El Gordo is a Spanish lottery played at Christmas time. Presently, El Gordo is the biggest lottery worldwide, as well as being one of the oldest.
The name Sorteo de Navidad, or Christmas Lottery, was initially used in 1892 and the game is run by the Spanish government.
First played in 1812, El Gordo, or “The Fat One” is well known for having the fattest prize pool of any lottery being played today. In fact, El Gordo paid out a whopping US $3 billion in prize money in December of 2010!
This lottery is enormously popular. It is estimated that an astounding 98% of the population of Spain participates in this Christmas season game.
All prizes have a full payout and are tax exempt if you are a resident of Spain.
You may choose to receive your prize in cash or directly transferred to a bank account anywhere in the world, in a currency of your choosing.
An impressive 70% of all money collected from ticket purchases is returned to lucky winners as cash prizes. This means that your odds of winning a prize with El Gordo are higher than those of most other national lotteries with a similar percentage of between 40-50% return of ticket purchase funds.
You must be 18 years of age to play El Gordo. For many years, it was necessary for you to be a Spanish resident in order to take part in the Spanish Christmas Lottery, but with the advent of the internet, it became possible to purchase lottery tickets online and El Gordo was open to players all over the world!
El Gordo is significantly different than other lotteries.
One thing that sets it apart is the cost of buying the tickets. A single El Gordo ticket costs 200 Euros. Due to the high price, each ticket is often divided into tenths which are popularly known as “decimos.”
This makes the potential payout of prize money 10% of the full jackpot amount.
Because of the size and worldwide popularity of El Gordo and the number of tickets sold, each set of five winning numbers is sold and distributed multiple times in several different series.
There are more than 100,000 tickets printed for each drawing of El Gordo. Since approximately 37,000 cash prizes are paid out, this makes your odds of winning a cash prize playing El Gordo roughly one in three.
Those are great odds!
The prices and distribution of prizes, along with the number of tickets and series, may vary from one year to the next. In 2004, for instance, there were 66,000 winning numbers in 195 series. In 2005 there were 85,000 numbers and 170 series. The number of El Gordo lottery series was increased to 180 in 2006.
Because there are such a huge number of tickets, the entire draw usually takes around 3 hours and is broadcast live by television and radio stations as the winning numbers on wooden balls are drawn from two large round vessels.
Schoolchildren sing each winning number along with the corresponding prize.
El Gordo is played every year on December 22nd, so you need to purchase tickets, either in person or at an online lottery website, before that date.
With thousands of cash prizes and fantastic odds of winning, be sure to play El Gordo for your chance to hit the jackpot in this fabulous Spanish Lottery!