In Spain, they do the lottery differently. First of all, it’s a country-wide obsession — about 75% of Spaniards buy a ticket. There’s more than one lottery in Spain, but the one that Spaniards are the most passionate about is … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars. Today we start out with something a little different love than the typical love story, love story, Kostiei meeting. Says it's a typical love story, but it's not that typical. It began like this. In the early two thousands he was living in Greece, where he's from when I met amid a spanish girl, her name, was Sandra, they'll posts? One thing the other we decided to for me. I decided to give up everything and sell everything and she decided also to give up her job. It's you bought a small. Are we on Ebay and started driving across Europe in the direction of Spain, where Sandra from she told me once, will you think if we did you see my grandma sanders? Grim lived in a small farming town, the Northeast corner, Spain called so data.
That, though, is the one of about three hundred little farming villages that the dictator Francisco Franco, built in Spain. In the nineteen fifties, he wanted to bring people and agriculture too, of the more desolate parts of the country Turkey, Mingle travelled to so that Spain, recently all the time build during this time, look similar and so that there is no exception theirs church in the centre of town and one bar, which is all The one restaurant, which is also the one place to hang out. As far as I can tell, about two hundred people who live in so that permanently all in homes built from stone, the color of sand with red tiled roofs The met you always see it from the main housing that the budgets for the animals- let's go Hosty s giving me a tour of this little town, after he and Sandra, came to visit her grandmother here they ended up staying,
so that centres house on the road we have centres an incendiary Kostas they're, not together anymore. They actually broke up here, there was a do, which is new boyfriend of Sandra thirty of the two girls after close decent Sandra broke up. They both state and sat at the window but their lives and then something really incredible happened something that brought everyone in this small town into the streets to celebrate all day and all night, We hours of this, as in other cases such as this that there may be on December, twenty second twenty lover, almost every in this town, when a piece of the big lottery jackpot in Spain by chance, This meets attackers had found himself in the
Turkey is town in the world. Ever heard of an entire town, winning the lottery. Maybe a group of friends or co workers but more often than not. In the United States. The lottery winner is just one person in Spain. They do lottery differently. First of all, its a country wide obsession. The spanish lotteries. It's really big deal. There met there completely crazy. You're, not from Spain. You can understand it. You are surprised by that there are people are taking the day off to watch the lottery. There's more than one lottery in Spain, but the one that coastal is talking about that people go nuts over. It's called a lot area they navvy dad the Christmas lottery and it has incredible buying from the elation about. Seventy five percent of Spaniards participate
The Christmas lottery is also the oldest running lottery and Spain, and one of the oldest in the world. The drawing has happened every single year since eighteen, twelve. This includes the years of the spanish civil war and all the way through the Franco dictatorship, for better or worse. Lotteries have long been considered a useful way for governments to raise funds for things like infrastructure projects and public programmes, Colonial America was basically built using lottery revenue, but in the early eighteen Its opposition to the idea of lotteries was growing all over the world, especially in Europe lotteries were and still are, by the way thought to be a regressive tax on the poor churches found lottery, play to be blasphemous and superstitious and analysed, tools like Karl Marx, but that public law These were a sinister instrument of the capitalist state designed to convince proletariat. But there were an easy way to escape poverty in
Ten, twenty six, the british Outright ban the lottery for nearly a hundred years and in eighteen Dixie to Spain responded the opposition as well by redesigning their national lottery so that it wouldn't take as much money from the poor they decided to make the their tickets very expensive The russian are wars that if these are for the vote for people who buy them. That's better. A light: she's economists, a York University in Toronto, who has studied Spain's Christmas lottery. She says this: government figured that if they set the price of lottery tickets really high, only rich people would buy them. But that's not how it worked out. What happened is a set of people not buying lottery anymore. They decided to return to their networks and start a syndicate plea. People began. Syndicate plan were plain and grew. And the lottery became more popular than ever so people in the face. Ever or
or family or friends. There would buy one ticket by putting together their money. The Christmas lottery works like this. There are thousand possible numbers, ranging from zero to ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, when Go the lottery office they'll tell you what numbers are available in your area and you pick one, but it's really, expensive to own and entire number, like tens of thousands of euros. What is much more common that an organisation will, by a share of a number and then sell off even smaller, shares to individuals. Five euro shares to you. Who shares thousands of people own small fractions of the same number, the small. The share you have the less you get the total jackpot. If your number should win, The things that this is done is to turn this Christmas lottery into a huge social event
local organizations, sell tickets at a market for fundraiser, so you're soccer team might be selling shares of a number the school your kids go to may be selling shares of a different number, most spamming, have a stack of tickets, all different, tiny shares of different numbers that they ve been talked into buying by someone Yours go on sale in the summer and then on December. Twenty second, all of Spain tunes to watch the drawing every year is being done. In the same way, the same theatre in Madrid starts out. At eight o clock in the morning and the tv and radio are always everywhere own showing this stand. If he turned on spanish tv that morning, here's what you'd see there's a stage and on it are two giant Odin orbs one contains balls with all the possible lottery numbers printed on them. Smaller orb has balls with the prize money amounts, but why, orb spits out a number. The other drops down
corresponding pricing out after the boughs drop. A couple of catholic School it's in there uniform sing the numbers and prizes out loud in a kind of gregorian chant. The whole thing goes on for several tedious hours and the kids aren't particularly great singers. I guess they autonomy they bearable small prize amounts that drought, but at some point the orb spit out the biggest prize of the day and its corresponding number. This big prize is called out Gordo the FAT One, the total jack, a frail gordo can be close to a billion dollars.
What I to figure out who has won the jackpot, but it's almost certain that the winning number isn't held by a single individual, its head. It's almost certain that the winning number isn't held. A single individual, its held by hundreds or even thousands of people who probably all live in the same geographical region of Spain. Reporters scream to find out where the winning number was old, in December twenty second, two thousand eleven everyone look to a little farming town in the northeast corner of the country. I gotta, from a friend of mine that he was on the train? That's Kostas again, telling you that some
he's going on inside the because I'm in the train in everybody's undefined talking on the phone and now here all the time, so that the citizen is fifty eight thousand two hundred and sixty eight, that The lottery number that had one l Gordo the winning tickets had been. Old. All over so tat, though, by the housewives Association, a group of women who hosts parties, activities in town The association sold lottery tickets door to door for six euros five year. For the lottery share and one euro for their fundraising or less. They might get him in Namibia, yours, coffee, no matter the latter did he die MIKE, I'm and Lambert, and I chose the winning numbering so later. When I was the secretary of the Housewives Association when Mary, Carmen heard that their number had one l Gordo she started calling friends, no one could believe it appear system that the town normally only used to announce water shortages, the mayor
came on and said, Gratulation so that we have just one. The lottery come to the point celebrate assize billions. He ended up with that vat exemptions You can't really explaining If you can leave it, you can't imagine If you had been there in the moment, you would have thought these people have completely crazy. The rest in some sort of frantically searched for their tickets, had they bought one from housewives, each six: zero tickets housewives had sold was now worth a hundred thousand euros. Oh many did each person have. The entire town was congregate, minute I've thought about it people chanted their winning. The number of cars broke through the streets honking there. Anna.
Bar tender had one pocket. The farmer and his wife Murray saw, the hairdresser had one grows the mayor of the town had won. It seemed that Every single resident of the small town of soda, though, had bought a lottery ticket from the housewives. One piece of El Dorado, the whole village, everyone everyone except one yet There was one person who didn't have a ticket and who was it that was me hostess, did not have a ticket Kirsty Sweden to the town for love and stayed even after he broke up with his spanish girlfriend Sandra who yes had a ticket Coastal lived on the edge of town and somehow the housewives had missed him when they went knocking on doors day. Drove everywhere, except at my place which they didn't do it on purpose, just
is the only way which is outside. You know, from the village show they do feel a little bit guilty the people of so data were not the only ones to win on the number. Fifty eight thousand two hundred sixty eight in twenty eleven, a few thousand other people I also had small shares of the number, mostly scattered around in towns nearby, the total jackpot that for El Gordo was about seven hundred fifteen fifty million euros, but it was divided by thousands of people and so data. The people who bought more tickets got more money and everyone got at least one hundred thousand euros. Everyone except Kostas.
Roman six years later, Kostas still lives and soda though he he and Sandra a good friends. Now she lives in the centre of town and he just outside of it in a barn that he's turned into a house but still feels kind of like a barn. He has a couple of big german shepherds. You can hear one of them, jumping into my mind, when I ask MRS, if he felt or still feels any regret or jealousy about not having a ticket, he laughs like it's, a ridiculous question. Lou for a while. After so that those win reporters sworn the little town they Specially wanted to talk with coast is the one unlucky guy who is left out of the lottery, but Kostas doesn't feel unlucky. In fact, if anything he feels like he does
something that day too he's a filmmaker David Town, one, the lottery. He grabbed his camera and went to the Plaza the moment that happens is it was literally like somebody was giving me a script in hand, He filmed other celebrating and he's been filming ever since he says It's been really interesting to see what happens when a whole town gets wealth all at once. The whole thing is like social experiment, with really fast results to study and see what an event like these can do to people is not always for good, because this thinks the people and said they have become a little more insular since the when more fully on the nuclear family and less on the town as a community. Do see how's affecting how they have changed, how they have closed before that all the doors were constantly open
The way he talks about it makes me wonder if the people in the town will like the film when they see it, because he says he thinks they will mostly maybe a few small things they might not like it. But that's reality. One thing about Senator Sir birds: a lot of them. Luckily, this is also one of the things I am able to say in Spanish, another about so that, though it's hot hurry, The former secretary of the Housewives Association, tells me it's not usually this hot. Until later, in the summer, this heat. She says I just can't with this. He asked walk around so that those she's pointing out a few houses that have been fixed up with lottery money faster.
Another level assembly for model, but mostly Hurry Carmen says the town hasn't changed, that much so that there is a town of food mergers and some of them install new irrigation systems or bought new tractors. People made modest additions to their homes, but nothing that extravagant no one outside of vehicles must be recommending, unlike Costas Murray Carmen, hasn't notice, the town being more closed off. Since the lottery cheating There have been some little jealousies here and there and not everyone one, the same amount, but over She thinks it's been an incredible thing for everyone in this little working class town to live the worry of dead she's been billing cancer, which keeps going away and coming back and the monies allowed her to stop working and not worry, I mean that's what I meant
the inevitable gathering mellow? Did he s not Frankie? For me personally, the lottery has this broad sense of com? I don't know like to have the later they covered. You know and that's the thing with this syndicate style lottery, unlike the Power Board tripod, which he, hundreds of millions on one or two lonely winners, the money from the dismiss, lottery gets divvied up among thousands of people and they generally win enough to buy mansions and yachts. They went enough to pay off their debts, maybe by hunters civic. The lottery, brings wealth to a whole geographic area and distributed relatively evenly. At least among those lucky enough to have a ticket after short walk Emory Carmen than I arrive at the new office of the Housewives Association, which now to be more. Modern is officially called the women's association, but everyone still seems to call it the housewives Association,
back in two thousand and eleven when they were selling lottery tickets, the group kept for for themselves which ended up winning them or a hundred in euros at the time enough to cover their budget for the next two hundred years, With all the new money they fixed up an old school building in town and made it into their office slash community center. It has a nice kids. For parties, a laundry room and a fitness centre stage of amending it Another area where you see this all of these was me. In ways lottery money these the room was built. This kitchen. And the association gave Kostas some money for his film. You, then in view of what I want to say that you should have you give him If him, I don't remember how might fifteen thousand fifteen thousand euros or how don't either no was a good bit
but she also mentions that he hasn't finished it yet, and everyone is waiting No less like a lot of feed, I mean, I know it's still hasn't come out in theatres or anything. Yet the people Hearing the village are waiting lie whatsapp. We gave you money Marie Carmen. Isn't the only one to mention this to me? It actually seems to be the talk of the town. A little. It or that day I run into a group of older guys. When I tell them I met with coast, is one of them says they'll very wrong. Illegal are the one who made the movie there are no longer represent now, but he hasn't even come out with it. Yet I tell him think it'll be another year before the film is finished, and he says you it already been five another terms in and says there of course
posters in when the lottery, but he's done quite well for himself. He says: he's been getting paid for for the record cause just told me: he's never been paid for any interviews. Conspiracy theories aside, I got the feeling the people and so that all liked Kostas for the record. Kostas told me he's never been paid for any interviews. Conspiracy. There is a side I got the feeling, the people and so that all liked Kostas, the strange greek artist who lives on the outskirts of town, but I also wondered if they see him as an outside her and if the lottery is made this even more pronounced. When I asked requirement about this. She says no he's one of us. We just wish you'd come out with that movie. Economists have long struggled to figure out why people play the lottery. It's not a right. Investment of your money
The odds of winning are terrible worse than blackjack, worse than slot machines, worse odds than any other form of gambling, and yet it's the most popular form of gambling. When, in Spain, it's pretty obvious, why people play this lottery, it's a social thing to do. You buy a ticket because the housewives Association will pester you until you do it you buy tickets because your friends or buy tickets you buy because you don't wanna, be that one guy in town who doesn't when you dont want to be Kostas. The housewives association, continues to choose a number each year for the Christmas lottery and sell tickets, and so that, though, and in the surrounding little towns, and while they used to knock on doors for months, they don't have to do that anymore. Now, the people come to them. And tickets sell out in a few days they, lucky once and they could be again. People say
and no one wants to be left out ninety nine percent of visible was produced this week by our senior producer. Katy mingle, mixed intact production by Sharif. Use of the digital director is critical stance. The rest, the team includes Delaney Hall, every chocolate, Emmett Fitzgerald Terran measure and me Roman, find out more about Posthouses movie, which he's working on with his film partner, Laura Sorenson at Quantico Tokyo, dot com will put a link on a website because I can thus both where were you there check out some beautiful animations of this story by Benjamin STAR Music This episode was composed by Denny calmly, Doritos John. You fell in a query. They were part of a team that also scored the Genie chance story. Antwerp lie with us: they are the best we had additional songs combined
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.