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Drawing begins for Spain's $2.4 billion 'El Gordo' lottery

Fat chance: drawing begins for Spain's $2.4 billion 'El Gordo' lottery, world's biggest

Drawing begins for Spain's $2.4 billion 'El Gordo' lottery

MADRID (AP) -- People across Spain are tuning into radios and television to see if they are among the lucky ones to win a share of 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in prize money in this year's Christmas lottery, known as El Gordo (The Fat One).

The top prize per winning ticket is 400,000 euros but there are many smaller prizes too.

Standard tickets cost 20 euros. People traditionally chip in together and buy shares of several or many tickets among friends, families or workmates.

Other lotteries have larger individual top prizes but El Gordo is ranked as the world's richest for the total sum paid out in thousands of prizes.

The drawing began shortly after 0800 GMT on Tuesday in a nationally televised event from Madrid's Teatro Real opera house.