| A KIND-HEARTED Costa del Sol man has handed out 1,500 euros' worth of El Gordo lottery tickets in the dole office queue this week, all with the same number.
Bartolomé Florido, 60, a driving instructor, said he felt weighed down by 'sadness' at the despair faced by so many people in Spain who could not find work – and decided to give 333 of them a little piece of hope.
“I went through the dole queue in Málaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Sevilla and Arroyo de la Miel, asking everyone if they were unemployed, and if they said yes, I gave them a ticket with the number 11.946,” Bartolomé explained.
“A lot of them asked me, 'how much is it?' and when I said, nothing, it was a present, many of them hugged me and cried.”
Clearly moved by the 'hope and happiness' he saw in the eyes of those he gave the tickets to, Bartolomé revealed that the number 11.946 'leapt out at him' in the lottery shop.
“My father died in 1964, aged 46, and it seemed like a sign,” he explains.
If the number hits the jackpot, each of the décimos – tenths of a ticket – Bartolomé has given out will win 20,000 euros.
Photograph: An example of a tenth of an El Gordo lottery ticket