Would-Be El Gordo Lottery Winner Natalia Escudero

Finding out you’ve just won the lottery would excite anyone—in fact, your first thought may even be to quit your job since the media often makes it seem as if that is a guaranteed luxury when celebrating one’s winnings. As reporter and would-be El Gordo lottery winner Natalia Escudero found out after quitting her job on live television, however, that is not always the case.

The Winning Numbers—and a Small Payout

December 22nd, 2019, was mostly a normal day at work for Natalia Escudero. The Spanish TV reporter was covering Spain’s annual Christmas lottery—known as “El Gordo” or “The Fat One”—when the lottery numbers were announced, revealing that her own numbers matched the winning numbers drawn. With the overall jackpot being worth 2.38 billion euros ($2.64 billion USD), and her winning numbers matching those of the 4 million euro ($4.4 million USD) prize, it’s no wonder Natalia reacted with the excitement she did. When she exclaimed that she wouldn’t be coming to work the next day, she was certain that she was a big winner of the Spanish lottery.

Unfortunately, the win didn’t go as planned for Escudero. With El Gordo lottery tickets costing 200 euros ($222 USD) each, many ticket sellers made them more affordable for buyers by offering the option to purchase a 10thof a full ticket for 20 euros instead. For those who bought into this option as Escudero did, their winning numbers only won them a 10th of the share that all of the winners of this prize tier had to split. Escudero soon realised that her jackpot share was an underwhelming 5,000 euros ($5,500 USD) instead of the millions she was hoping for. You can watch her enthusiastic reaction here:

Public Backlash

When Natalia Escudero seemingly quit her job at RTVE on live television, she faced public backlash, with many people questioning her professionalism and insisting that she had deceived them. She responded by apologising for her behaviour on Twitter, stating that she’d been having a difficult time and was excited to finally receive some good news. Likewise, Escudero indicated that her statement about not going to work the next day was technically the truth, as her holiday vacation began the 23rdanyways. She expressed concerns about how this event affected her reputation, tweeting “…it is sad that Natalia Escudero is today the manipulative and liar journalist of RTVE.” Regardless of her poorly timed reaction, Escudero is still a lottery winner—even if her winnings didn’t amount to the life-changing 4 million euros she thought she won.


Winning the lottery is a dream that many of us have, so when Natalia Escudero responded with sheer excitement about having winning numbers, it made sense—especially since she thought she had just won big time. Unfortunately, small winnings are much more common, and though Escudero’s winnings amounted to a decent chunk of change, it wasn’t quite what she was expecting. We’ve all been there, but luckily, most of us realise that we didn’t win big before we quit our jobs, especially on live television. A vital lesson can be taught here: never quit your job before you’re 100% certain that you’re taking home the millions.

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