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Reporter quits her job on air after mistakenly claiming lottery jackpot

Key Points
  • Spain's Christmas lottery doesn't award as large individual prizes as those in the U.S., but its total amount of prize money given to ticket buyers makes it the wealthiest in the world.
  • It's an annual tradition for Spain, where families and groups of friends band together to pool money to buy tickets.

Spanish TV reporter Natalia Escudero screamed into the cameras, saying "I'm not coming to work tomorrow!" as her name was announced as a winner of the Spanish lottery, the biggest lottery in the world in terms of total prize money offered.

But the reporter's celebrating was reportedly put to an end when it turned out she had actually been awarded just 5,000 euros ($5,539) out of the lottery's total prize pot of 2.24 billion euros that it had doled out this year.

Escudero, who works for national broadcaster RTVE, later apologized on Twitter for her reaction, Sky News reported Tuesday, saying she'd been going through a "difficult" time for "personal reasons."

An official empties a drum filled with balls bearing ticket numbers during the start of the draw of Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez | Stringer | Getty Images

Spain's Christmas lottery doesn't award as large individual prizes as those in the U.S., but its total amount of prize money given to ticket buyers makes it the wealthiest in the world.

It's an annual tradition for Spain, where families and groups of friends band together to pool money to buy tickets.

The largest sum awarded to an individual this year in the lottery — known as El Gordo, "The Fat One" — was worth 400,000 euros, a 4 million-euro total top prize shared between 10 ticket holders.

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