Moments before the 1920 Christmas Lottery Drawing began, just a century ago, the Board received a Unheard of telegram that was highly commented and he went through the Lottery Hall from hand to hand, amid the general rejoicing. «I order and command that number 8,790 get Gordo. -Signed.- Heads », said the message which, however, chance disobeyed. The twelve million pesetas of that Gordo went to number 9,053, sold in San Sebastián.
Perhaps the aforementioned Heads of the telegram was just a joke, which achieved its purpose of enlivening the chanting of the children of San Ildefonso that morning. Or perhaps he hoped chance would smile at him after his joke, rewarding the number of the ballot on which he had pinned his hopes. Who knows. The truth is that the 8,790 was not graced with the Fat one not that year … or ever.
He sang 10,000 pesetas and they were 200,000
In 1954, the anecdote came from the hand of one of the Children of San Ildefonso who made a mistake and sang 10,000 pesetas for the number 4,073. At the end of the third table, after suspending the draw for a few moments to check the previous table, the error was corrected. Luckily for the winners with that number in Barcelona, they had obtained 200.000 pesetas, twenty times more.
That year two balls rolled on the ground and the “thirty-two, thirty-two” was chanted “repeated” although the boy soon rectified his mistake. It was number 32,032.
In the hall of the Press Association, the advertising agent of the newspaper “Pueblo” Tomás García de la Puerta received that December 22, the pleasant surprise of being graced and nothing more and nothing less than with the Fat. He played 50 pesetas in the 53.584, the winning number. «The scandal was phenomenal. However, the happy citizen did not flinch too much. Something “nervous” yes, but nothing more. He received congratulations, applause and the occasional cheer. He displayed his number, checked, consulted and at the success he felt a great astonishment, “said ABC.
A painful mistake of a zero
If in 1954, the lucky number 4,073 went from 10,000 to 200,000, six years later history was written backwards. One of the children from the San Ildefonso school, Adrián del Val, made a mistake when singing the award that corresponded to the number 45,632. They were 750,000 pesetas and not the 7 and a half million that had been announced minutes before. An error of a single zero, but to the right, which changed the countenance of the Valencians who wore the 45,632.
In the Lottery room, “loud bells were necessary to silence the rumors that caused the clarification,” ABC described.
The fat man who was not sung
The 1986 Christmas Draw has gone down in the history of the Lottery as the most rugged. By mistake the children of San Ildefonso did not sing El Gordo or the second prize. The girl Sonia Alegre announced 125,000 pesetas to number 56320, when in fact she had been awarded the second prize, with 120 million pesetas. The extraction was suspended for a few minutes to correct the error. Just twenty minutes later, another girl, Carolina Pellizo, 13, did not see the numbers on the ball correctly and sang 25 million for the number 03772 … instead of 250 million pesetas!
The girl, the first to “announce” El Gordo, said afterwards that she realized her mistake when she went to the table. “I was very nervous, but I couldn’t do anything anymore,” she said sadly. Before the protests of the public, the president of the table had to interrupt the draw to ask for silence because the children, nervous, “were no longer able to hold the balls, which turned into marbles and some of them had to be chased between pots”, according to the ABC chronicle.
A dumb fat man
In 1987, Gemma Llorente, the 13-year-old girl who was lucky enough to be able to sing El Gordo that year, he mistook it for a stone. The official who checked the balls that the children were singing stopped the draw when he realized that it was the first prize. The chairman of the table checked the table and saw that the number 20064 had indeed received 250 million pesetas. «What have you sung here, girl?“, Told him.
“I was dazzled by the television spotlights and the flashes of the photographers and when Mr. Cantón told me that I had made a mistake, I could not believe it,” Gemma confessed later, with tears in her eyes.
In 2006, one of the girls participating in the Extraordinary Draw the ball slipped from his hands and fell on the floor that was next to the table.
Nervous and tense from the incident, the girl looked impatiently for the ball and was heard to say, “Damn, I dropped the ball on the floor. “Where is…? What a shame! I can not find it. No this”. Shortly after, they found the elusive ball hidden next to the poinsettia.
A “fake Fatty”
An error on the website of Loterías del Estado attributed in 2012 the sale of some of the prizes of the Christmas draw to administrations that did not sell them in Teruel, Ávila, Burgos, Salamanca, Vitoria and Toledo.
The towns of San Juan de la Nava and Villanueva del Campillo appeared by mistake among the winners with one of the fifth prizes. The Nieves lottery, from the administration 21 of the Salamanca neighborhood of Puente Ladrillo, also told the media that it had sold a tenth of the Gordo per machine, but it had not been in that Administration, but in a tobacconist on the Canalejas avenue.
In Burgos capital, two establishments appeared in the list of the Loterías website as distributors on behalf of the Gordo, two tenths, although they later disappeared. And in Teruel the error attributed part of the Christmas Fat, 76,058, and a fifth prize, 85,045, to two city administrations, which has caused joy first and then disappointment, after a few minutes of confusion.
And in Illescas (Toledo), several neighbors approached the establishment of the press and lottery sales of María Reina, victim of the same computer error. «No, we haven’t given it»Maria lamented.
Also in Vitoria the LAE published that part of the Gordo had been sold in a tobacconist, which finally turned out not to be true.
Awarded at the Royal Theater
Jesús Lorente, a 27-year-old from Tenerife who works in a hotel on the island, was present in 2013 at the Teatro Real, where the Extraordinary Christmas Draw was held that year, when he discovered that he had a tenth with the number of the second prize.
The children of San Ildefonso brought him the ball so that he could verify that he had won 125,000 euros. Lorente showed those present and journalists on his mobile the image of his tenth winner, which he had bought at a gas station. The commotion that broke out in the stalls forced the guards to intervene to get the young man out.
And as reality sometimes surpasses fiction, in 2006 a young man from Zaragoza who had two tenths of the second of eight fifths and the owner of an administration that had sold the second prize coincided in the Lottery room. They were sitting in the second row, side by side.
«¡Oh, no me sale!»
The tears of Maguette Fall Diop touched the audience that followed the 2014 Christmas Draw. The 12-year-old girl stumbled when singing the number 58,052. “Oh, I don’t get it!” He was heard saying before bursting into tears. After drinking some water and encouraged by the warm applause of those attending the event at the Teatro Real, Maguette managed to get over it and continue.
That same year another girl, Janna Flores, got stuck at the fourth board, but she resolved the trance with a “sorry” and a nervous laugh. Shortly afterwards, together with Ismael Rastrelli, he became the main protagonist when he sang the “four million euros” of the Gordo, leaving the setback completely behind.
“The girl with a thousand euros”
With a soprano voice, Aya Ben Hamdouch surprised the audience of the Royal Theater by the intonation with which she sang the “thousand euros” of the winners of the 2017 Christmas Lottery. Every time she had to sing a prize, Aya made them tremble with her voice to the audience, who returned the girl’s excited boast with warm applause. “You are worth it, you are worth it!” The raffle attendees sang to him, and they stood up during his performance. “The girl of a thousand euros”, as she was called a few minutes later, came to worry the ruler of the Royal Theater, who came to beg her not to sing with such impetus because she could lose her voice. El Gordo did not sing, but she was the unrivaled protagonist of the 2017 Christmas Lottery.
Undoubtedly, the 2020 Christmas Lottery Draw, without an audience and with masks, will also go down in the anecdotal history of the most popular game of chance in the country.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.