Throughout recent history Spain has commanded a remarkable status not only in the spread of its language around the world but also its culture. In modern times this has been represented by the influence of General Franco, an incredible story, so beautifully represented in Ernest Hemmingway's "Homage to Catalonia". So where does the El Gordo lottery fit in to this rich tapestry and social fabric? Well, in the truest sense of all things Spanish and as distinctive as Paella, Tapas, Matadors, it certainly fulfills a particular and charismatic role.
So let me explain. As a nation Spain enjoys the pomp and ceremony of its wonderful Christmas lottery draw El Gordo. As an entity it is probably one of the greatest lotteries in the world and stands tall among the major European Lotteries, not only from the point of view of its massive prize funds and jackpots but also how it is enjoyed by its people, the Spanish public . The intrinsic value purveys is seen in many different arenas from literature, the famous work "Hoy es Fiesta" through to the whole series of concerts and shows which fill the few days before the Christmas draw.
The advent of television and media communication in recent times has escalated the event to a land grabbing and international status which gives the El Gordo Lottery platform a world wide stage and arena. During the few days leading up to drawing of lots from the golden bowls by children of the San Isdro orphanage, the talk is of the fabulous dream, the unbelievable win. Images and passions fully demonstrated in the leading literature work, Hoy es Fiesta "mentioned earlier. Entire villages have participated and won, syndicates and groups of people sharing and daring to dream have been answered with amazing prizes amounting to millions of euros.
Such is the spectacle that Spain continues to have high level lottery drawings through out the calendar year, the main ones being, El Nino in January and the Sorteo Extraordinario in July. This of course suggests and further adds weight to the sheer passion and excitement Spain gives to its thirst for lotteries, quite breathtaking when compared to some of the other European nations. Although there are some major lotteries such as the UK National Lottery and Euro millions that they are different different, young in their evolution in comparison. May be over time they will offer similar characteristics, however, being Spanish is being Spanish.
Therefore, what can one assume for the future? I can only intimidate that the love for such an event will continue. It is so engrained within the Spanish way of life, it ironically presents one of the few unifying common denominators for Spaniards, given recent separatist movement activity.
In summary, El Gordo is all things Spanish, it carries an air of dignity and respect yet presents and fashions a wonderful joyous occasion. I can only congratulate the Spanish Lottery commission ONLAE for continuing this amazing tradition and truly incorporating it in to all things Spanish.