( Reuters ) - Spain's "El Gordo," the world's biggest lottery, gave out 2.2 billion euros (1.6 billion pounds) in Christmas prizes on Saturday.
El Gordo, Spanish for "The Fat One", is designed so that as many people as possible across Spain get a festive windfall.
The top prize this year was 3 million euros -- going to the series of tickets with the magic number 6,381.
Because the tickets are sold in a series of 10, only those who paid 200 euros for the whole strip get the full prize. A total of 185 series of tickets bear the winning number.
The biggest share of winning tickets was bought by people in the town of Nava, in the north-western Asturias region.
But some also went to the traditionally lucky Catalan town of Sort (Luck) where a tradition of winners has made it a popular place to buy tickets -- and increased its chances of winning.
The draw brings Spain to a virtual standstill for more than three hours as pairs of children from Madrid's San Ildefonso school take turns to sing out the winning numbers and the amount won. Lotteries have two centuries of history in Spain.
The country spent 2.87 billion euros on the lottery -- 5.7 percent more than last year. Seventy percent is paid out in prizes. Most of the rest goes in costs.
Spaniards often choose lottery numbers matching significant dates although there was no particular favourite in 2007.
In 2006, one of the most sought after series was 22105, the date on which Fernando Alonso became Formula 1 world champion for the second year running.