You Could Win El Chapo’s Wild Cocaine Escape House For $12

Have you ever wanted to own a piece of narco history? Always dreamed of a house with an escape hatch under the bathtub? If you answered yes to either, then you’re in luck thanks to a raffle organized by the Mexican government

Mexico’s national lottery is offering 22 properties seized from drug traffickers or corrupt politicians as prizes in a raffle that will be drawn on Sept. 15, including the house where in 2014 the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped arrest by Mexican marines through a tunnel that connected to the city’s sewer system.

The raffle, coordinated by the aptly named Institute to Give Back to the People What’s Been Stolen, features a little something for everyone, with prizes totaling over $10 million, all for the bargain price of $12 per ticket.

The crown jewel is a mansion valued at nearly $4 million in an exclusive neighborhood of Mexico City that was once owned by Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the former leader of the Juárez Cartel.  Known as the “Lord of the Skies,” at the height of his career Carrillo commanded an entire fleet of drug running planes. He died in 1997 during plastic surgery to change his appearance.  

At over 21,000 square feet, the home features nine bedrooms, a wine cellar, jacuzzi, sauna, pool and all the space you could possibly need to throw a party that rivals those recreated on the Netflix series Narcos.

If understated is your style, then El Chapo’s former safe house, valued at a measly $180,000, might be the prize for you. From the outside, the home’s modest appearance conjures the image of a middle-class family living within. But upon stepping inside, a sophisticated security system and a bathtub fitted with hydraulics that turn it into an escape hatch reveal a different story.

Located in Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa, the house was connected to several other safe houses by tunnels, including one almost two miles long, as well as the sewer system. When the marines closed in, El Chapo was in bed with a mistress who happened to be a state legislator.

Tipped off that they were coming, the cocaine kingpin raced to the bathroom, flipped a switch that raised the bathtub on a sophisticated hinge mechanism and then led his lover down the stairwell into the tunnels without stopping first to get dressed. The pair later emerged covered in muck at a sewage drain where they were picked up by his security team. El Chapo was captured a few days later, only to escape prison the next year in an entirely predictable way – through a tunnel in the bathroom of his cell.

For sports fans, there’s also a box suite with twenty seats at Mexico’s iconic Azteca Stadium that could be yours until the rights run out in 2065. Previously owned by the government, the suite was reportedly the site where soccer legend Diego Maradona received the World Cup trophy in 1986 after Argentina beat West Germany in the final. The value is estimated at around $1 million and the prize includes some cash to cover maintenance for the first 10 years

The drawing, which also includes prizes of a ranch, apartments and beachfront properties, will be held on September 15 — just before Mexico begins its annual Independence Day celebrations. 

Ticket sales will raise about $25 million, money that will all go to fund social programs, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced last month. 

For foreigners, there’s a bit of a catch. Mexican authorities said that only citizens would be allowed to own any of the assets located on the beach or the border as Mexican law requires. Foreigners who win one of those prizes would instead be paid out in cash – an acceptable consolation for most, if not the piece of drug trafficking history you might be hoping for.


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