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Watch live: Spain's Christmas lottery draw gets under way, with the Gordo going to 05490 and the second prize to 04074

Millions of viewers around the country are tuned in to see how 2.52 billion euros are shared among thousands of ticket-holders

SUR MALAGA.

Spain's Christmas lottery got under way just after 9 o'clock this Thursday morning when the huge drums full of balls started turning in front of an expectant audience in Madrid's Teatro Real.

After two years with Covid restrictions this year all 416 seats in the theatre were expected to be filled, to witness how the draw distributes the 2.52 billion euros in prize money up for grabs.

Precautions in place this year reflect concerns that the high-profile ceremony could have been targeted for an attack by radical environmentalists. "Additional security measures have been put in place, to prevent incidents like those in the museums," said a government official.

A highlight of the pre-Christmas period in Spain, the draw always takes place on 22 December. It lasts several hours and is followed by millions on TV, radio and internet, all of them waiting expectantly for the big prizes, including the top prize the Gordo itself, to come out of the drum.

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Children from Madrid's San Ildefonso school "sing" the numbers and their corresponding prizes as the balls drop out of the revolving drums, in a tradition that goes back more than 300 years.

The large drum, made of brass and bronze, weighs more than 850 kilos and has been in use for 16 years.it contains the 100,000 balls representing the numbers in play.

The smaller drum contains 1,807 balls with the prizes, among them the famous Gordo.

Christmas lottery prizes per 'billete' (ten 20-euro 'décimo' tickets)

El Gordo (First prize) 4,000,000 euros per 'billete' (20,000 euros for every euro spent)

Second prize 1,250,000 euros per 'billete' (6,250 euros per euro spent)

Third prize 500,000 euros per 'billete' (2,500 euros per euro spent)

Fourth prizes 2 prizes of 200,000 euros per 'billete' (1,000 euros per euro spent)

Fifth prizes 8 prizes of 60,000 euros per 'billete' (300 per euro spent)

'Pedrea' 1,794 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros for every euro spent)

One either side of the first prize 2 prizes of 20,000 euros a 'billete' (100 euros per euro spent)

One either side of the second prize 2 prizes of 12,500 euros (62.50 for every euro spent)

One either side of the third prize 9,600 euros per 'billete' (48 euros per euro spent)

First 3 digits of first prize 99 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

First 3 digits of second prize 99 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

First 3 digits of third prize 99 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

First 3 digits of the fourth prizes 198 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

Last 2 digits of first prize 999 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

Last 2 digits of second prize 999 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

Last 2 digits of third prize 999 prizes of 1,000 euros per 'billete' (5 euros per euro spent)

Last digit of the Gordo 9,999 prizes of 200 euros per 'billete' (money back)