Spain gripped by 'Gordo' lottery fever

It's that time of the year again when millions in Spain hope to land a little piece of the country's bumper Christmas lottery.

Children from a Madrid school began the traditional singing of winning numbers from El Gordo, or The Fat One, shortly after 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) Friday in an event that will dish out 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion).

Other lotteries have bigger individual top prizes but El Gordo, held each Dec. 22, is ranked as the world's richest for the total prize-money involved.

The top prize per winning ticket is 400,000 euros but there are many smaller prizes too.

Standard tickets cost 20 euros and people traditionally chip in and buy shares in several tickets with friends, family or work colleagues.