Spain’s Christmas lottery is fascinating. It began in 1812, and billions are given away each year. Unlike in the U.S., nobody walks away with the bulk of it. The number is only five digits long, so this year 1,850 people will receive a $430,000 share of the $3.1B pot. I find government lotteries both shameful (it’s a tax on those who cannot do math, who tend strongly to be poor) and great (it’s a voluntary tax — which is the best kind — and it’s how we funded the Revolutionary War), but the worst part is that nine times out of ten, the winners are broke and miserable just a few years later (i.e.: 1, 2, 3, 4) because the sort of person who plays the lottery tends strongly to be the sort person who manages their money badly. But $430k isn’t life-ruining money, and spread across 1,850 people, it has the potential to have some genuine trickle-down economic impact.