Greek filmmaker Costis Mitsotakis has been living in the small Spanish village of Sodeto for the last 8 years. He moved to Spain in order to be close to his girlfriend at the time who was a local. However, his break-up was the least of his worries.
In 2011, every single resident of the village – except for Mitsotakis – won part of the annual “El Gordo” Christmas lottery. A local housewife association was selling tickets of the same number – the winning number – from door to door. To everyone’s surprise, they ended up sharing 740 million euros and Mitsotakis was named the unluckiest man in the world.
According to the young man, the reason he did not buy a ticket was the fact that his house is located outside the village and he does not share the locals’ obsession for the lottery. However, he believes that his loss was “a gift from heaven.”
Since Christmas of 2011, he has been filming a documentary about the families that won the lottery, describing how their newfound money has affected them. “If you came here today and didn’t know anything different, you wouldn’t notice a thing. You don’t see fancy cars on the streets,” he said to The Guardian.
Not much has changed since 2011. The only great difference is that now young people have more opportunities and therefore, they decide to stay in the village rather than trying to build a future in larger cities.
El Gordo is the annual Spanish Christmas lottery draw that was established in 1812 by a branch of the Spanish Public Administration. It is considered the world’s biggest lottery.