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Riverito: Mr. Numbers

"Riverito is the voice. The Number one of games for decades. So far never left someone overcome him" says Hector Ricardo Garcia, owner of Crónica TV

The bathroom door is ajar. You may see Riverito on makeup. Looks himself in the mirror while the face with a compact base that neutralizes the brightness before the camera is covered. He raises his legendary curler caresses it, combing, make sure it is fully stopped. Before leaving the knot of his tie accommodates and run his hands through the green suit. He looks himself, seems reassured, goes. Its twenty minutes to start his programme “Dance of Fortune”.

Goes down the hall, open doors, turn on the wording of the canal, raising hands and greets.

-Hellooo boys, good afternoon.

After rushing the last steps reaches the control. There awaits Rudolph the soundman, who clasps the microphone on the right lapel of his jacket. Begin the test so that they can adjust the sound. Riverito twister always says: "My mom spoils me I spoil my mum, queruza hake, croaker Isolina". When finished goes to Studio B, which is dark. The assistant floor up knobs and turn on the lights. In the study are the assistant, the soundman, broadcaster and cameramen. Say hello again with his hands up.

-Hellooo boys.

Riverito, like a boxer about to start the fight, is concentrated. The ring is a corner of the Crónica TV study. He faces two cameras.

-I would like to take out high hair and told the cameramen.

It is seven o'clock and the sound of the theme song was heard. Riverito tightens; the right foot slightly ahead extends both thumbs as shown in one of the two monitors show begins.

- Llegóoo the dannnza of fortuuuna! Afortunaaadas tarrrdes amigos! (Arrived the dance of fortune! Fortunate evening friends)

Luis Roberto González Rivero, Riverito, has for decades been the public face of a business worth millions. Just to give an example, on Wednesday, May 21, the day that happens the first match-three lotteries combined 138 million pesos divided: six successes of Quini pay 74 million, the Lotus has a well 53 million for those who guess six numbers, and Telekino accumulates 11 million. A quote parallel, are $ 14 million. Not to mention the daily figures that move with the Quiniela, the most popular game, which you can enter with just two pesos.

Behind all these figures, there is Riverito: the man who for twenty years sings numbers in TV Chronic. "Riverito is the voice. The Number one of games for decades. So far never left someone overcome him "says Hector Ricardo Garcia, the owner of the channel.

Riverito is 82. Born in the Almagro neighborhood May 13, 1932, and is the son of Galician immigrants: his mother was a housewife and his father worked in the fields and came to have a milk delivery. The childhood was spent between the economic needs of lack of space. Until ten years he lived in a tenement street Medrano and Guardia Vieja and it had only one bathroom for fifteen rooms.

-If someone had to bathe, it had to be in the morning, otherwise the people made the row pulling the door down. Literally. Then my mom bought a tub, a large bucket. I stood naked in the bucket and she washed my parts: armpits, the eggs and feet. I could take a shower when I was eight years.

Meanwhile, and as I could, they are going Riverito managing to read and receiving an education. At that time it was very common that kids stop going to school when the house was missing money. So he made ​​the most of the opportunity to continue studying. Has anecdotes. In second grade, the teacher asked the students to take money to helper. But when he told his mother she replied:

'Tomorrow, when you ask the silver, you have to say "Miss, I am poor."

His mother, Dona Concepcion, born in Lugo, was a very hard person with expenses.

-Like all Galicians, did you see?

She planned the meal: the tripe Mondays, polenta Tuesdays. Saturdays ate pot. And the dessert were torrejas, a few pieces of bread with fried egg, with a little sugar. A quite usual menu among the lower classes in times of WWII.

-My old practitioner was very, very religious and around my house was the Bethany church. I was sent as an altar boy. It was 1939 and the priests were Nazi Germans. They made a defense of Hitler, however the priests were very supportive and generous to people in the neighborhood who was like us, very humble. Everyone thought my mom sent to I was so it was great practitioner, but over time I realized that because I was sent to garronear breakfast. I gave croissants balls friar and latte.

At fifteen Riverito found his first job. By day he was in the secondary school in the Florentino Ameghino, and at night the money he earned as a presenter of orchestras. Then in 1947 he took as a cadet in an entertainment agency and had his first opportunity: representing the Ebe Bedrune orchestra, known as "the tango woman". Riverito had to get actions:

-Boy, the agency represents only deals on radio and dances. You are not encouraged to represent and sell the show in cabarets or cafeterias? 'She told him.

-Yes, yes, he was enthusiastic. -Tell me how much the orchestra costs, as it is integrated, so that when the band is sold I won’t screw up, did you see?

-Note: Four accordions, three violins, double bass, piano. Cantor: Rogelio Aguirre, animator Carlos Nilson. Cost 1650 pesos per month. You keep ten percent of the contract.

Riverito went to sell Bedrune’s show. He went to the Richmond confectionery in Constitución, a large coffee can watch shows where he was playing for money.

I answered the owner, a Galician nutshell.

-Hey, what matters.

-Look, I am the representative of Mrs. Ebe Bedrune.

-What do you want.

-See if you are interested in she acting here.

-How much.

-1650 Pesos. It has four accordions, three basses...

-All right, tell the lady to come to chat.

She was hired and the first salary of 165 pesos Riverito bought three suits.

Today in his wardrobe he has thirty four suits, seventeen summer and winter seventeen fifty and twenty shirts ties.

It’s been ten years since I don’t buy clothes, what for? If the same weight and grow will not grow, does not it - says while winking.

Riverito married in 1961 and their honeymoon was in Santos, Brazil. He was walking with his wife and noticed a group of people who gathered to listen to the radio on the street, asked what it was and they said they heard the "jogo do bicho" means the transmission of numbers clandestine betting, alluding to the word "bug" because the numbers of animals, vermin or insects associated (64 was the butterfly, ant 45, etc.). At that time he discussed the matter with his wife, Elda Moreno, who was speaker and wanted to do the same but with the official lottery. They agreed that it was necessary to advance the project. As soon as the ship went down Riverito went to see the director of the radio where he worked and he set out to do The Dance of fortune. The director agreed. At first they were five minutes, but shipping was so popular that they grew into a five hours. By 1958, Luis Roberto González Rivero was already Riverito. Juan Carlos Chiappe, a man who appeared in the serials Riverito, gave him the stage name.


'I'm going to have to do something, Riverito told to his wife. They were the first years of the eighties and the numbers say the pools were becoming very boring for everyone, even for him. Then he thought he could do differently when passing the results on the radio with the intonation. He recalled how the capitalist game (an understatement to point to betting illegally) by phone singing voice distorted the numbers three and four. They did it because they had the belief that the police recorded and if they used the normal tone of voice out there and put them could detect the prisoners, for example saying "threeeeeee", "fouuuur" posing as guttural.

Then I put them to music-numbers, and thus the "ooocho" was born. I also have the, six?. so say what doubtful means and seveeeen. But ooocho is the most famous.

He says it as if he were in front of cameras. The way he talks and express Riverito not change, is the same when he speaks in his office, when talking in a hallway or when the channel is in the dance of fortune.

The change of intonation was the rebirth of his career. Since then, anyone who says "ocho" stretching the letter "o" is alluding to start Riverito.

In numerology the eighth is sign of power, management and executive ability. It symbolizes self-sufficiency, material success and firmness of approaches.

The fame of Riverito came to Japan: in 1994 went with his wife and son, and in the Tokyo airport was received by a Japanese guide who had lived several years in Argentina, and he said that in Japan eight was the number of good luck and that the island had come to pay $ 300,000 to have the phone number with all eights. Riverito heard and felt a figure advance: years before, with the privatization of mobile, Telecom had purchased for thirty dollars to two lines ending with Quad-eight. Since then uses them in his office.

On the tenth floor of a building Coronel Díaz Avenue, opposite the Alto Palermo shopping are Riverito offices. It is a semi flat he bought in late 1983, working there every day, in a small room has mounted radio studio from there transmitted to Radio Belgrano sweepstakes lotteries. He works with his wife and has three employees, one of them is her sister, they are responsible for the business and administrative side of his career.

On the walls of his workplace in his office there are several photos getting one that shows hands of former President Carlos Menem of Argentina prize announcers society. In a hallway has a box with a clipping of a newspaper in New York, is the year 1971 and it announced as host of the orchestra of Anibal Troilo in Argentine music festival in the United States, several pictures on that wall are mid-eighties, where Riverito is with his friend Minguito alongside Diego Maradona and another with members of the "El chavo del ocho". Folding the hall way to his office have other pictures, he looks at a smiling participating lunches with Mirtha Legrand and Roberto Galán. In the largest room has an original caricature artist Hermenegildo Sabat, it shows what a bolillero Riverito lottery and former president Menem, tied to chair Rivadavia hoping the draw. The sheet is signed and dedicated is the original that was published in Clarín in 1998.


It happened in 1976, were the first days of the military dictatorship and Riverito have his program on the morning of Radio Mitre and shared the microphone with his best friend, Juan Carlos Altavista, which by its character of "Minguito": A Buenos Aires semiliterate that I had to correct him how to talk all the time. The military junta had appointed a receiver for radio, Frigate Captain Hugo Adamoli. In the early days of his administration, the Navy went every day to control air and through the glass watching the show, listened and controlled everything. Altavista was annoyed, did not feel comfortable and could not work. Until on day Adamoli called him Riverito:

-Look, you as a driver program has until the end of the month to educate this character, Mr. Minguito. Educate them, I do not want to hear talk like that.

-You know what's up, Captain, is a character who does, there is grace, he talks like that on purpose so that I didactically correct it.

-I do not know, but you have to correct him because if not, the program ends.

Riverito refused to correct him. In order the months ended, he went to Colonia, Uruguay, the artistic exile. Riverito got a space there for the Fortune Dance program and offered a place to work to Altavista. He traveled all day boat carrying contraband Minguito recordings.

-He had a hard time during the six years of the ban. The State should have compensated. It went on to sell boats to safety. The funny thing is that John was not, as they believed the military, a Peronist. Nothing to do: the pack had a life of dandy. He wore a BMW and your favorite sport was archery- says Riverito while turning to the left and look at a painting that has hung in his office. That would go on a promotional poster of Minguito in the radio El Mundo. Friends, since then, every year promised summering in Uruguay. For three decades that Riverito rental in Punta del Este, even though his friend died in 1989, never change of habit. Also place in the world is a summer village of Benidorm Alicante in Spain, similar to Mar del Plata in Argentina.

-We have been a dozen times. We are very community but that place is beautiful, very warm, is in the Mediterranean, the hotels have good Spanish food. The last time I visited was in 2011 to celebrate fifty years of marriage.

According to the retirement age, Riverito should have retired seventeen years ago. But he does not want to retire.

-The cardiologist told me that if I stop working I die within six months, says.

In the third meeting we had in his office near the end of the talk about forty minutes, had a certain melancholy as his idea of ​​dance fortune was growing over time, began as a quick 5 minutes to become in a daily program of several hours in the late sixties. Until a low tone of his voice and now says:

- I confess that I have also a share of frustration because I was typecast, I was like the character you just say the numbers. I actually thought this was to say the numbers a little work more, but I started doing well and revenues were good. Finally.

- What would you like to do?

- A radio service, do not know, four or five hours. With music, phones, as host of the program and of course some of the dance.

- Why do not you?

- Nooo (hesitates for the first time) ... it's late, especially now. From there to here -. Their hands draw an imaginary timeline There.

A silence, we both looked at the clock and ask if I can accompany him to the door.

Riverito lives of his voice. The care has been taken. No smoke and says that ever lived a life of excess

His passion is work. Even today, when a number ending in "eight" he seems to enjoy the moment approaches.

-Three thousand six hundred thirty ooooocho cries and smiles, and winks, and throws a little kick in the air.

Is ending the dance of fortune, looks at all, raises his hands in farewell and asks us to follow him in shouting: "Meanwhiiiiile! Fingers crossed. "

Arms down, the lights go out, the microphone is removed and waves his right hand raised.

See you tomorrow guys.

traslation: Belén Zapata