The Spanish Christmas Lottery
The Spanish Christmas Lottery, also known as "Lotería de Navidad" or "Gordo de Navidad" is the most popular lottery in Spain. The draw of this famous lottery is held every year on December 22nd in Madrid.
The top prize is called el Gordo ("the Fat One"). As from 2011, the top prize amounts to 4 million euros for a full ticket or "billete", which means 400,000 euros for a "décimo" or tenth part of a ticket. In fact, what players normally buy is a tenth part of a ticket, since each ticket is divided in 10 parts called "décimos".
Each 5 digit Spanish Christmas Lottery number (from 00,000 to 99,999) is issued 172 times. This means that for each number there are 172 tickets (“billete”), bearing 172 different “series” on them.
One of the reasons why this lottery is so popular in Spain is because instead of paying just one big Spanish Christmas Lottery prize and a few other smaller prizes, it pays a considerable amount of smaller prizes.
The total amount distributed as prizes in 2020 is €2.408bn, which means € 14,000,000 per serie. In fact, in 2020 the Christmas Lottery draw is offering €28 million more than the previous year, when the total amount of the prizes on offer was €2.38bn.
More about the Spanish Christmas Lottery
The tickets for the Spanish Christmas Lottery are available for sale each year from July until December.
The first draw of this lottery was held in Cádiz, on 18th December 1812, although it wasn't until December 1892 that it received the name of "Lotería de Navidad ", or Christmas Lottery.
Since 2012, the draws are held in the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre) of Madrid. Pupils from a school called San Ildefonso, which traditionally was an orphanage, are drawing the numbers and the prizes from two metal cages.
The Spanish Christmas Lottery draw is a big event that marks the start of the Christmas holidays in Spain.