STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
ALTHOUGH the top Christmas lottery prize of 3 million euros a series has evaded the Balearic Islands for yet another year, a total windfall of 9.7 million euros nevertheless managed to land in Majorca yesterday.

State lottery ticket office No. 24 located in Calle Francisco Marti i Mora had sold the complete 195 series, one of which was the fifth prize number 69'069.

It was about 10.45am in the morning at the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid when the children who traditionally sing out the machine-selected lottery numbers revealed that one of the eight fifth prizes of 50'000 euros in each series would be bringing a smile to the lucky ticket holders in Es Forti and Son Rapinya in Palma.

Of the 9.7 million euros won in both smaller and larger amounts by residents in Palma, state lottery ticket office No. 24 gave 1.8 million euros to clients in Bar Felipe in Calle Antoni Maria Alcover whose proprietor Martin Roig sold 36 series of the winning number to local people.

Apolonia Guardia, manageress of the lottery office said that clients at Bar Bonache in Son Rapinya had jointly won between 1.2 and 1.5 million euros.
Prize figures reveal that ticket holders on Majorca have won twice as much this year as last and in 2009 there were no major winners at all on Minorca, Ibiza or Formentera.

And indeed, winnings history show that Lady Luck is starting to favour the Balearics rather more than she had done in 2007 when there was just a single prize of 50'000 euros for one series sold by a lottery office in Palma.

Although there have been significant wins over the years, the top prize, referred to coloquially as “El Gordo” (the Fat One) has graced Palma just five times in its 200 year history - in 1843, 1872, 1886, 1902, and 1995. However, outlying areas of the island have had more recent good fortune. “El Gordo” went to the municipality of Capdepera in 2003.

Despite a slight rise this year in the Balearics (0.2 percent) in the amount of money (37.06 million euros) being spent on the Christmas lottery in comparison with 2009, the general public has apparently stopped holding out much hope over winning.

The average spend this year on the lottery per head of population was 36.02 euros, the second lowest in the whole of the country.

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