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Monday, December 22nd "Loteria de Navidad"

Perhaps there's something I'm missing with this, so I'll claim a little cultural ignorance. As I'm sitting here this morning now listening to children sing numbers for over 20 minutes I'm trying to unlock the mystery of the Christmas lottery. If the lottery is practically a national pastime in Spain then the Christmas lottery is like a national holiday. Rather than a few numbers being selected to determine the winner we must wait as these children sing an ungodly number of numbers. I feel for the fellow on stage sitting in between them right now, and pray he didn't have too much to drink the night before.

Coming from a state where we don't even have a lottery, I never was one to play except for a few scratch and win cards (and I did once win $50). I paid one dollar for my chance. What I don't understand about the Christmas lottery in Spain is that people pay 20 Euros per ticket for a chance to win up to 2,000,000 Euros. Other amounts are also won, so you have a chance if you don't win the big prize. But as everyone and their brother buys one the chances to win seem less than on any other given day. So there has to be some tradition to this or nobody would try these odds for that amount of money, right? Maybe I'm just used to hearing about people winning hundreds of millions of dollars from a ticket that cost a dollar.

So, it's now been 35 minutes and they've been singing and singing and only two numbers have been called out of maybe eight lucky ones, and I'm still looking at the ticket I bought to see whether I'm a winner. Guess I got caught up in the Christmas tradition after all, no matter what the odds may be...

Oh, and if you miss the loteria de Navidad then you can try your luck at the loteria del niño held in 10 days.