Senegalese Migrant Shares Spoils Of ‘El Gordo’ Spanish Christmas Lottery Win

A Senegalese migrant was one of 1,600 residents of the southern coastal town of Roquetas de Mar who won the recently drawn Spanish Christmas lottery.

Every year Spain hosts El Gordo, (more officially known as the Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad) the Christmas lottery where locals pay 20 euros for a chance to get rich. El Gordo, which translates as “the fat one,” pays out a massive amount to the lucky person, or group of persons, who have picked the right number.

As the Inquisitr reported, the Spanish Christmas lottery had the largest payout ever back in 2014, when it was a bunch of Madrid residents who enjoyed the spoils.

This year it was the turn of 1,600 residents of the southern beach town of Roquetas de Mar, and a man named Ngagne was among the winners, who each get a whopping 400,000 euros ($437,600) as their share of the 640 million euros ($700 million) Christmas lottery jackpot.

Ngagne, 35, is a Senegalese migrant who survived a perilous boat journey to Spain from Morocco back in 2007 and now lives with his wife in Roquetas de Mar.

Speaking to the Spanish language newspaper La Voz de Almeria, Ngagne explained that he was among 65 Senegalese and other migrants who were rescued from a boat traveling from Morocco to the Spanish shores in 2007. He thanked both Spaniards and the Spanish government for rescuing him and helping him to survive in Spain.

“I want to give thanks to Spaniards and the Spanish government for rescuing me when I was in the sea.”

The win in the Spanish Christmas lottery couldn’t have come at a better time, as Ngagne added that he had recently lost his job as a vegetable picker and he and his wife had been barely surviving on less than five euros ($5.47) a day. With his current win in the Christmas lottery, Ngagne and his wife now have a chance of a much better life.

The Senegalese migrant told the Guardian in an interview that it was “just money” and said it is important to keep “our feet on the ground and stay with the friends we have always had.”

Quoting the International Organization for Migration, Newsweek writes that over one million refugees and migrants have entered Europe by sea in 2015. While the vast majority of migrants entered Europe via Italy or Greece, almost 4,000 managed to reach the shores of Spain, with some drowning in their efforts to enjoy a better life.

With the current economic climate, massive unemployment and the effects of austerity in the country, the Spanish Christmas lottery has taken on an additional significance for the people in Spain.

The effects of this austerity and drastic budget cuts led to the ruling Partido Popular (People’s Party), while winning the general election in Spain last Sunday, failing to obtain the majority required to rule independently. This is now causing problems for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in forming a new government and the Socialist party, PSOE, who came in second say they refuse to work with Rajoy.

The anti-austerity party, Podemos, who spring from the “15M” Indignados movement and their protests back in 2011, were in third place with 69 seats in Parliament, on top of their five seats in the European parliament.

The national average unemployment currently stands at around 21 percent, but in the winning town of Roquetas de Mar, stands at a hefty 30 percent.

The Inquisitr recently reported on various Christmas-related commercial videos doing the rounds at this time of year, one of which was a moving and tear-jerking animated advert for the Spanish Christmas Lottery, included below.

[Photo El Gordo Christmas Lottery by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images News]