‘El Gordo’ and its $2.4 billion jackpot draw crowds to Spain’s luckiest lottery shop

Barbara Kollmeyer

The line to buy Christmas lottery tickets at Madrid’s Doña Manolita.

MADRID (MarketWatch) — Less than two weeks before Christmas, the line to buy a ticket for Spain’s biggest lottery at Doña Manolita, which some consider the country’s luckiest ticket vendor, was roughly 100 people long on a chilly Tuesday evening.

Considering the frenzy that builds as the holiday nears, the wait was short. Would-be players will stand for up to three hours in a line that snakes along back streets and past storefronts, crowding the capital city’s holiday-festooned pathways for a chance to win the more than 200-year-old drawing known as “El Gordo” — Spanish for “The Fat One” — because it’s the richest lottery in the world.

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