In December 2009, the word “crisis“It was already the one that monopolized all the conversations and the news. A runaway strike and companies closing en masse painted a black picture for the economic future. The Marsans Group was no stranger to it and was not having a good time, but luck smiled on many of its employees, who were graced with the Fat Christmas.
The night of December 21, which fell on Monday that year, was when the company dinner was held. The next day, Tuesday 22, one of the children of San Ildefonso drew the ball with the 78,294 singing “three million euros.” El Gordo went to Marsans, both his employees at the headquarters in Madrid, the iconic Pórtico building in Campo de las Naciones; as well as employees of branches at street level in various provinces. The hangover on that Tuesday after company dinner lasted much longer than the usual mid-morning and few remembered for a time that the day before Air Comet, the airline they owned, had gone bankrupt, which would only be the beginning of a long penance during the year 2010.
300,000 euros per tenth, but not for everyone
Champagne and cava ran in the offices, but not for Raúl, an expert in marketing and digital business who at that time was one of approximately 300 employees in the Marsans offices. “I didn’t buy, I’m going to have to tell you the sad side for the report,” he explains in conversation with Engadget. “The night before, at the company dinner, they offered the last tenths that remained to be placed, but I didn’t even know about it, I didn’t know about that number.”
On the morning of the 22nd, Raúl was already on vacation, but soon the calls and SMS began warning that he had played. Raúl had bought tickets at work, but not that number. “The cell phone fumed. For five minutes I thought it had touched me. It was five incredible minutes. Then I went online to check it and I saw that Gordo’s number did not even resemble the one I had. I called some colleagues and we went. speaking, my luck is that I didn’t have to be at the office that day, it would have been harder, “he recalls eleven years later. When he plays, but not everyone, the spirit falls on those who have not been lucky. Like that day in Marsans.
Because in addition, the entire series was bought by members of the company. For many. “The award was widely distributed because the normal thing was to buy a single tenth of each number. Except for some managers, who still had five or six tenths.” That is, 1,800,000 euros. From Engadget We have contacted one of those executives that we have evidence of who obtained exactly this award without obtaining a response from him.
However, there was not a great impact on the company’s staff in terms of workers who took the opportunity to leave, take time off or start their own company. Something to which the very delicate financial situation of the country at that time could contribute, the fact that with 300,000 euros it does not give enough to retire early – a Euromillion would be another song -, or the Middle Ages of the staff itself. “The people there were quite young, perhaps with more people nearing retirement they would have been able to consider that between that and their savings they could already retire, but it was not like that, there was not a big leak.” For everything else, Catholic resignation.
The prize in Marsans was providential: the company was feeling the effects of the crisis and went bankrupt ten months later
The future of the company was a tragedy. In October it went bankrupt and sent all its employees out of work. Some of them with 300,000 euros in their pockets. Others, without more than the savings they could have accumulated.
Of course, Raúl’s misfortune in relation to gambling did not end there: after the bankruptcy of Marsans he set up his own company, and among his clients was the Madrid Wax Museum, from whom he bought his lottery during the time that they worked together. Some time later that company closed, and the following Christmases, those of 2014, el Gordo played at the Wax Museum.
In the case of Inma (name changed at her request to remain anonymous), her personal story is more cheerful: she bought a tenth in her job, an Andalusian public administration, which was awarded in the 2017 El Gordo. 400,000 euros (minus the 20% that the Treasury stays) that helped him improve his standard of living and live a little more calmly. “But little else, it is not something that changes your life like a EuroMillion.”
The reaction of those who did not buy a tenth compared to the rest can range from joining the party to not knowing how to fit it in
It fell to almost the entire staff of the department, made up of about forty people … except for four, who fit it unevenly. “Two of those people as soon as they found out they went to buy champagne to celebrate it all together, it was a beautiful gesture on their part. The other two … well,” he says leaving it in the air.
In that department, working life continued normally. “You also have to take into account that they were civil servants. What did happen is that some were temporary, and when job offers for a permanent position came out, there were those who allowed themselves the luxury of taking a few months off to better prepare the opposition. That perhaps made the task of the area a bit difficult for a while, but they had every right to do so.“.
Even a worker who retired a few months earlier was graced: his former colleagues reserved the tenth for him and called him when they found out about the award. “The memory is very good and did not generate problems, the only thing is the pity for those who did not touch anything,” concludes Inma.
Employee leakage insurance
If El Gordo touches a company, the greatest fear of the businessman and managers may be in having to deal with a sudden escape from several of your employees. If the prize is sufficiently distributed and that is the decision that the workers make, it can put the company in serious trouble, which would suddenly be depleted and depending on its sector, it may face problems of delays in deliveries or disability to get the job done.
There are insurance policies for professional risks that include specific policies for economic damages caused by employees awarded by a lottery.
Hiscox is an insurer specialized in professional risks that plans such an event in one of its policies, the “All risk material damage“According to Silvia Pérez, responsible for product innovation and development, she sets a limit of up to 5,000 euros, which can be extended in the case of a lottery prize within the company.
“In the United Kingdom there is a long tradition of buying tickets in the company, not only at Christmas, and there have been many cases of leaks when a big prize has been played. We put this coverage thinking of the expenses in a recruitment agency to replace to the employee who has left as long as he has resigned himself during the ten days following the award, and as long as he has received at least 150,000 euros “, Silvia says. “There is no special peak of interest when the Christmas drawing approaches and no one has taken out the policy exclusively for this reason, but those who take it tend to laugh when they read this specific coverage.”
If usually buying Christmas lottery is insurance to avoid the silly face if he ends up playing, there are insurance that institutionalize this in the face of the employer, as someone who ensures a loss of profits to use.
Getting ready in case it touches
For the employer, the main concern if he touches the Fat one among his employees may be in having to face a hypothetical flight in the event that several decide to leave the company, or find themselves with a cushion enough to give an ultimatum to get a raise or a promotion. Disregarding the fact that the odds are slim, nothing can prevent some employees from leaving their job imminently if they so choose.
Apart from the very low possibility of El Gordo touching the employees, there is being prepared for any vicissitude that could lead to an employee flight at any time.
This is explained by Patricia Moreno, senior civil and commercial lawyer at Hedilla Lawyers, experts in lottery administrations and their taxation. “At most, compensation can be agreed upon to the company if the employee decides to leave, but for a normal employee it is difficult to find such clauses. This can be especially true in engineering projects., where the technicians need to validate a series of quite expensive training courses. The company can afford them, but they agree in exchange that the employee does not leave for two years. If you do, you have to pay for that training. Or if it is a project manager or something similar whose immediate departure without prior notice would cause damage to the company, that compensation could be agreed “.
And if any employer considers the possibility of prohibiting these group purchases by their employees, it is directly unfeasible. “That would be cause for demand, it is something in the private sphere of the employees that does not harm the company or cause a bad image.” Of course, Patricia warns that there may be a “mess” if several employees have a tradition of buying tickets together and one year one of them stays out and ends up playing.
“There a judge could decide if there has been bad faith, especially if nothing has been signed and there has only been verbal communication. These problems cannot be avoided if one of the parties wants to seek trouble,” says the lawyer in reference to whether there has been an explicit refusal to play or if he was left without a tenth by premeditation of the rest “.