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5 years after El Gordo

December 24, 2016

Five years ago, the people in the Spanish village of Sodeto won the El Gordo Christmas jackpot. How has it affected their lives? What's left of the prize money? Has it bought them happiness, or led to tensions?


Five years ago, the Spanish village of Sodeto won big. Together, its 250 residents hit the El Gordo Christmas jackpot of over 100 million euro. Over night, almost the entire village was rich. Sodeto is situated in a region of Spain beset by unemployment --a situation that has driven many young people to move elsewhere, leaving the older generation behind. The only jobs available there are in the agricultural sector. So the people of Sodeto don't flaunt their jackpot wealth. Instead, many of them vowed to use the money to solve their village's problems, and to put some aside for tough times. Even the people whose share ran into the millions went straight back to work the following day. Some have bought bigger fields. So what has changed now, five years after the village won 'El Gordo'? Has the money changed the people of Sodeto? How much of it is left? Has it bought them happiness? Or led to tensions? And do the residents still play the lottery? Even the one man in the village who decided not to buy a share in the winning ticket has benefited. He's making a documentary about the village that will hit cinemas soon. Sharing the Wealth! A Village of Lottery Winners. A report by Carolina Machhaus.