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CHRISTMAS

WATCH: Spain’s Christmas lottery ads are all about sharing the love

The eagerly-awaited advertising campaign for Spain's Christmas Lottery, El Gordo, has been released and it’s just as heart-warming as ever.

WATCH: Spain's Christmas lottery ads are all about sharing the love
Ramon and Jose bond over a lottery ticket. Photo: Contrapunto BBDO

Around this time every year, Spaniards start to go Christmas lottery mad, queuing for hours to buy their tickets and waiting excitedly for the grand unveiling of Spain's annual Christmas lottery advert.

But this year, there is not one but four separate adverts, each of which is designed to have you in tears.

The ads, by Madrid agency Contrapunto BBDO, feature well known Spanish actors and are designed on the theme central to the Spanish lottery culture.

Unlike most lotteries that reward individuals, Spain’s Christmas lottery typically rewards groups of coworkers, relatives or friends who pooled together to buy tickets with the same number.

In Spain it is customary to team up with groups of co-workers, friends and family to all buy a share in the same number – that way you all share in a win.

The campaign, called #UnidosPorUnDécimo, or “United by a Decimal” in reference to each group’s shared ticket number, has the strapline “When you share a Christmas lottery ticket, you share so much more.”

Each 90 second ad tells its own story, of a bond between two central characters strengthened through the sharing of a “décimo”.

1: The story of Ramón and José

2. : The story of Pilar and Félix

3. : The story of Carmen and Víctor

4. : The story of Emilio and Gloria

Previous campaigns have included the animated tale of Justino, a lonely nightwatchman in a mannequin factory (2015) and a confused grandmother who mistakenly believes that she has won the lottery and wants the whole town to celebrate with her.

Last year’s spot emulated “Groundhog Day” with grumpy key cutter Juan reliving the day of December 22nd – the day of the lottery draw.

Spain's Christmas lottery – known as El Gordo or the Fat One – is the richest in the world, paying out millions of euros to winners every year.

The prize money for the 2019 draw – to be held on December 22nd – will be €2.38 billion. 

Its popularity stems from its many prizes, which mean that chances of winning at least something are high.

The grand unveiling of the lottery balls is carried out in a unique way – lottery numbers are sung by pupils from Madrid's San Ildefonso school.

El Gordo: Everything you need to know about Spain's Christmas lottery

 

 

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WEATHER

Will anywhere in France get a white Christmas this year?

A white Christmas might be at the top of many people's festive wish list but will it actually come true for anyone in France this year?

Haut-Koenigsbourg castle in Orschwiller, eastern France.
Haut-Koenigsbourg castle in Orschwiller, eastern France. Non-mountainous parts of the country will not see snow this year. (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP)

If you’re in France and have been dreaming of a white Christmas, you are probably out of luck. 

It has been freezing in recent days with temperatures falling to a low of -33.4C in Jura on Wednesday morning, but the cold spell isn’t going to last. 

Temperatures across the country will hover around the 10C level in most of France by the afternoon on December 25th according to Météo France, with parts of the country including Brittany and some parts of eastern France experiencing rainfall. 

By the afternoon on Christmas Day, the chances of snow look extremely limited. Source: www.meteofrance.com

On Saturday, there will be some snowfall, but only if you are high in the mountains at an altitude of 1,800-2,000m. On Sunday, places above 1,500m could also see snow – but this rules out the vast majority of the country. 

Roughly half the country will see sunshine over the weekend. The French weather channel said that this Christmas could be among the top five or six warmest since 1947. 

Last year, Météo France cautioned: “While we often associate snow with Christmas in the popular imagination, the probability of having snow in the plains [ie not in the mountains] during this period is weak in reality.”

One of the last great Christmas snowfalls, outside of France’s mountainous areas, came in 2010 when 3-10 cm of snow fell in Lille, Rouen and Paris. In Strasbourg, 26cm fell. 

On Christmas Day in 1996, 12 cm of snow fell in Angers – ironically, this was also the day that the film, Y’aura t’il de la neige à Noël? (Will there never be snow at Christmas?) was released. It had been ten years since France had seen such snowfall outside of the Alps and Pyrenees. 

Météo France directly attributes declining rates of Christmas snowfall to climate change. Compared to 50 years ago, even the Alps receives the equivalent one less month of snowfall per year. 

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