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Christmas lottery, a sweepstakes with 207 years of history

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Christmas Lottery-2019

Nota en el periódico «El Redactor General» de Cádiz del 19 de diciembre de 1812
Note in the newspaper “Editor” of Cadiz of December 19, 1812

The first Fat was to stop on the 18th of December 1812 to the number 03604, award-winning 8,000 pesos strong

Madrid Updated:08/12/2019 02:41h

With a simple note on the last page, the newspaper of Cádiz “The Editor-in-General” reported on the 19th of December, 1812, the winning numbers in the first extraordinary draw of the Christmas Lottery held the previous day in the city that had seen the birth of “La Pepa” just a few months before. Of course, at that time not even called Christmas Raffle. For their “baptism” of christmas had to wait until 1892, and until 1897 that this name was included in the tenths.

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The “Fat” from that first draw at christmas time fell on the 3.604 and was rewarded with an 8,000 pesos strong (or pieces of 8), to 64,000 real change. It was a small fortune to the claimants who had paid 40 reais each ticket.

In full War of Independence, the country was experiencing the worst crisis of its history. The famine of 1808 and the epidemics that accompanied the strife decimated the population and brought great economic loss. But they needed money to continue taking the high military expenditure until the end of the war.

The minister of the Council of the Indies, Ciriaco González Carvajal, proposed “a way to raise revenue for the public purse, without breaking of the taxpayers“, a lottery that was called “Modern” to distinguish it from the Lottery Early established in 1763 by the marquis of Esquilache, minister of Finance, Carlos III. The Cortes of Cádiz approved of his proposal on the 23rd of November, 1811, and march 4, 1812, is held the first drawing, through a ballot with the printed numbers. In 1813 already were changed by wooden balls to represent the numbers and the prizes.

With the gradual withdrawal of the troops of Napoleon, the Lottery, which at first had been confined to Cadiz and San Fernando, it was implemented in the rest of Spain. In 1814 he came to Madrid, with the system of drums and balls set a year earlier.

On the 23rd of December, 1892, the name was changed to the sweepstakes christmas by the Lottery of Christmas, although this title was not printed on the tickets until 1897.

Since then it has been celebrated without interruption until the present day. Not even suspended during the Civil War. Both sides used the draw as a weapon of propaganda and fundraising in these years.

Translated from ABC News https://www.abc.es/loteria-de-navidad/abci-loteria-navidad-sorteo-207-anos-historia-201912080241_noticia.html

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