Gringos Never Win

Ticos love their raffles! Rifas in espanol…

Buy gas, get a rifa coupon.

Buy groceries, get a rifa coupon.

Pay your car tax, get a rifa coupon.

Buy a can of tuna fish, get a rifa coupon.

Take your own bag to grocery, get a rifa coupon.

Ticos love las rifas.

Sometimes rifa coupons are printed forms, other times you just write your name and national ID number and phone number on the back of the receipt and drop it in a box.

Conventional wisdom is “Gringos never win.”

Wrongo, incorrecto, erroro, Juan of Many Words…

I won!  100,000 colones! (about $180) from the local grocery store, CoopeAtenas… one of the many coopes in Costa Rica. This one has our preferred store for grocery shopping. It’s associated with a coffee co-op and agriculture supply co-op. Big deal in this small town.

I got a call from a nice woman who spoke english telling me the good news. I just needed to show up at the main office (above the co-op liquor store) to claim my prize. I had 15 business days to claim it.

I went within the hour.

The girl at the reception desk spoke no english. My spanish is pretty good when it comes to the ordinary, every day stuff… but winning a rifa? I was lost.

After a long back and forth with me getting about every fifth word, she asked me to take a seat. She took my national ID card and made a copy and then handed me the certificate shown in the photo.

And typical in Costa Rica, it is never simple… we have to spent the certificate within 30 days AND we have to spend it all at once.

Gringos never win.


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