HomeBlogUltimate Guide to the Spanish Christmas Lottery, El Gordo!

Ultimate Guide to the Spanish Christmas Lottery, El Gordo!

Lotería de Navidad or El Gordo as it is commonly called is Spain’s world-famous Christmas lottery and this one-day lotto event is the BIGGEST in the world!

El Gordo means the ‘the fat one’ in Spanish and the name is fitting for a lottery that has a billion dollar prize pool. The total prize pool for 2017 is a stunning  €2.38 BILLION.

With a better than 1 in 7 chance of winning,  El Gordo is played by 90% of the Spanish population and is one of the most anticipated event of the year!

El Gordo: At A Glance

While there is so much to learn about El Gordo, here are the most important facts to keep in mind about the Spanish Christmas Lottery:

  • El Gordo is one of the world’s biggest one-day lottery event and is drawn on December 22
  • The El Gordo 2017 total prize pool is an incredible €2.38 Billion
  • Your chances of winning a prize are better than 1 in 7
  • You have a 1 in 100,000 chance of winning the top prize worth €2 million!
  • There are an incredible 15,207  prizes available per series
  • Plus, a total of 2.6 million cash prizes in total!
  • 100,000 tickets are issued with numbers between 00,000 – 10,000.
  • Each ticket is divided into 10 parts called decimas.
  • Players can buy an entire ticket or as little as 1 decima for a portion of the winnings


What are El Gordo Game Rules?

As so many people take part in the Spanish Christmas Lottery, the format is different than a regular lottery. In fact, it works more like a raffle. There are 10,000 tickets printed out each year, with numbers from 00,000 to 99,999.

El Gordo has multiple ‘series’ of tickets, which means that each ticket is actually printed out 45 times.

While this means, up to 45 people might have the same ticket number, they will win prizes according to the ‘series’ their ticket belongs to.

So this means that El Gordo has 45 top prizes worth €2 million each!

The last thing you need to know about Spain’s El Gordo lottery is that each ticket is made up of 10 parts (called decimas). This means that players don’t need to buy the entire ticket. They can get shares of a ticket instead for a share of the winnings.

For instance, if you get 1 decima – which is 1/10th of a full ticket – you’ll receive 1/10th of the prize money if that ticket wins.


What are El Gordo Odds & Prizes?

There are 15,304 prizes given out each series. And as there are 170 series, this means the Spanish Christmas Lottery has over 2,600,000 prizes in total! Check out the odds table below:


El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery


What is the History Behind El Gordo?

The Spanish Christmas Lottery or “Lotería de Navidad” is most popularly known as ‘El Gordo’ – which is actually the name of it’s main jackpot prize. First drawn in 1812 in Cadiz, it moved to Madrid two years after, where it is still drawn till date. Winning numbers are sung by students as part of a long-held tradition. As it is drawn on the 22nd of December each year, it’s become a cherished part of the Spanish holiday season – and friends, families and often entire villages buy tickets together to celebrate!



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