Winner Imanes Naamane celebrates as she holds a placard showing the first prize winning number, 79140. | Francisco Bonilla

Lottery fever gripped Spain today as thousands celebrated wins in the El Gordo lottery draw with prizes totalling 2.24 billion euros, bringing relief from political woes after an inconclusive election.

Here in the Balearics, El Gordo, the top prize in the national Christmas lottery, proved to be elusive, but the islands managed to grab second prize, and so 12.5 million euros, as well as tenths of the fourth and fifth prizes.

The Seville Fan Club of Ibiza will be distributing the 12.5 million for one hundred tenths that it had for the number 12775, which was brought to the island, as a number is each year, from Puebla de Cazalla, a village in Seville.

Among the lucky winners is the PSOE parliamentary deputy, Silvia Limones, who had learned that she had won part of the second prize just as she was getting ready to speak on the debate for the 2016 environment, agriculture and fisheries budget.

This was the first time that she had actually spoken in parliament, so her nerves were somewhat affected by the knowledge of the win.

Five tenths of the number 71119 for the second of the fourth prizes are worth 200,000 for the series and have gone to various parts of the Balearics: Cala Ratjada, Ibiza, and two in Palma - lottery kiosk number eight in Plaza de la Reina and number three in C. Sant Miquel. Of the fifth prizes, 60,000 euros have been won for a series. The number 00943 has cropped up in Ibiza, 89023 in Porreres, 18102 in Cuitadella and Alaior in Minorca and also on the Palma Plaza de Reina office.

Winners from across the country flocked to local lottery outlets to celebrate their good fortune in the traditional Christmas lottery draw, the world’s largest. This year’s biggest winner of the top prize was in the coastal tourist town of Roquetas de Mar in the southern region of Almeria, where a group of residents will now share out a four-million-euro prize.

Every year millions of Spaniards club together with friends and family to vie for a possible slice of the over 200-year-old lottery, which pays out 400,000 euros for every 20 euros spent on a number. This year’s lottery, like others a huge collective affair involving offices and communities across the country, provided a distraction from worries over Sunday’s vote which ended almost four decades of two-party rule and transformed the political landscape.

Pools of office workers and friends often split each number with the final prize being shared out accordingly. People were glued to TV screens for hours as schoolchildren plucked lottery balls from a rotating drum, singing out the resulting numbers in a chant that filled offices and homes.

Spaniards spent close to 2.6 billion euros on tickets this year, according to the government agency that runs the draw, with many people waiting for hours in queues that snaked around city blocks. Ticket sales were higher than last year, a sign that Spaniards are loosening their purse strings as the economy rebounds from a crisis that left nearly one in four workers out of a job.