Spain Crosses Its Fingers for El Gordo Lottery’s €2.24bn Prize Money Reply

Spanish Christmas lottery

Señora Patricia, the lottery seller who sold the winning ticket to the people of Sodeto

‘World’s unluckiest man’ to release documentary about small Spanish village of Sodeto where all but one shared in jackpot

James Badcock writes from Madrid for The–Costis Mitsotakis was dubbed the world’s unluckiest man when he became the only resident of the tiny Spanish village of Sodeto not to win a share of the €740m (£579m) top prize from the annual El Gordo – the “Fat One” – Christmas lottery in 2011. But even as Spain collectively crosses its fingers Monday for the announcement of this year’s winners of the €2.24bn (£1.75bn) total prize money, the Greek-born film-maker insists that not winning was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to him. “It was like a gift from heaven, as if someone had given me the perfect script,” he said.

For the past three years, Mitsotakis has been working on a documentary following the lives of Sodeto’s 75 farming families who were all touched by Christmas lottery magic after the village’s housewives’ association sold tickets door to door, all with the winning number – 58268.


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Costis Mitsotakis filmmaker



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