The Farming village of Sodeto sits perched atop a dusty outcropping of land in northeastern Spain. It’s barely a dot on the map—consisting of about 240 people. Identical stone houses and barns sit in rows, and automobiles caked with mud line the grassy town square. There are no overt signs of wealth, but if you peek through any of the kitchen windows, you’ll see something odd: enormous flat-screen TVs and sleek marble countertops so freshly installed, they’d look more appropriate in a display condo.
At Bar Cañamoto, the town’s sole drinking establishment, you’ll usually find a half dozen residents drinking botellitas of Estrella beer after a long day of laboring in the fields. But unlike the locals in other towns, these farmers and truck drivers pay for their one-euro beers with 50-euro bills, and the mood is always jovial, like they haven’t a worry in the world. “People are happier now,” explains Pedro, a 33-year-old long-distance truck driver, as he breaks into a smile.
On December 22, 2011, at 9:57 a.m., the entire population of Sodeto became winners of the biggest lottery in the world. La Lotería de Navidad, or El Gordo (“The Fat One”), as it is known, dishes out as much as two billion euros every year in prize money, and in 2011, everyone in Sodeto held a portion of the winning number. As El Gordo was announced on television, Sodeto’s residents streamed out of their homes and into the square, embracing and shrieking in disbelief. “I had four tickets. How many did you have?” “I had seven!” “I had 12!”
Tears and champagne flowed as the realization set in that every single person in Sodeto had won a share of the largest amount of prize money, worth a combined 720 million euros. (Everyone, that is, except for one resident, but more about him later.)
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” —Everyone following you on Instagram
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.
Comedian Greg Davies
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” —Alcohol
@yoyoha (Josh Hara)
My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?
A: A mechanic.
More About Inspiring Stories
What You’re Sharing
- Meeting Mother Teresa Completely Changed My Life—and We Barely Spoke
- Over 40? Whatever You Do, Avoid These 9 Dating Mistakes
- The Heartwarming Reason My Dad’s Favorite Chair Will Never Leave My House
- The Unbelievable True Story of the Hiker Who Survived Back-to-Back Grizzly Bear Attacks
- How a Flag Helped a Family Cope When This Father of Three Was Deployed