What is the El Gordo de Navidad Raffle?

Lottery games have been popular throughout the world for hundreds of years, but the popularity of specific lottery games has a tendency to wax and wane. One game, though, has stood the test of time: El Gordo De Navidad.

What is El Gordo De Navidad?

El Gordo de Navidad is otherwise known as the Spanish Christmas raffle and, as the nickname suggests, it is drawn every year on December 22nd. The raffle is part of the holiday season in Spain. Now, its popularity has spread around the world. Since the website for the raffle opened in 1996, people from over 140 countries have taken part in the annual Christmas Raffle.

One of the main reasons for El Gordo de Navidad’s continued popularity is its size. It is the biggest pool prize in the world! The estimated prize pool for the 2017 draw was a staggering €2.3 billion! 2018 is no different sitting at the same grand prize, see it for yourself here!

How does El Gordo de Navidad work?

Much like El Gordo de Navidad isn't like any other lottery game or raffle the world has seen before, neither are the ticket sales. You can buy a full ticket - known as a ‘bilette’ - or a tenth of a ticket - a ‘decimo’ - if you wish to play. If you buy a billette and your ticket is drawn, you win 100% of the prize; if you buy a decimo, you win 10% of the total prize. Each number can be sold 180 times, so many bilettes will display the same number.

The tickets sold both on and offline are numbered between 000000 and 999999. When a ticket is bought, it is entered into one of two large containers. The winning tickets are then drawn from the containers and those with matching tickets are awarded prizes.

When did El Gordo de Navidad begin?

The Spanish Christmas lottery - known officially as the Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad - began in 1812, and first used the name “Sorteo de Navidad” in 1892. This history means that the lottery is the second-longest continuous lottery in the world. The draw even continued during the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939). There's really nothing stopping you from playing El Gordo today! 

Interestingly, the term “El Gordo” is not the actual name of the Lottery. The term “El Gordo” is actually just the Spanish for “the big one”, and is used to apply to any top prize in any Spanish lottery. Nevertheless, for English speakers at least, the term “El Gordo” has become synonymous with the Spanish Christmas lottery.

El Gordo de Navidad

What can players win?

The amount each ticket wins varies, with one first prize: “El Gordo”. Winning “the big one” is worth €4,000,000. From El Gordo, there are then a number of tiered prizes.

  • Second prize is worth €1,250,000
  • Third prize is worth €500,000
  • Fourth prize is worth €200,000, and can be won twice
  • Fifth prize is worth €60,000, and can be won eight times
  • Sixth prize - “La Pedrea” awards 1,794 prizes of €1,000.
  • There are additional lower-tier prizes, right down to 9,999 prizes of €200.

In conclusion

You can play the El Gordo raffle online, so if you wish to take part in the world’s largest lottery, you can do so from anywhere in the world! El Gordo’s huge top prizes and long lineage make it well worth considering for any fan of online lotteries. This year, maybe you want to consider buying your ticket and settling down to watch the three-hour-long draw on December 22nd!

This post was written by
Jason L - who has written 3021 articles

Posted by Zeljko (25/07/2018)

Thanks for the info

Posted by Zeljko (29/07/2018)

Thanks for info. Now I finally understand this lottery.

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