A bingo is determining which civil servants in a small Argentine town will receive their pay, due to insufficient funds, its mayor announced on Monday.
“We will draw lots to decide the (order) of payment”, said mayor of Bialet Masse, Gustavo Pueyo, in a broadcast from Buenos Aires private radio station Radio Mitre.
Pueyo said the bingo was approved by national mayoral authorities and the first draw took place on Friday, with 23 of the town's 92 employees receiving their pay. A second raffle is slated for this week.
Home to 5.000 inhabitants, Bialet Masse is a tourist destination in the central province of Cordoba, 750km north-west of Buenos Aires.
The situation in Bialet Masse is not uncommon to many small town halls throughout Argentina because of lesser revenue and the delay from the federal government in sending the so-called co-participation funds, which Buenos Aires distributes on its own whim.
The Economy secretariat from Alba Caballero County said that according to what the town hall collects from rates and services, “we will hold a second bingo for the staff that still are waiting to be paid”.
Ms Caballero said that municipal rates and services are the last to be paid by contributors, “since people are well aware we will never cut them”.
Finally the official revealed that the original idea was for the lowest salaries to be met first, but the staff following an assembly decided “on the bingo system; it wasn’t us”.