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Jackson death date popular in Spain’s El Gordo

Madrid – Spaniards hope ticket number 25609, the day pop star Michael Jackson died, is a winner in their annual Christmas lottery El Gordo which is billed as the world’s richest, a website said.

The ticket, corresponding to 25 June 2009, "is one of the most requested" this year, according to a statement from Ventura24.es, a website for lottery ticket sales.

The combination 66666 "charged with superstitious and demoniac symbolism", like every year is also a very popular choice, said the statement.

El Gordo (The Fat One) – is a national institution, with millions glued to their television screens on 22 December watching the old-fashioned ritual of schoolchildren chanting in Gregorian-style the numbers and prize amounts.

According to national statistics, 80 percent of Spaniards play El Gordo, using half their annual lottery spending on the festive draw.

The Spanish lottery gave out over EUR 2 billion in prize money in 2008, nearly twice the amount distributed in 1995.

Although other draws around the world have bigger individual top prizes, lottery experts rank El Gordo as the world’s richest lottery for the total sum paid out.

AFP / Expatica