Lucky Spaniards enjoy early €2.5bn gift in yuletide lottery
The winners in Spain's cherished Christmas lottery -- the world's richest -- celebrated around the country yesterday, a moment of joy and relief after another year of a brutal financial crisis.
Millions were glued to their televisions as €2.5bn in prize money was distributed.
Unlike lotteries that offer one large jackpot, Spain's yuletide draw sprinkles a variety of winnings on thousands of ticketholders.
The top prize -- known as El Gordo (The Fat One) -- gave lucky winners e400,000 , while the second-best prize netted €125,000.
However, this year for the first time, the taxman will claim 20pc of winnings above €2,500, as the Spanish government strives to right its economy.
El Gordo winner, Raul Clavero (27), a mechanic living in the Madrid suburb of Leganes, said he had been watching the draw in bed when he realised he'd won.
"We jumped out of bed and ran out," he said, adding that he would "pay the mortgage, that's the first thing, and then just enjoy the rest".
Mr Clavero said he was one of five members of his family who had bought the same number ticket.