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The Luckiest Village In The World
May 16, 2013 2:14 AM   Subscribe

It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain. The entire town. All of them. (Well, almost all of them.) Instantly, Sodeto became known as the luckiest place on earth. Michael Paterniti visits the town that fortune smiled upon and finds that the people there—now flush—are still uncertain of just how lucky they really are.
posted by empath (26 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
A little bit of geographical positioning.
It took a day and a half before Costis Mitsotakis realized he was the only one in his village who hadn't won the lottery.
posted by adamvasco at 3:01 AM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Soon to have a localized inflation rate of 50% per annum!
posted by markkraft at 3:48 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


so badly overwritten I couldn't get past page 1.
posted by wilful at 4:05 AM on May 16, 2013 [34 favorites]


That there was a heavy dose of florid, true.
posted by ook at 4:14 AM on May 16, 2013


The real question here is whether the village will muster enough goodwill to each give up a tiny bit of their own payout to ensure Costis benefits too. Or will they just decide he can go fuck himself?
posted by Paul Slade at 4:27 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


so badly overwritten I couldn't get past page 1.

I was wondering if it was just me and a reaction to long form articles in the firehose age of information as opposed to recreational reading. 'What's the goddamn story, can you get to the point' I kept thinking. Then I saw the '1 of 6' at the bottom and decided this story wasn't worth my time this morning. Maybe this afternoon?


The real question here is whether the village will muster enough goodwill to each give up a tiny bit of their own payout to ensure Costis benefits too.

Read adamvasco's link. In lot of ways he won by not winning and no, that's not as ominous as it sounds.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 AM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe this author always writes this way, but I kind of like the style for this subject-- the manufactured magic of the lottery.
posted by BibiRose at 4:45 AM on May 16, 2013


Five-sentence paragraph, one-sentence paragraph, asterism.

Five-sentence paragraph, one-sentence paragraph, asterism.

Five-sentence paragraph, one-sentence paragraph, asterism.

It's like a Microsoft Word template for purple prose.
posted by aw_yiss at 4:49 AM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


he's got a great story now, to be able to make the movie of his life and be successful. And I think that will be his lottery, and it will be much better than ours." (from adamvasco's link)

That is very cool. I would like to see Costis Mitsotakis's film when it's done.
posted by headnsouth at 6:04 AM on May 16, 2013


The real question here is whether the village will muster enough goodwill to each give up a tiny bit of their own payout to ensure Costis benefits too.

Not so much:

Of everyone who promised him money the day of the Gordo drawing, only one friend threw an envelope at him with 1,000 euros in it, saying, "Take this before I realize I've done something stupid."

And Sandra gave him her old car.

Otherwise—nothing.

posted by rory at 6:08 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a trivial but utterly bizarre aspect to this story that I haven't seen mentioned much, turning it into an elaborate cosmic joke with a 60 year set-up (maybe it's in TFA, but I honestly can't wade past the first page): Costis Mitsotakis' namesake, this guy, is the perennial omen of bad luck in greek politics - commonly referred to as The Unlucky One in political comedy.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:37 AM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Here is a trailer for Cuando Toco and the website.
posted by adamvasco at 6:41 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's a real interesting story but...uh...could someone else please write it? I thought it was some kid's freshman-year fiction assignment until around page 3.
posted by Mooseli at 6:44 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: You're painted magenta and your rays are blinding.

Metafilter: Not even the dogs work up much gumption to bark around here.

Metafilter: a drowning and a rebirth. Is the cosmic flash. The second chance.
posted by Nelson at 7:07 AM on May 16, 2013


This is very interesting, and sad.
How odd that there is such geographic concentration in a national lottery. Is that normal? It sounds like the kind of thing that would be easy to avoid, and I would presume the concentration is not an optimal result. Maybe there is some benefit to it of which I'm unaware.

Also, that infographic was super depressing. I wish more people knew how to manage that kind of money; to make it last, and put it to good use.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 7:08 AM on May 16, 2013


The song that the innocent children sing onstage in faraway Madrid—wearing their pleated gray skirts, slacks, and ties with blue stripes, dressed in the garb of Catholic-school students—is one that warms a Spanish heart but sounds like the creepy refrain before everyone gets offed in a slasher movie.

Uh... best of luck with that screenplay, buddy.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:09 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


El Gordo tickets are very expensive so are sold in fractions (called decimos) Tickets are not split between outlets so this pattern of many winners in one place is the norm.

That said, the Spanish lottery seems to be the most rational I've come across, they emphasise many medium to small winners rather than a small number of huge winners. Very socialist, very, very sensible. Life changing rather than life destroying.
posted by epo at 7:12 AM on May 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


How odd that there is such geographic concentration in a national lottery. Is that normal?

It's built in - tickets are expensive, and can be split between multiple participants. A local association bought one mega-ticket and shared it among the villagers as a fundraiser.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:12 AM on May 16, 2013


It's hidden at the end of the article, but Costis also got his share of luck. Someone bought part of his land for the price that Costis had paid for the whole lot, and now he owns his house outright. Call it inflation, trickle down, or karma.
posted by kandinski at 7:44 AM on May 16, 2013


Everyone has trickled here, too, scatterlings drawn like filings to the magnet.

The first blinding glare of fortune is like a truth serum. Everyone is stripped and stunned by the honesty of the moment. Luck is childhood again, in the garden naked and innocent.

I think this article has a story in it somewhere, but I can't seem to find it.
posted by inertia at 8:53 AM on May 16, 2013


Apparently the link posted is blocked as "Provocative Attire" by my workplace. But the DW one works, and this seems kind of nice?
posted by corb at 8:59 AM on May 16, 2013


Apparently the link posted is blocked as "Provocative Attire" by my workplace.

That's the magenta paint. The firewall will block the blinding rays.
posted by headnsouth at 9:35 AM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm amazed no one has commented on the irony of this guy, spooging out this overwrought piece-a here being one of the "swarming reporters in rental cars" he keeps shitting o- i mean mentioning.

He is another irritating blowhard from a big publication. Shit, he's from an international magazine not even based in Spain.

It's almost some weird self deprecating humor how much he keeps shitting on all the other people exactly like himself throughout the entire article.

Although i guess it's less surprising than I expected, what with the entire thing coming off as the writer being a bit of a "My penis is so big that it's uncomfortable to ride a bicycle" kinda guy.
posted by emptythought at 12:35 PM on May 16, 2013


I almost didn't get past page one, the prose was so irritating. However I stuck it out, and it finally settled down a bit, when the writer wore himself out from sprint-prosing too early. It's an interesting and sad story that I wish someone else had written. It is heartening to read that Costis is doing just fine, and I like his attitude.
posted by Joh at 2:44 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


From adamvasco's link:

The residents of Sodeto do have one dream they're hoping to see come true. They loved the experience of winning the lottery so much that they want to win again.
posted by straight at 5:33 PM on May 16, 2013


Metafilter: template for purple prose.
posted by solotoro at 3:25 AM on May 17, 2013


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