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Spain's "El Nino" lottery showers $1.1 billion on prize-winners spread out around the country

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    People looks at a bubble breaking in the air as artists perform for money in Madrid, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The number of people registered as unemployed in Spain has gone down, bringing some cheer as the country looks to emerge from recession in 2013. Figures released Thursday showed the registered jobless figure dropped by 59,094 in December compared to November, making for a rounded total of 4.8 million people listed as unemployed. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)The Associated Press

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    A man sells handmade crafts in Madrid, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The number of people registered as unemployed in Spain has gone down, bringing some cheer as the country looks to emerge from recession in 2013. Figures released Thursday showed the registered jobless figure dropped by 59,094 in December compared to November, making for a rounded total of 4.8 million people listed as unemployed. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)The Associated Press

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    A man dressed up as Melchor,centre, one of the Three Wise Men, waves to the public during the 'Cabalgata de Reyes,' or the Three Wise Men parade in Madrid, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. The traditional parade marks the eve of the Epiphany, a Christian holiday celebrating the story of the three wise men believed to have followed a bright star to offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)The Associated Press

  • 8f51cd809f37c600250f6a70670063bd.jpg

    An artist performs over the crowd during the 'Cabalgata de Reyes,' or the Three Wise Men parade in Madrid, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. The traditional parade marks the eve of the Epiphany, a Christian holiday celebrating the story of the three wise men believed to have followed a bright star to offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)The Associated Press

A lottery has showered €840 million ($1.1 billion) on top ticket holders in five regions of Spain as it endures a deep recession and high unemployment.

The "El Nino" (The Child) lottery is held each Feast of the Epiphany — Jan. 6 — and the top prize tickets were sold in Alicante, Leon, Madrid, Murcia and Tenerife. The lottery's name refers to the baby Jesus, who according to tradition was visited this day by three kings of Orient bearing gifts.

The top tickets dished out €200,000 ($260,240) to each winner, but in keeping with new austerity measures they will pay 20 percent income tax on that.

Spain's most lucrative lottery, "El Gordo" (The Fat One), is held Dec. 22 and last year distributed €2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) in prize money.