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CHRISTMAS

El Gordo: Winners across Spain celebrate Christmas lottery

The winning number for top prize in the world-famous lottery was 72897, which was called a little after noon.

El Gordo: Winners across Spain celebrate Christmas lottery
The winning number! Photo: AFP

Tuesday’s celebrations for Spain’s annual El Gordo were less enthusiastic than in usual years with no live audience for the draw and without the usual crowds gathering together at lottery shops were winning tickets were sold.

But Covid restrictions didn’t stop the centuries old tradition that sees children from San Ildefonso school in Madrid singing out the winning numbers in a long televised ceremony that lasts much of the day.

Across Spain people tuned in to see the draw with a prizes totalling €2.4 billion, a top jackpot of €680 million to be shared among those with the winning numbers. 

Most people buy small fractions of full tickets, with the most common purchase, a 20 euro share, offering a top prize of 400,000 euros ($490,000).

But this year sales were down an estimated 11 percent on last year, a figure blamed on the closure of bars and offices were most people club together to buy decimos.

Shares in this year’s first prize ticket, 72897, were sold by kiosks in many cities. The number was drawn at just after noon on Tuesday.

A little after 11am, the third prize had been called out: 52472. The second prize was called just over an hour later: 06095.

Here is a map of where all the Christmas lottery winning tickets were sold across Spain:

One of this year’s most sought-after numbers – 14320, to mark the country’s March 14 lockdown – won nothing.

To check your numbers go to the official page HERE.

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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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