Tonight the tombola will spin again for the ‘acumulado’ prize of ¢1,040 billion colones or add another ten “melons” (million colones) to Sunday’s draw.
The acumulado has not been won since June and with each draw that it goes unwon more “melons” get piled on.
This is unprecedented in the history of the acumulado. Some have begun to think there is an ominous force at play, like the use of a magnet to keep the acumulado ball from falling (being drawn) from the tombola.
Other theories include that the person who puts the balls in the tombola is a “gatazo”, that somehow manages to get the acumulado ball to stay away from the drop hole. Then there is the theory of the “hot and cold” balls that keep the acumulado from being drawn.
Claudio Madrigal, head of marketing and distribution at the Junta de Protección Social (JPS) – the lottery – assures that everything is above board.
To that effect, Madrigal is inviting anyone who wants to see “there is no pull of wool over the eyes” (no le están metiendo gato por liebre, the Spanish term), to visit the JPS auditorium in San Jose, located next to the emergency entrance of the Hospital Nacional de Niños (Children’s Hospital), to present their cedula to the security guard and see for themselves all the security that is behind each draw.
“When a draw is made, people see only the draw, so sometimes they do not realize all the security behind any of the lottery events, whoever wants to come and see can do so,” Madrigal said.
To get the acumulado to come out, for each draw missing are the balls drawn in past. Less balls mean an increase in the acumulado ball falling. At least that is the theory behind it.
Meanwhile, in the streets, authorities have increased their operations against vendors from speculating (selling tickets at higher prices) and from being robbed due to a high increase in sales and cash on hand.