$1.1 billion lottery: Spanish Government Awards Big Bucks In  "El Nino"

$1.1 billion lottery: Spanish Government Awards Big Bucks In “El Nino”

Spain’s Billion Dollar Lottery

Like several other European Union members Spain has high unemployment and is buried in a deep recession. However, that reality did not prevent the Spanish government from awarding over $1 billion in lottery prizes.

The January 6, “El Nino” lottery is held annually on the Feast of the Epiphnay. The tradition relates to the three kings who brought gifts to the baby Jesus.

Each ticket costs a hefty $26 with a top prize of $260,240. Anyone one who wins $3,250 or more owes a 20 percent tax geared to reviving the weak Spainish economy.

The top winning tickets were sold in the regions of Madrid, Alicante, Leon, Murcia and Tenerife. One suburb of Madrid sold 200 winning tickets worth $52 million.

“I am very excited because I really needed this,” said Josefina, one of three winners celebrating there. “Now that I’ve won, I just think I’ve been very lucky,” said Josefina, who declined to give her surname.

This is the second billion dollar lottery in Spain is roughly two weeks. On Decemebr 22, the “El Gordo” lottery handed out $3.3 billion in winning tickets.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time:

Saturday’s Powerball jackpot currently stands as the 2nd-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.

Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
Powerball: $425 million, Nov. 28, 2012 – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 – Georgia, New Jersey
Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 – Idaho, Washington
Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 – Nebraska
The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 – Illinois, Michigan
Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 – Oregon
Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 – Michigan
Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 – Rhode Island
Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 – California, New York
The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 – Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 – Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 – New York
Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 – California
Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 – West Virgina
Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 – Indiana
Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 – Indiana
Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 – Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 – Massachusetts
Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 – West Virgina
Mega Millions: $275 million, Feb. 22, 2008 – Georgia
Mega Millions: $270 million, Feb. 28, 2006 – Ohio
Mega Millions: $266 million, May 4, 2010 – California
Mega Millions: $265 million, Apr. 18, 2006 – Ohio
Powerball: $261.6 million, Jun. 2, 2010 – Ohio