Entire Town Wins Lottery— Except for One Guy

Residents of Spanish village of Sodeto get piece of $950M jackpot
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2012 10:45 AM CST
Updated Feb 5, 2012 9:36 AM CST
Entire Town Wins Lottery— Except for One Guy
BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 21: In this photo illustration a man removes Euro currency bills from a wallet on June 21, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Eurozone finance ministers are currently seeking to find a solution to Greece's pressing debt problems, including the prospect of the country's inability to meet...   (Getty Images)

Costis Mitsotakis has to be more than a little annoyed. Of the 70 households that make up the village of Sodeto, Spain, his was the only one that didn't buy a ticket in the country's giant Christmas lottery. Which means he is now the only one who isn't walking away with a piece of the $950 million first prize, reports the New York Times. The annual lottery, a Spanish staple since 1812, works a little differently than the lottos you may play: There were 1,800 winning tickets this go-round, each bearing the same number (58268) and each paying the same amount ($520,000).

The New York Times explains that the $26 tickets are often divided into four "participations," and every home in Sodeto except Mitsotakis' purchased one—or more—winning participations, providing them a minimum windfall of $130,000. The mayor says no one has gone on a wild shopping spree yet: "Are you going to see Mercedes going up and down our streets? I don’t think so. People are going to invest in the fields and maybe a sofa." The town's homemakers' associations hawks the ticket each year, and somehow failed to visit Mitsotakis' home. He wishes he had won, but reveals that he did come out on top in one sense: Some land he had been trying to sell was snatched up by a newly wealthy neighbor the day after the lottery. (More Spain stories.)

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