Just minutes after the drawing started on Sunday for Spain's traditional El Gordo Christmas lottery, the winning number for the main €4 million (US$4.4 million) was pulled: 26590. It will be paid out 170 times, as the winning number was sold in 170 series like the other numbers that carry smaller prize amounts. In total, nearly €2.4 billion will be paid out to people who bought tickets. Measured in terms in total amount, the Spanish Christmas lottery is considered the largest raffle in the world. It is also considered the oldest, with a tradition stretching back more than 200 years. The first drawing had taken place in 1812. The drawing at Madrid's Teatro Real opera house was aired live on television in front of millions of viewers hoping to win some extra money two days before Christmas Eve. Per tradition, the drawn numbers as well as the amount of each prize was sang by schoolchildren. Travelling in France? Expect Christmas chaos from train strikes The entire event takes nearly four hours, as there are nearly 1,800 smaller prizes given out. While this year's main prize-winning number was drawn after just minutes, last year's took several hours. Friends or colleagues usually pool their money to buy the tickets, throwing in a tenth, or €20, as an entire one costs €200.