The witchy village of Soportújar in Spain’s Andalucia magics up €6 million in the ‘El Gordo’ Christmas lottery

NESTLING in the heart of La Alpujarra of Granada, the small village of Soportújar, which has 300 inhabitants and is renowned for its witchcraft theme, is spellbound this Christmas. It has landed the fourth prize in the ‘El Gordo’ national lottery, with some individuals receiving 200,000 euros and others 20,000.

Referring directly to the amount of money you can win, and not a fat person, ‘El Gordo’ “touched” the village, and has deposited a whopping six million euros of prize money. This is shared between residents and lucky tourists who bought tickets. The village sold 300 series of the winning number, 25296, mainly through a shop aptly named ‘Abracadabra’.

For those who don’t understand ‘El Gordo’ – one of the world’s most biggest lotteries – a “whole” ticket costs 200e. Therefore, they are sold in décimos (tenths) costing 20h each, with bars and other businesses frequently selling them to customers, and friends and families buying together. The chance of winning is one in 100,000.

Jesus Martin, of the Soportújar town hall, told the Olive Press: “Abracadabra bought the series in the summer and finished it on November 5th. There are many families with the prize but others who did not arrive in time to buy it. Tourists have greatly benefited, as many bought a ticket during their visit to Soportújar and have won.”

The Olive Press visited Soportújar on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) to find certain townspeople celebrating their windfall. The party had clearly started on the night of 22 December, when the lottery was drawn. The mayor, Manuel Romero Funes, told us he had 10 tickets worth 200,000 euros and was buying a new car. His friend from Granada, businessman Artonio Martin of Dulcesol, had 20 tickets worth 400,000. Another lady with 10 tickets was planning a sensible investment in some land. Two bar persons had won smaller prizes.

Some people were less fortunate. According to Jesus, before the winning ticket series was handed to Abracadabra by the lottery vendor, it was turned down by another Soportújar business. Que mala suerte (bad luck), as the Spanish say.

And that’s not all. A barman in a popular venue in the spa town of Lanjarón also turned down the winning ticket series, because he “didn’t like the sequence of numbers”.

Amongst nearby expats, opinion is divided. Some are disappointed they didn’t buy a ticket, while others are happy for Soportújar.

Fiona of Padre Eterno, just over 1km away, says: “I didn’t win. Someone gave me a ticket in Las Negras, in Cabo de Gata, instead of me buying one in Soportújar which is the nearest village to my house.”

Other Brits are magnanimous. Says Jackie Davidson of neighbouring Carataunas: “Lucy Soportújar, good for them.”

Another reader said, “the funds will filter down into all sorts of projects.”

Looking ahead to ‘El Gordo’ 2023, the probability of winning never changes, and can only be increased by buying more tickets – i.e. with different series of numbers, possibly from multiple outlets.

Next year, don’t be a Grinch and invest in a ticket with your friends, family, or neighbours. That way, you’re sure to be included if your town is “touched” by the life-changing prize.

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