Yesterday, the people's lottery draw took place in Spain and as usual there are hundreds of new millionaires, albeit in pesetas. The secret of success of the El Gordo draw is that the main prize is usually widely shared and the same can be said for the second and third prizes. This effectively means that the jackpot joy is well distributed. But while there is joy there are usually tears as well. I remember in 1995 when the jackpot 182 million pound prize was won in Coll den Rebassa, one side of the street was celebrating while the other was in mourning. And that is the thing about El Gordo. As the prize is usually shared so extensively there are always winners and big losers who all may live in the same street and frequent the same bar and shops. It is a fantastic moment watching people's reactions after winning a sizeable prize. Lady luck has once again shined on Majorca with the island scooping the second prize of almost 10 million pounds.
El Gordo has none of the glitz of the National Lottery in Britain but I think that Britain can learn something from the draw. Having a single 20 million pound winner may make the headlines but El Gordo means that the wealth is more equally distributed. Many congratulations to those winners yesterday and to those who were left empty-handed there is always the El Niño draw just before Three Kings. And to leave you with a final thought...20 million pounds was spent in lottery tickets in the Balearics and the total prize money won was twelve million. Food for thought.