WHAT\'S BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE CHRISTMAS LOTTERY?

 

 

 

Although the origin of some of these customs goes back very far in time and on many occasions the trace has already been lost (pagan traditions mixed with religious celebrations, commercial strategies to release the surplus production, etc.), the lottery's history is much more recent and, however, unknown to many of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We bring here some curiosities about the history of the raffle and the process of design and production of tickets, something that for many of us goes unnoticed although it involves a huge amount of work and much anticipation. And even, those who are really anticipated and want to try their luck by bringing tickets from different places of Spain that they visit during their summer holidays will know that there are numbers for sale already at that time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The production of lottery tickets is the exclusive responsibility of the National Currency and Stamp Factory, a project that every year undertakes with the highest professional zeal and maximum secrecy. But few know that the process of making begins the third week of April and that already on San Fermín people begin to buy tickets (they are officially on sale the on July 1st). Between April and June, 87% of all tickets are produced and then distributed throughout Spain through a random number distribution system. Tickets are printed with special inks on security OCR paper, to prevent counterfeiting. The sale is entrusted to Lotteries and State Bets through their administrations because the logistics of the raffle is a coordinated work between the FNMT and Lotteries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those of you who already have a ticket in your hands will have seen that this year's image is the "Adoration of the Shepherds" by Murillo (ca. 1650). The choice of the image of the 180 million tickets is the first part of the whole process, before selecting the main colour and the background design. Then, it's up to choose the series that will go on sale before starting the printing process. Each edition chooses an image linked to Christmas by Spanish artists, often with religious motives.

 

These are just some of the details of a raffle that began in 1812 with 12,000 numbers (today are 66,000), with a prize of 8,000 pesos and a price per ticket of 40 reals. Almost two centuries of history that have given rise to a true tradition.
 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.