Spanish Panhandler Becomes Latest Lottery Millionaire

Posted on: August 8, 2022, 08:38h. 

Last updated on: August 8, 2022, 01:32h.

They say that anyone can win the lottery. A homeless woman in Alicante, Spain, proved this when she became a new millionaire after winning the country’s Bonoloto lottery draw on Aug 1.

Tobacco store in Alicante, Spain
The inside of a Tobacco store in Alicante, Spain, seen above. Here, a beggar became a millionaire on Aug. 1. (Image: Estanco 54)

The unidentified woman bought the ticket at a local shop where she frequently passed her time asking strangers and passers-by for spare change. Often, she would take some of the money to buy a lottery ticket in hopes of getting out of her situation.

Last week, the ticket she purchased was a €1.27 million (US$1.29 million) winner, according to media outlet Información.

At first, the woman did not believe she had won the prize. So, the following day, she again took €1 (US$1.02) of her money and purchased another ticket. The Bonoloto and La Primativa were the only lotteries she would play, as the EuroMillions were too expensive.

As she was buying her next ticket, she took a second to double-check the numbers from the previous. That was when reality sunk in, and she realized she was now an instant millionaire.

Until 2013, there was no tax on lottery winnings. However, since then, the government implemented a 20% tax rate but now offers an exemption on the first €40,000 (US$44,840).

Bonoloto Remains Wildly Popular

The Bonoloto, because of its cost, is the most popular lottery in Spain. It made its debut in 1988 and continues to gain ground.

To play, like with many lottery products, players choose six numbers in a table from 1 to 49. Each bet is worth €.50 (US0.51), and players must make at least two six-number selections. Some 55% of all collected money goes back to the lottery prizes.

The bettors have the option to play a simple bet with six numbers. In addition, there is also a multiple bet in which up to a maximum of 11 numbers can be selected. As players choose more numbers and multiple options, the chances of winning increase, but so does the cost.

Millions Won in Spain This Year

Spain has had several big lottery winners this year, but the biggest was in January. Winning tickets for the annual Lotería del Niño (The Children’s Lottery) in January received €2 million (US$2.04 million) each for claiming the top prize.

Other winners received massive payouts. Second-place winners earned €75,000 (US$76,462), while third-place tickets were worth €25,000 (US$25,487). In total, the lottery awarded over €700 million (US$713.65 million) in cash.