A lottery in Madrid, Doña Manolita !!!

There found a picture from an older post that really needs a post of its own bringing again many nice memorable moments of my stayed and visits to my dear Madrid. This was first going with my dear late mom Gladys to purchase the lottery ticket of Doña Manolita and then it continue until not possible to be in Madrid near Christmas time. I like to bring this nice place to light in my blog with a post it deserves. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The lottery was brought to Spain from Italy by king Charles III in 1771. The first Christmas lottery was drawn in 1812 in Cadiz. During the draw, on December 22 of each year, the children of a former orphanage come to sing. For 200 years, the children of the San Ildefonso residence, named after the orphanage transformed into a boarding school for children from families in difficulty, have been rehearsing the tune of the Christmas lottery before the big draw ceremony.

Doña Manolita came into the world in 1879, in the traditional neighborhood of Chamberí, in Madrid, the daughter of a master builder. Her first business was a tobacconist’s shop on Calle Hortaleza. But it was not until 1904, at the age of 25, when Doña Manolita would open Administration No. 67, on Calle de San Bernardo. What she did not know then, is that from that moment on she would become “The Temple of the Goddess Fortune”. At first luck resisted the lottery and its customers. They say that, to remedy this, Doña Manolita did not hesitate to travel to Zaragoza to visit the Virgen del Pilar, with the firm intention of blessing several décimos or tenths that she brought from Madrid for the crimson mantle of the Virgin. Belief, chance or perhaps the faith deposited caused those tenths to be awarded in the Christmas raffle. From this significant anecdote the die was cast.


In July 1931, it moved to Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía 31. In 1937, the premises suffered serious damage from the bombardment of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. Throughout the Civil War, despite the difficulties that this entailed, she continued to serve her public. After the death of Doña Manolita in 1951,and had no children. Although she was married to a retired picador ;whom she divorced at the time of the Second Republic ; she died without heir. That is why the business ended up being bought by another enterprising woman, although of a different lineage, the Duchess of Montealegre and Lady of the Corps of the Nobility of the Principality of Asturias, María Dolores Bermúdez de Castro, a friend of Carmen Franco, and also of the Counts of Barcelona, groomsmen at their wedding. The current owner is Juan Luis de Castillejo y Bermúdez de Castro, Count of Cabrillas.

In 2011 Doña Manolita moved to the current location on Calle del Carmen, 22 corner with Calle Preciados where she continues to distribute prizes year after year. At Christmas 2019, Doña Manolita made magic stronger than ever, handing out EL GORDO,(the big one) El Segundo Premio (2nd prize), El Tercer Premio,(3rd prize) , and two Fourth Prizes and Three Fifth Prizes !! Considered by many in popular culture as an authentic symbol of the city of Madrid. It has even been mentioned in literary works and songs by famous Spanish performers such as Joaquín Sabina, in his song In the Shadow of a Lion (1986) or Concha Piquer, in Mañana sale (1958) and its name evokes the Christmas holidays in Madrid. .

Next Thursday, December 22, 2022 the Extraordinary Christmas Draw will be held, in which the State distributes 2,520 million euros in prizes among the 180 million tenths issued. First of all, it is necessary to know that there is always a queue. Its hours are from Monday to Sunday from 9h to 20h30 , and the waiting time is usually between 25 minutes and an hour, This year the queues have been longer than ever. The almost 400 meters that separate the premises from the Gran Vía, which normally can be covered in two minutes, these days take up to five hours to cover !!

The official Doña Manolita lotteryhttps://loteriamanolita.com/

The Madrid tourist office on the Doña Manolita lotteryhttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/dona-manolita

There you go folks, a unique event every year in my dear Madrid. I will look forward to watch on TVE television this year as lately. Always bringing back many memorable family events, memories forever on the Doña Manolita lottery of Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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