The Wider Image: Venezuelan crisis spawns boom in gambling
Veruska Torres plays with her son on the outskirts of Caracas. He is wearing a new t-shirt bought with prize money won on "Los Animalitos". "Most people I see playing the lottery are unemployed, trying to make a bit extra this way because the payouts are good," said Torres, 26, a nurse who recently lost her job in a pharmacy and now plays Animalitos every day. Torres often plays more than a dozen times daily at the kiosk in Catia, spending between 5,000-10,000 bolivars, but sometimes making up to 50,000 or 60,000 bolivars in winnings - more than a quarter of the monthly minimum wage. When that happens, she splits the money between buying food and diapers for her baby boy, and re-investing in the lottery.