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The Only Winner of Spain's 2013 El Gordo Lottery ?

By Mr Grumpy - Thu 19th Dec 2013

It is probably abundantly clear to even the terminally short of wit that I am not an accountant. Nor am I a tax expert, a professional gambler, or a mole working within the Spanish Central Government.

But neither am I particularly stupid (except perhaps for the odd occasion on my recent Jolly Boys' weekend in Valencia).

But what I can do is use a calculator (and for those of you under the age of 35, this is what people used to do complicated sums with before the days of mobile phones).

So despite only getting a grade C in GCSE Maths, a bit of adding up and basic division doesn’t give me too many difficulties.

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* €2.24 Billion : the total prize fund of the El Gordo 2013 Lottery fund. All paid for by the Spanish public.

* 20% : the amount paid in taxes for all prizes over the value of €2,500.

*20% of €2.24 Billion = €448 Million.

Ok, so I appreciate that Spanish tax law might be slightly more complicated than this, but my point is this – on December 22nd 2013 the Spanish state will be ‘around’ €448 Million richer than 22nd December 22nd 2012 thanks to nothing more than selling the general public a lottery ticket.

The stroke of genius is with the state then taxing both the sale of the ticket and any prize winnings over the value of €2,500.

Just putting things in perspective here, that means that the taxes Spain has gained from El Gordo 2013 alone would pay for the following :

* 11 times the €40 Million line of credit extended to Corvera Airport by the Regional Government of Murcia.

* 4.5 times Ciudad Real’s Privately owned Don Quixote Airport, which officially went on sale last week for offers over €100 Million.

* 1 of Paramount Murcia – recent reports being that the promoter expects the total sum required to complete the project will be €450 Million.

So the state will 'win' (Win is perhaps an odd choice of word for an absolute certainty) 1,378 times more than the lucky owner of a winning Decimo - who will take home €320,000 after tax.

In short, a lot of money – and a lot of taxes – all paid for twice over by the public .

And for the life in me, I can’t understand why everyone seems to be taking this lying down.

Recommended Reading

Murcia’s €40 Million loan to Corvera Aiport “Not a Bailout”

Show of Confidence in Paramount Murcia

Sale of Spain’s Ciudad Real Airport Underway

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