A SPANISH TV reporter has apologised for quitting live on air after a lottery win only to learn her prize was just £ 4,000.
Natalia Escudero, a journalist with state broadcaster TVE, was covering the draw of Spain's El Gordo, whose total prize pot is £ 2 billion, when she realised she had a winning ticket.
In a clip shared widely on social media, Escudero is seen surrounded by other winners at a viewing party, jumping up and down in celebration and telling colleagues in the studio: "I'm not coming into work tomorrow!"
Later in the programme, she reappeared and ran her hand across her mouth as if zipping her lips.
El Gordo, or "The Fat One", is considered the biggest lottery in the world, and sees thousands of ticket holders win prizes of up to € 4.0m (£ 3.4m).
But Escudero was later forced to apologise after learning her prize was only € 5,000 (£ 4,285).
Spanish media reported that many viewers criticised the presenter for giving the impression she had won the maximum prize and for a lack of professionalism.
Escudero later took to twitter to apologise to "any viewer who today ... felt cheated" when she said she had gotten a "Fat Christmas".
She said that recent months had been difficult for her for personal reasons, and that she felt that "for the first time the goodness of fortune" had touched her.
She said she had been "infected by joy", but that she had not "lied [to] or manipulated" viewers nor fictionalised news.
She added it was "sad" that her integrity was being questioned after 25 years producing "rigorous and proven work" as a journalist.
She also said it was true that "tomorrow I will not work" because she was going on holiday.
She concluded: "Happy Christmas and give peace and love".
WORLD'S BIGGEST LOTTERY
The Spanish Christmas Lottery takes place each year on December 22.
Buying tickets is part of a holiday tradition, with many holding viewing parties and dressing up for the occasion.
The draw is staged at Madrid's illustrious Teatro Real opera house, where the winning numbers are sang out by schoolchildren.
It uses a complex ticketing system, with multiple winners possible for the same number.
This year saw 17 million tickets divided into 170 so-called series of 100,000 tickets, with one maximum prize of € 4.0m (£ 3.4m) available in each series.
There was also a second and third prize of € 1.25m (£ 1.1m) and € 500,000 (£ 426,000), and thousands of smaller prizes down to an amount of € 200 (£ 170).
MOST READ IN WORLD NEWS
Tickets were available for € 200 (£ 170) each, with each ticket perforated into ten sections that could also be bought for € 20 (£ 17).
Maximum ticket sales would have generated € 3.4bn (£ 2.9bn) and a payout-70 percent of total revenue-of € 2.38bn (£ 2.03bn).