Spaniards (probably) stand in line for three hours to get a lottery ticket for “De Dikke”

Rob Zotberg/NOS

NOS News

  • Rob Zotberg

    Spain correspondent

  • Rob Zotberg

    Spain correspondent

1 out of 100,000. That’s how small the chance of hitting the jackpot is. However, 172 million lottery tickets have been sold in Spain these days. Because not participating in “De Dikke” is not an option. Either because your colleagues are participating and may win, or because you want to try and get out of the money worries.

The Doña Manolita lottery office – seller of Madrid lottery tickets since the beginning of the last century – opens at nine in the morning. Then there is already a line of people waiting impatiently at the door. This line goes around the corner and it takes at least an hour before the last one makes its turn. It only gets busier during the day. Then the waiting time increases to three hours.

The jackpot is by no means the biggest prize you can win in the lottery. Whoever has a full lottery ticket with the winning number wins four million euros. But not everyone has it and most of them choose the 10th card, which is worth 20 euros. This means that four tons can be gained. Add to that the fact that there are 180 strings per issue. In other words: the main prize will be paid 180 times.

The Spaniards are happy to queue for hours for “El Gordo”:

Who will win 2.4 billion euros? Spaniards line up en masse for the El Gordo Christmas lottery

According to tradition, Madrid schoolchildren sing the winning songs on Thursdays during an hour-long program on radio and television. The award is worth 2.4 billion euros, hence the name L. Gordon (“De Dikke”) is included in the Spanish Christmas lottery.

De Dikke is primarily a social phenomenon because families, friends, businesses and associations divide lottery tickets among themselves. This is where the lottery’s psychological trick works intensely: no one wants to risk their co-workers winning a prize and you didn’t participate.

roof over my head

It’s rainy and it’s a cold day. Anna Romanian, 64, still has at least two hours to go in line, and she pulls a white woolen hat over her ears. She did not hesitate after the question she wished for: “A roof over my head.” She lost her house to the bank during the financial crisis of 2008. He claimed the house because Anna could no longer afford the payments. “I hope now that I get lucky and can buy myself a space,” she says.

At the doors of Doña Manolita’s legendary lottery office, happy people walk out. The chance of them winning the main prize with their ticket is 1 in 100,000. However, all buyers look elated, as if they have already won.

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