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El Gordo Jail Sentence

Last Updated: Thursday 13th December 2007, 10:42 am

An El Gordo lottery winner will be spending twelve months in jail, the Spanish Supreme Court has confirmed. The man, referred to in public as Guillermo B, had appealed against the sentence originally given by Barcelona Provincial Court, but the Supreme Court threw the appeal out.

The jail sentence follows the fact that the man refused to honour an agreement he had made with his ex-girlfriend about splitting any lottery winnings that might have been due on a tenth share of a ticket for the El Gordo lottery in December 2003. The “un décimo” (one tenth) was purchased jointly, and the agreement was that any money won would also be shared equally.

However, the relationship didn’t last until the El Gordo draw, and when Guillermo won €200,000 with the joint ticket, he decided to share it with four other people in addition, giving his ex-girlfriend just one sixth of the prize money. The ex-girlfriend immediately launched a lawsuit which was successful, and Guillerma was ordered to pay her the outstanding €66,000 as well as serve one year in jail.

El Gordo, which literally means “Fat One”, is the largest lottery in the world. It takes place on 22 December every year and pays out billions in prize money. Players purchase tickets in tenths, with each tenth costing around €40. The tickets bear pre-printed numbers, much like lottery tickets, and the chance of winning any prize is 1 in 6, making El Gordo one of the luckiest lotteries in the world too.

Although El Gordo participation is a Spanish Christmas tradition (some say it’s as much a part of the festive celebrations as buying a Christmas tree) tickets are purchased by players all over the world. If you would like to take part, you can do so here – just be sure to honour any agreements you make about splitting your winnings!

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