Most of 2013 winnings went down toilet, lottery organizers say
SAN JOSE – Guadelupe Martinez became the latest lottery winner to fall into depression when she learned this week that her anticipated jackpot winnings were lost due to Gordo Navideño’s rampant – and no longer secret – bulimia problem.
Martinez, who won the ¢1.2 million Gordo Navideño jackpot, was shocked when she went to Banco de Costa Rica to collect her winnings and was given three store-bought tamales, a life-size “Contrátame” Johnny Araya poster, and zip-lock bag of 400 5-centavo colones.
That was all that was left after El Gordo went “totalmente loco” this year and used all lottery ticket earnings to fund his binge eating illness, Martinez was told.
“I’m furious! What a porqueria!! Maldito Gordo!!” Martinez shouted when handed Mas X Menos tamales by the BCR teller. “I was going to pay off half of my Importadora Monge debt and one of my three used cars. Now I’m back to square one.”
Martinez retaliated by giving interviews to local media outlets Diario Extra and Repretel to vent her frustration and spread the message that El Gordo Navideño has been gobbling up and vomiting out taxpayers’ money.
While the announcement shocked the public, lottery organizers say El Gordo’s disorder is nothing new. In past years, lottery organizers at the Finance Ministry were able to pay off winners by subtracting funding from bridge projects and raising taxes.
“This year got tricky when we had so many bridges collapse,” an unnamed lottery representative posted to Gordo Navideño’s Facebook account. “The well went dry and we couldn’t find alternative funding. #Bulimiahurtseveryone”
This is the second consecutive year the annual Christmas lottery has been marred with controversy after the Gordo Navideño jackpot yielded no winners in 2012 and ticket funds were allegedly “donated to charity”. Days after the announcement, El Gordo was photographed with Colonel Sanders scarfing down six buckets of KFC’s famed “Alitas Búfalo” on Paseo Colon.
There is no official word on what lottery officials plan to do to further compensate Martinez, though it is likely she will be paid in the old ¢2,000 and ¢5,000 colones bills that were retired from circulation in 2012, an unidentified representative of the Finance Ministry said.