The Spanish have a national ritual of playing the lottery. This has been shaped over the centuries, with the oldest lottery dating back to the 19th Century. It’s astounding that Spaniards remain as enthusiastic and involved in the lottery games, despite recent economic issues causing pay cuts and loss of jobs throughout the country. However, this demonstrates how dedicated the Spanish are to the traditions of their culture, and that this ritual isn’t about to be abandoned so flippantly
Spanish lotteries are on offer all times of year, a delight for the enthusiastic crowds of Spanish lottery fans. There’s the weekly El Gordo draw held every Sunday and bi-weekly draws on Thursdays and Saturdays for the Spanish La Primitiva. The excitement increases over the festive season, with the weekly draws still very much in the running, plus a special El Gordo Christmas lottery held annually on December 22nd and the Spanish el Niño jackpot on the 6th January.
The El Gordo Christmas Lottery has a particularly interesting show every year, providing an entertaining celebration for the many lottery players that view and participate in it. The show is broadcast by Televisión Española and Radio Nacional de España, as well as various other media channels, and has most of the Spanish public tuned in. The live event is hosted in Madrid, Spain, where thousands of participants and spectators gather together, dressed festively in lottery-related costumes of extravagance. The lottery results are not just announced, but sung out in a Gregorian-style chant to the public. This can make the event quite lengthy, as school children sing out the results of every prize tier – of which there are many in the El Gordo Christmas Lottery! But it all adds to the atmosphere of excitement and anticipation, keeping the Spanish public enthralled throughout.
Along with these exciting events, the Loteria Nacional Extra offers two less frequent lottery raffles; the Spanish Summer Raffle (Sorteo Extraordinario Niños de San Ildefonso) and the September Spanish Raffle (Sorteo Extraordinario del Turista). These occur annually as well, and with the festivities of the lottery already starting in the middle of the year it’s no wonder the Spanish are only happy to continue their traditions of lottery games and celebration.
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