Rafa Castaño (Seville, 1990) made history on Thursday in Pasapalabra. Not only for winning the millionaire jackpot of 2,272,000 euros, a contest record, but for the way she did it: all in a row and without giving her opponent Orestes Barbero any opportunity. With the word ‘Zabro’, Rafa put an end in the best possible way to her passage through this contest since 2015 in four different stages. This morning was the time to talk to the media about how she lived through her experience and her plans for the future.

He was very restrained in the celebration of the Rosco and even commented that he was having a hard time assimilating. Because?

I was also the first to be surprised at how I celebrated it because I supposed I would be overjoyed. But what was really going through my head all the time was that I had Orestes next to me, that he was a person who deserved it just like me, and I didn’t want to be effusive or react with euphoria because it was a bad gesture with him. He had to be as elegant as possible. Orestes was also and it was what he played. It is true that later, when we connected with my parents and my brother, I smiled. It was not so much a problem of assimilating it as that it was not the time, paradoxically, to celebrate it. Later I already celebrated it when I told it to my family and my friends but at that moment, with Orestes by my side, it didn’t come out.

What day did they record the program we saw this Thursday?

I don’t remember the specific date. I think it was two or three weeks ago. It was a Monday.

Has it been more difficult to keep the secret all this time or to complete the Rosco?

Half and half. I am used to people wanting to know beforehand but for those who have been more difficult it was for my parents and my brother, especially since Antena 3 announced that the boat was going to fall. A lot of people wanted to get the information out of them and I told them to have a typical answer, that they didn’t know because I hadn’t told them.

How were you preparing to compete in Pasapalabra?

In a first phase I saw many Roscos to familiarize myself with the rhythms of the format and to know a little what they can ask. Not because the words are going to be repeated, which is unusual, but rather the semantic fields. And after that groundwork I started making lists of words. When you sign the contest rules, they tell you which sources will be used: the dictionary of the Royal Academy, the María Moliner, the Larousse encyclopedia… I went to those sources to study them, using applications that help you memorize a lot. I think that in the end there have been between 70,000 and 75,000 words that I have studied. And in recent weeks, when it seemed that Rosco had opened up a bit more because the concepts weren’t so elaborate, I made an even greater effort. I remember that I had a headache and that I slept for twelve hours because I couldn’t get up.

Did he have a favorite letter and a most unsympathetic one in the Rosco?

Favorite perhaps the U, which is one of those letters that have few words in the dictionary, but even so we have been caught several times because the scriptwriters of Pasalapabra have an impressive capacity to search among the world’s knowledge. And perhaps the Y is the most bloody letter because it is one of those in which the answer does not start with it but contains it, and only with the surnames that contain the Y you can go crazy. It is one of the most difficult letters to prepare.

Once the contest is over, how is your relationship with Orestes now? Have you been invited or given something?

My relationship with Orestes has always been good, although we don’t talk much outside of the sets. But we get along very well. I think now is the time to leave him alone because everything is very recent and it obviously hasn’t been good news for him. Regarding whether I am going to give him something, let’s remember that he has taken 220,000 euros, that is, he has not been left empty-handed either (laughs). I will write to him in a while to find out how he is. And if I go up to Burgos I’ll have a beer with him.

After having obtained the Rosco, will you still continue studying?

I have always been a person who likes to read and learn. In that sense, I have been able to afford to read or watch movies simply as an end and not as a means to try to win the jackpot, which is something I have never really liked. In other words, a television format like this, in which you can prepare yourself in some way, forces you to focus your interests on the goal of winning the jackpot. Before I read classic history books that could give me encyclopedic names for the Rosco and now I read whatever.

How does a person like you who doesn’t have social networks handle people stopping him on the street and asking him to stop being an ordinary person?

I hope to be an ordinary person again. I have been competing on television for years but the type of exposure I have had in Pasapalabra is difficult for me to carry. But I have to be realistic. I’m appearing on the most watched program on TV and in that sense, it’s normal for people to recognize you and stop you. I try to carry it as discreetly as possible. As you know, I don’t have networks and I don’t talk about my private life. I go on TV to answer questions and that’s what I come down to.

Do you know where the money will be spent? He already said before that his objective was to “live in peace” and on Thursday he told us that he will buy a Betis kit for his nephew.

The kits are very expensive so I don’t know what part of the resources that will take (he jokes). I honestly don’t know yet. I think a lot about buying books. I know it’s very prosaic but I don’t have expensive tastes. I haven’t thought about buying a stomp or a car because I don’t need it. I think above all about going to the bookstore, buying three books, lying down, reading them to me and the next thing. And in eating, traveling and then, above all, in investing it, because I have been lucky enough to earn a lot of money being relatively young and I believe that if I manage it well it can solve my life.

What are your most immediate plans apart from spending the money.

The main priority is to regain anonymity, to start to stop being as well known as it is now. I understand that it will be a limited recovery because a lot of people have seen me and it will take a while for them to forget, or at least partially. And then maybe after a few months, even looking for a job that I like because this boat allows me to work whatever I want. And if it can be teleworking and few hours, then wonderful.