Daily Management Review

€400,000 Won by Rescued Senegalese Migrant in Spain’s Christmas Lottery


€400,000 Won by Rescued Senegalese Migrant in Spain’s Christmas Lottery
Spain’s annual Christmas lottery brought real fortune for an unemployed Senegalese man who was rescued by the Spanish coastguard after making a risky journey from Morocco eight years ago on a packed wooden boat. The refugee won 400,000 euros ($437,000), according to the local media.
Regional daily newspaper La Voz de Almeria reported that the Senegalese refugee, who was one of the holders of one of the 1,600 tickets with the winning number – 79140 – in Tuesday’s massive draw has been identified only by his first name – Ngame.
The 35-year-old lives with his wife, who joined him on the crossing to Spain, lives in the southern beach city of Roquetas de Mar in the province of Almeria where the ticket had been sold to him.
 “I just can’t believe this, I can tell you that on some days we do not have five euros between the two of us,” he told the newspaper which published a photo of Ngame holding his winning ticket.
Eight years ago, the couple had landed in the resort island of Tenerife, a part of Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco. The boat they were travelling in had ran into trouble and he couple, along with others on board, were taken there after being rescued by Spain’s coast guard.
“There were 65 people on that boat. I want to give thanks to Spaniards and the Spanish government for rescuing me when I was in the sea,” Ngame told the newspaper.
The vast number of greenhouses that spread for miles in Almeria were the only source of survival for the couple after their arrival into Spain where they tried to survive on temporary farm work or as vegetable pickers.
Ngame said he was recently laid off from his job in one of the greenhouses.
The Spain’s annual Christmas lottery which is also known as the “El Gordo” or “The Fat One” handed out a total of 2.2 billion euros this year and is ranked as the world’s richest lottery.
Spain’s Christmas lottery aims to share the wealth, with thousands of numbers getting a prize, unlike other big lotteries that generate just a few big winners,
Since 1812, the Christmas lottery has been held uninterrupted. As each side held its own draw during the conflict the lottery even managed to survive and continue through the civil war in Spain between 1936 and 1939.
With friends, colleagues and bar regulars banding together to buy tickets, this lottery has become a popular Christmas tradition in Spain.
Queues form outside lottery stores weeks ahead of the draw and the standard ticket costs 20 euros ($22).
Meanwhile apart from Ngame, many of the residents of a Spanish beach town also struck it lucky in the world’s biggest lottery. There was fun frolic in the southern coastal town of Roquetas de Mar where winning contestants made party with guitars and hastily made celebratory T-shirts.
In total the town’s people will receive €640m from the enormous cash pot – making it the luckiest place in the country for this year’s draw.