Tens of thousands of people in the Balearics will either be glued to their television sets or have their ears close to a radio this morning when the draw for the El Gordo Christmas lottery is made. White knuckled and clutching their lottery ticket, or tickets, everybody will be hoping for a slice of the Fat One, the richest lottery annual draw in the world and this year the stakes are higher than ever and the jackpot larger. Today a total of 214'000 million pesetas in prize money is up for grabs, 14'000 million more than last year. However, for those feeling lucky, do not worry too much about the fact that 66'000 numbered balls will roll in the lottery. First prize - El Gordo - is worth 300 million pesetas, second prize 144 million and third prize is worth 72 million. The draw will get under way this morning at 9am with the help of 32 children from the San Ildefonso college who will sing out the numbers. El Gordo landed in the Balearics four years ago when the winning series was sold in Coll den Rebassa in Palma and since then the Balearics has enjoyed a steady flow of lottery luck. For the hardened professional lottery gambler, tickets are bought across the country as people try to boost their chances. The most common winning number on El Gordo has been the number five which has proved lucky for 29 draws but the numbers four and six have also come up trumps on 26 occasions. Madrid has also enjoyed the most lottery luck with the Fat One landing in the capital on 70 occasions, 36 in Barcelona, 15 in Seville and ten times in Cadiz and Zaragoza. This year 49 percent of the population have bought at least one lottery ticket for today's draw and each has spent between 1'000 and 5'000 pesetas on trying their luck.

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