This Country Just Held the World’s Biggest Lottery

December 22, 2015, 3:53 PM UTC
Spanish Christmas Lottery 2015
MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22: A pupil girl is seen during the traditional Spanish 'El Gordo' Christmas lottery draw at the Royal Opera House in Madrid, Spain, 22 December 2015. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Photograph by Burak Akbulut — Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Spain has paid out the winners of the world’s largest lottery on Tuesday, with the total amount of money up for grabs coming in at 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

The winners of the top prize of 4 million euros—known as the El Gordo, translated to The Fat One—are a group of residents living in Roquetas de Mar in the southern region of Almeria, reported Reuters.

Spain’s traditional annual Christmas lottery draw, which originated in 1812, is known as the world’s largest lottery payout. It issues winnings to thousands of ticket buyers—U.K. site Lottoland estimates the odds of winning any prize at a one-in-six chance—which is why the lottery is a huge event for the Spanish.

It’s estimated that three quarters of the Spanish population buy at least one 20-euro ticket every year, according to CNN, and nearly 2.6 billion euros were spent on lottery tickets this year, reported Reuters.

The lottery comes amidst an inconclusive election in Spain on Sunday that ended its 33-year period with two party rule, and left the country with a fragmented parliament. The country’s economy is also growing at its fastest annual pace in eight years, according to Bloomberg, and higher ticket sales this year for the Christmas lottery could be signs that the Spanish are more financially confident and have increased spending power.