

The unique structure of the Spanish lottery made it possible for almost all those living in Sodeto to become rich overnight. Lottery officials print 99,000 unique series of the lottery tickets and then sell them at a price of €200 apiece, or divided into 10 smaller parts called decimos. Given the fact that very few lottery players can afford to pay the full price of a ticket, the vast majority of Spanish players settle for a decimo. Even those who win a ticket worth only €20 will have plenty of reasons to rejoice, especially the residents of a small village such as Sodeto where the cost of living is relatively low.

When the Christmas holidays draw near, small communities use to appoint a local organization or individual to purchase tickets on their behalf and then each member buys whatever they like. The Housewives’ Association was the one in charge of buying the tickets in the first place and then try to sell as many of them as possible in Sodeto. After all the residents were served, the unclaimed ticket was supposed to be returned but some members chose to buy them for themselves which proved an inspired decision. This explains why they won’t significantly more than the other villagers.

The jackpots changed Sodeto forever

Before winning the main prize the residents were trying to make ends meet from month-to-month and although they were generally successful, prosperity eluded them for years. In Spain, purchasing El Gordo is almost a tradition and people bought them for the chance of winning sizable amounts and for charitable purposes. Everyone has the idea of winning the jackpot in the back of their minds, but most accept the fact that they are huge underdogs yet still buy the tickets out of habit or obligation.

Now that they won the jackpot and were officially tagged the luckiest village in the world, the residents of Sodeto witness how their lives changed suddenly and dramatically. Essentially each resident scooped an amount of €100,000 and paid all their outstanding debts and mortgage, while investing in practical objects such as tractors and home improvements. Not all those who declined the Housewives’ Association invitational buying tickets or lost him after the winning draw, are still resentful. Some are glad for what they have and don’t really think about how they’ve missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Check out the Lottery players defeat the crisis with Spanish El Gordo as well.


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