Christmas lottery
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Vocabulary: Christmas lottery

What's the most anticipated event for Spanish people at Christmas? Is it the arrival of Father Christmas? The showing on TV of "¡Qué bello es vivir!"? No, it's the Christmas lottery: millions of people speak about it all the time. So, if you're in Spain, try to learn a few words to do with the lottery.

  • Bombo: it's in this giant ball that the numbered balls are placed in
  • Décimo: a ticket with five printed numbers that forms a "tenth" of a full lottery ticket. Therefore, a full lottery ticket is made up of 10 décimos. This means any award with this number will be divided into ten parts.
  • Gordo: the lottery's big prize. It's called "gordo" for being the largest prize of the year.
  • Pupils
  • Ildefonso: linked to the Christmas Lottery since the children that sing at the awards are always pupils of the San Ildefonso College in Madrid.
  • Participación: many Spaniards play the lottery in participations. That's to say, a group of people will split the cost of a décimo into even more parts.
  • Pedrea: the lowest prize in the lottery. The kids sing with that recognizable and parodied tone.
  • Reintegro: it is, so to speak, the "consolation prize". It's a modest figure awarded to whichever player with a décimo, whose last number is the same as the last number of the gordo prize.
  • Tambor: a synonym of "bombo", but less common. You've probably heard it on the news or read it in the press as a way of not always repeating the word "bombo".
  • With these words you can now understand the most exciting day of the year, when we either become millionaires, or we appreciate more than any other day that we're healthy.

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