This Lottery Paid Out An Astonishing $3.4 BILLION To Winners In One Game

Children were given the task of putting the drawn lotto balls in the rack, singing out the numbers as they did so. CNN

It's the lottery few have heard of outside Europe. But the Spanish "El Gordo" frequently has jackpots that dwarf many other countries. First prize in this draw for Christmas was US$950 million.

Andoni Conde of Arrasate, Spain, a share winner of the first prize in "El Gordo," smiles as he talks on the phone in front of the number of the winning ticket.

The lottery, which means "the big one" in Spanish, awarded thousands of winners their prizes in a four-hour nationally televised marathon last month.

The biggest winners were villagers in the towns of Mondragon and Leganes, taking in some $738 million of the total jackpot. 

But it wasn't all good news. For the first time the Spanish government will collect a 20% tax on winnings greater than $3,400.

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