After 14 Years of Playing 66513, They Won World's Biggest Lottery

It's that day each year when you wish you were a Spaniard
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 22, 2016 11:35 AM CST
After 14 Years of Playing 66513, They Won World's Biggest Lottery
A worker holds out the ball with the top prize of $4,186,820.   (Francisco Seco)

There was much celebration in Madrid Thursday after all the tickets with the top prize-winning number in Spain's $2.4 billion Christmas lottery were sold in one city neighborhood. The number 66513 appeared on 1,650 tickets in the lottery known as El Gordo ("The Fat One"), with each ticket holder winning $418,000. The winning tickets are normally sold in several different lottery offices around the country but this time they were all sold from one office in the modest Acacias neighborhood of the Spanish capital. Many of the tickets were bought by workers and residents at the neighborhood's Penuelas retirees' home, where staff members have been buying the same ticket number for 14 years, reports the AP.

One winner's touching story: Vicente Villaverde, 44, a gas company worker who lives across the street from the lottery office, said he has bought lottery tickets ending in 13 for the past six years. "As I have had so much bad luck in my life, I have always said the number 13 will bring me fortune. And this year it has!" He planned to get speech classes for his 7-year-old son who has Down syndrome. Other lotteries have larger individual top prizes but El Gordo, which dates from 1812, is ranked as the world's richest for the total prize money on offer. This year it dished out 25 million prizes. Standard tickets cost $21, and organizers said ticket sales totaled $2.7 billion this year, up 3.5% from last year. (More El Gordo stories.)

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