Spanish Christmas lottery campaign launched with focus on ‘extraordinary stories’

CHRISTMAS got a little closer on Thursday, as Spain’s national lottery company released its annual adverts for the famous December 22 draw, which will see 2.5 billion euros in prize money awarded to lucky winners.

The Christmas Lottery advertising campaign is just as much a tradition as the Christmas Lottery itself, and this year there are three different spots.

Distributed under the slogan “An extraordinary draw, full of extraordinary stories”, the three advertisements are based on true stories, with the common theme of the importance of sharing with our loved ones, as well as friendship.

In the first, titled “Three Orchids”, a lighthouse operator discovers a lost Christmas lottery ticket with “Julia” written on it as well as the name of a florist, The Three Orchids. When the ticket turns out to have the winning number, rather than keeping the man, he looks for Julia and leaves the ticket on his counter without her seeing it. Julia is then seen on the news thanking the stranger, as he smiles on TV from a bar, given his good deed.

The second advertisement, entitled “Vika”, alludes to the situation of Ukrainians who fled their country for Spain since the beginning of the war, and tells the story of a young man who arrives in a company to work without speaking a lot of Spanish. His new colleague shows him the ropes, who teaches him words such as “gloves” and explains the intricacies of the company’s vending machine. His colleague then invites him to share a Christmas lottery ticket, explaining: “Here, we are used to sharing the draw with people who are dear to us, like friends.” “Friends?” Vika asks with a smile. “Of course, friends,” replies his colleague.

The third, entitled “The Journey”, features a shepherd who receives a phone call urging him to go to the hospital. On his journey through the Spanish countryside and cities, he is accompanied by his sheep, which brave the snow, cut through traffic and even cross a gas station forecourt. Once in the hospital, he finds his friend who broke his hip. They share a lottery ticket, “not to break tradition”. “But what have you done with the sheep?” asks his hospitalized friend. “I’ll tell you in a minute…” he replies with a mischievous smile.

The Spanish Christmas Lottery, or Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad to give it its official name, is drawn on December 22 each year. The maximum jackpot is known as El Gordo, and the five-digit winning number is awarded €4 million. Tickets are usually shared, which means one decimo, or the 10th of that number, is worth €400,000 each. Famously, schoolchildren from Madrid’s San Ildefonso school – once for orphans – sing the numbers in a ceremony that begins at 9am. The entire print run usually takes about four hours.

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