El Gordo Navidad: Everything you need to know about the world’s biggest raffle

It’s that time of the year again and you know what that means…It’s almost time for the El Gordo Navidad raffle! Spain’s annual Christmas raffle, also known as “Loteria de Navidad”, is right around the corner. Make sure you’ve got your tickets in time for the most highly-anticipated draw of the year with over €2.3 billion in prizes up for grabs! 

What is El Gordo Navidad?

El Gordo, meaning “the Fat One”, is a nickname given to the most exciting Christmas raffle of the year. Known locally as “Loteria de Navidad”, this raffle started over 200 years ago in 1812 and has been held annually, even during the Spanish Civil war. 

It’s considered as the world’s biggest lottery and this year, a staggering amount of €2.38 billion in prizes is available to players. It sends Spain into a frenzy as well as the rest of the world because of the attractive winning odds starting at 1:6:5 for a prize. Not to mention, the odds of winning the top prize are much better than most lotteries, standing at 1 in 100,000. As a result of this, it has become a national institution in Spain, attracting huge TV audiences and participants. 


El Gordo Navidad Spanish Christmas Raffle


Why is it so popular?

It differs from a normal lottery because of the level of pomp and ceremony afforded to this exciting event. Draws take hours to complete and children from the San Ildefonso School in Madrid select the balls and sing the results. 

Another reason as to why there is so much hype surrounding this draw is the atmosphere of celebration and the fact that ticket holders usually enjoy success together. It’s not uncommon for players to join forces, either with family or work colleagues, to share the costs of taking part. 


How are the numbers drawn? 

100,000 small wooden balls each have a 5-digit raffle ticket number printed on them with a laser. They are lasered onto the balls instead of being painted on because it’s believed that the paint influences the weight, therefore affecting how the balls are drawn. The balls are all 19mm in diameter and they each weight 3 grams. 

There are two huge machines called “bombos” that draw the numbers. They contain the thousands of balls. One machine contains the raffles numbers, and the other contains the balls determining the value of the prizes. Both the raffle numbers and the balls are drawn simultaneously so players can see the winning number they’ve matched and exactly how much they have won. 


Winning Big With Loteria de Navidad

A total of 18 million raffle tickets are available. Players can either choose to buy a decimo, which is 1/10th of a full ticket. It’s a cheaper option, which is why the decimo is the most popular. The other option is to buy a full ticket, also known as a “billete”, which offers the player a much bigger prize if their raffle number is drawn. 

100,000 pre-defined numbers are printed on tickets each containing a five-digit code ranging from 00000 to 99999. Each ticket is then printed in 170 identical copies. All tickets are made up of 10 shares, known as a decimo, mentioned earlier. 

The top prize for a billete holder would be €4 million, and for a decimo- holder it would be €400,000. Altogether, a staggering 26 million in shares are expected to be won. This formula sums up the above information nicely: 

100,000 tickets x 170 copies x 10 shares = 170 million shares. 

El Gordo offers the biggest prize pool in the world. A player holding all ten shares, also known as a full ticket (billete), wins €4 million if their raffle number wins the top prize. Loteria de Navidad will, therefore, award a total of €680 million in jackpot prizes to the 170 tickets with the winning raffle code. 

Prizes will be awarded to 15,304 tickets in every series, which means that 1 in every 6.6 tickets wins a prize! Now, do you see why this draw is so eagerly anticipated? 


Don’t miss out – get your tickets! 

98% of Spanish adults take part in the El Gordo Navidad celebrations, even if they don’t play other international lotteries. The number of tickets available for this raffle is LIMITED as the draw gets closer – make sure you get your tickets well before the draw closes on the 21st of December at PlayHugeLottos.com!

This draw only happens once a year…it’s an event not to be missed! You can make this year’s Christmas one of the best yet! 


Get your Raffle tickets now! 



This post was written by
Jason L - who has written 3017 articles

Posted by PRADIP (8/11/2017)

i have lots of interest to play it.

Posted by PRADIP (9/11/2017)

really, it's too B I G !!

Posted by Zeljko (10/11/2017)

yes, it is big, but also very expensive to participate.

Posted by Thinh (10/11/2017)

Thanks for the info!

Posted by PRADIP (11/11/2017)

i m now arranging my fund to play it.

Posted by Ildefonso (12/11/2017)

I'm taking a break from playing the lottery until further notice,good luck to all players on PHL,keep the dream alive.

Posted by PRADIP (15/11/2017)

thanks to the management.

Posted by PRADIP (17/11/2017)

if i won biggest raffle , then in my life big changes will come.

Posted by Debashish D (23/11/2017)

Thank you very much PHL team.

Posted by PRADIP (31/08/2018)

ei gordo navidad is really world's biggest lottery !!!

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