'Prawn lottery' wins prizes and customers are on cloud nine (and six)
By Samantha Kett DÉNIA has its own lucky lottery number with the town's famous smiling prawn – and it's selling in the hundreds.
Tickets bearing number combinations of just sixes and nines mirroring the shape of the Marina Alta district capital's mascot are proving overwhelmingly popular.
The brainchild of lottery shop owner Agustín Fonanet, who comes from a family of fishermen, the idea came about when he picked a ticket in a national draw with the numbers 69699.
“When you pull in your net after a day's prawn-fishing, it looks as though it's covered in sixes and nines,” he says.
Since then, his shop, Colp de la Sort ('Stroke of Luck') has sold 800 tickets with six-and-nine combinations which he advertises with the help of a human-sized model of the characteristic Dénia prawn.
The papier-mâché statue was originally part of the falla Port-Rotes monument, says Agustín, who belongs to its fiesta commission.
Some customers hold their tickets over the prawn's head 'for luck' before leaving the shop, he explains.
Tickets with ' prawn numbers' are on sale for the El Gordo Christmas lottery and the El Niño draw which takes place over the Three Kings, as well as the weekly Thursday and Saturday lotteries.
Several customers have won prize money from 'prawn tickets' already, with pots of up to €1,500.
“Lots of clients are now asking for them regularly,” Agustín reveals.
“We've had one gentleman who called us to order 100 décimos [tenths of a ticket] with one of the six-andnine combinations.
“We also recommend them to other customers who are undecided about which numbers to choose.”
The latest campaign, titled 'Fish for the Prawn', involves lottery tickets with sixes and nines sold in sealed envelopes which may contain one, five or 10 coupons, the amount only discovered upon opening.