Here the Spanish Lotto is huge.
When I say huge, I mean huge.
So huge, it´s called "El Gordo," or "The Fat One."
In the US, I will be honest...I don´t really know of anyone who buys lotto tickets. Well, actually, that´s not true...I remember when I was a kid going with my neighbors and having them pick numbers for their mom´s lotto ticket. Once. And I bought one on the day I turned 21, because I could.
But that´s it.
Here, the Christmas lotto is suuuuper popular.
Full tickets are 200 euros (about $270) each, but a lot of people buy "tenths" of tickets, which of course cost 20 euros ($27) each.
Yesterday, when my host family and I went to my host mom´s parent´s house, the grandmother gave Cristina (my host mom) a lotto ticket. She bought three, one for Cristina, one for her sister Monica, and one for themselves.
Tonight, my host parents and I are joining their Fallas friends, or Casal Faller, who are having dinner at some dive bar tonight. I believe Cristina told me they would also be buying some lotto tickets.
The lotto is held on December 18th.
Since I already saw she got a ticket from her mom and that she planned on buying another, I asked her how much she had bought. She said "Buf...a lot." I asked her to specify.
"Oh, every year we spend around six hundred euros on lotto tickets."
Yes. That´s right.
And I get the feeling that it´s not that uncommon, since on Wikipedia it says about 98% of Spain´s population participates in the (Christmas) lotto every year.
I asked when they start selling the tickets, and she said they sell them around summertime up until the day of the lotto draw.
Cristina says their family buys tickets on random occasions, like when they go on vacation to random cities in Spain, or when it´s someone´s birthday or something.
To read more about the details of the lotto, check the Wikipedia page of the Spanish Christmas Lotto.