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Most Spaniards don’t really need any urging to go out and buy tickets for the El Gordo de Navidad. However, it appears some rather unseasonal weather and politics are helping to cause even more tickets to be purchased for the world’s richest lottery.

El Gordo de Navidad, which is also known as ‘The Fat One’ takes place on December 22 and boasts a massive 2.24 billion, yes billion, euros in prizes. It’s estimated that three quarters of Spain’s 46m population will be buying tickets hoping they can scoop a massive prize.

It’s believed that unseasonably warm weather has been encouraging Spaniards to go out and buy even more tickets for this year’s draw. It’s also been election time in the country and a “day of reflection” break in the political campaigning also led to yet more tickets being purchased

Recently we told you about the inspiring El Gordo de Navidad TV advert that featured the lonely late night watchman Justino who discovers he has more friends than he thought. That proved incredibly popular and helped to boost sales.

The Christmas lottery has a long history and dates back to 1812. Its drawing is broadcast nationally and features the winning numbers being sung by schoolchildren.

Rather than offering one huge lottery jackpot, the top prize in El Gordo de Navidad is only 4 million euros but there are many other prizes that will be won by thousands of lucky ticket-holders.

It’s not just players in Spain who are clamouring for tickets. Players from all over the world try to win prizes in the lottery. We previously reported how Spanish Christmas lottery players from the UK were spending an average of €228 on last year’s draw, well above the €45 average of the Spaniards.

Last year it was the region of Madrid that sold the most Spanish Christmas Lottery tickets in the country selling 16.68% of the Spanish sales, nearly half a billion euros.

The wait is almost over now and another reason so many people play the Spanish Christmas lottery is what’s been called “preventive envy”. In other words, it means people play just in case their neighbour or a friend wins a prize while they don’t.