24 Dec 2019

Spanish TV reporter apologises over emotional live lottery win

2:48 pm on 24 December 2019

A Spanish TV reporter who told her colleagues live on air that she was "not coming to work tomorrow" while clutching a winning lottery ticket had only won a fraction of the total prize.

Madrid lottery shop Dona Manolita employees celebrate having sold the winning number in the €4m ''El Gordo'' (Fat One) Christmas lottery, on 22 December

Staff of Madrid lottery shop Dona Manolita celebrate having sold the winning number in the €4m ''El Gordo'' (Fat One) Christmas lottery. Photo: AFP / Antonio Navia / NurPhoto

Natalia Escudero, who works for public broadcaster RTVE, started screaming on camera - before later learning she had won just €5000 ($NZ8000)

The Christmas lottery's top prize is €4 million ($NZ6.6m) but can be shared among winners.

Ms Escudero later apologised over the way she reacted during the broadcast.

She said she regretted behaving in such an "emotional" manner and wanted to explain her actions to viewers who "felt cheated".

Ms Escudero's response came after she was accused of a lack of professionalism over the footage, which was widely shared on social media.

It showed her jumping for joy while champagne was sprayed into the air as it was announced that the winning number for the top prize in the Christmas lottery known as El Gordo (The Fat One) was 26590.

Viewers criticised her for giving the impression that she had won the maximum prize and for appearing to suggest that she was quitting her job, Spanish media reported.

Shortly after the initial broadcast, Ms Escudero reappeared on TV screens and made the gesture of zipping her lips.

Responding to criticism on Twitter, Ms Escudero said she had recently had a "difficult" few months "for personal reasons", but that - in her 25 years working as a professional journalist - she continued to have a "clear conscience" and was proud of her "rigorous and proven work".

"It is sad that Natalia Escudero is today [known as] the manipulative and lying journalist from RTVE," she tweeted.

She apologised for any confusion caused, but said she was being honest about taking time off because "I am going on holiday".