Updated: Mar 1, 2020
A literal case of counting chickens and burning bridges as reporter quits her job live on air incorrectly believing she had won the jackpot.
The Spanish Christmas lottery is a huge cultural behemoth. Foreigners find themselves bemused by the curious domination of the broadcast agenda. Children singing numbers for hours on all channels and reporters falling over each other to get to the winning kiosk and get showered by Cava by exuberant winners.
Non natives can be forgiven for their confusion. The system of how the lottery is organised is complex and how the prizes are allocated is not immediately obvious. (Bulldogz have provided a handy guide to the Christmas lottery here if you are not sure and have always been to embarrassed to ask) but in 2019 the headlines were taken by a Spanish reporters confusion.
Natalia Escudero, a reporter with rtve was on location in San Vicente del Raspeig in Alicante and as the "El Gordo" winner was announced she celebrated wildly on live television proclaiming she had won. As she broadcast to the country she enthusiastically announced she was "not coming to work tomorrow"
Her story quickly became a viral trend online and a heart warming story of the joy Spain's Christmas lottery can deliver.
Tragically, as it turns out, she counted her chickens before she looked at her numbers, if you will, as she later had to confess that she had misread her ticket and had only won a € 5,000 prize. The reaction in Spain was one of hostility. Criticizing the reporter for misleading people. Natalia confirmed there had been no fake intention behind her reaction, she had made an honest mistake.
One thing she confirmed was true though. She would not be returning to work and taking the chance to enjoy a holiday. She took to twitter to explain she had had a difficult year for personal reasons and it seemed luck had smiled on her for a change. One suspects that she had burnt her bridges with her bosses with her very public resignation.