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Old folks celebrate big win in Spain's Christmas lottery

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Old folks celebrate big win in Spain's Christmas lottery
Life imitates art: The lottery ad centered on an elderly lady 'winning' El Gordo.
16:15 CET+01:00
Las Peñuelas residential care home and day care centre was celebrating big on Thursday after it emerged that the winning number had been bought by 90 percent of its residents and staff.

The majority of the 220 residents at the home for the elderly in the Madrid neighbourhood of Acacias are aged between 85 and 90 years.

Each one who bought a decimo -  the €20 lottery ticket -  with the winning number 66513, will be entitled to claim €400,000.

Pepa, a 92 year-old resident had bought three tickets meaning she has won a total of €1.2 million which she said she plans to share with her her two children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

“I'm very happy,” she told reporters who visited the centre. “I didn't have anything to leave my family and now I do!”.

The star of the day was Rosi Esteban who was tasked with choosing the winning number. “I wanted one which ended with 13,” explained the 93-year-old.

“Because I like that number and because it was the day my father was born”.

Each year for the last eight years, the centre has chosen a number ending with 13 from the lottery shop just 350 meters up the road.

“Usually at Christmas, it's hard to be in a place like this because the holidays are all about family,” Estaban told the cameras with a broad grin.  “That's why I am so happy that it happened in a place where there is usually not much cause for celebrations.”

Another nonagenarian added: “I only wish that my husband could be here to see this. But he died six years ago.”

Television news channels showed scenes of jubilation at the residential home where elderly residents were seen sipping cava from plastic glasses. 

The majority of the 180 staff at the centre had also bought the winning number but insist the winnings wouldn't mean they would be giving up work.

Spare a moment's thought though for those few at the center who chose not to buy a decimo with the winning 66513 number.

“Of course they regret it,” admitted one staff member quoted in Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos after chatting to a colleague and a resident who had not shared in the win. “ But they have told us that they are very happy for everyone that did.”

That the big winners turned out to be pensioners seems fitting after this year's lottery advert centered on a confused grandmother who mistakenly believes that she has won the lottery and wants the whole town to celebrate with her.

Watch it here: 

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