She was hosting the country’s biggest Christmas draw and thought she had scooped the top prize, but later discovered there was a mistake.
A TV reporter has described how she quit her job on-air thinking she won €4 million ($A6 million) on the lottery, only to discover later she actually had scooped only £4,000 ($A7500).
Journalist Natalia Escudero was covering the El Gordo – ‘The Fat One’, Spain’s biggest Christmas lottery draw when she found she was the winner among thousands.
In December 2019, the TVE reporter was at an event in Alicante when she found out her number 26590 had been drawn, reported The Sun.
Footage shows Escudero visibly thrilled jumping up and down while a crowd behind her can be seen chanting.
“I’m not coming to work tomorrow,” she can be heard saying to her colleagues watching her from the studio.
But she was later forced to apologise after discovering her actual prize was only €4,000 ($A7500).
Spanish media reported at the time that her reaction was slammed by viewers who accused her of a lack of professionalism and for giving the impression she had won the maximum prize.
Escudero took it to Twitter to apologise and wrote at the time: “Hello everyone, this tweet is first to apologise to any viewer who felt cheated when I confirmed I had won the Fat Christmas during the programme La Mañana.
“It’s true that I was overwhelmed and I will explain.
“The past few months have been difficult for me for personal reasons and for the first time the goddess of fortune smiled at me. I got emotional from everyone else’s happiness but I didn’t lie or manipulate viewers.
“In the 25 years of my career as a journalist have always been with my head up and my conscience clear regarding my strict and proven work.”
The journalist added that it was true that “tomorrow I will not work” because she was going on holiday.
She concluded: “Happy Christmas and give peace and love.”
The Spanish Christmas Lottery is a holiday tradition that takes place each year on December 22 and the draw is staged at Madrid’s illustrious Teatro Real opera house, where the winning numbers are sung out by schoolchildren.
The lottery is drawn using a complex ticketing system, with multiple winners possible for the same number.
This story was originally published on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission