How does El Gordo de Navidad work?

The biggest event coming to online lottery players is just around the corner, with the El Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad, also known as Loteria de Navidad in Spanish (and the Navidad lottery and the Spanish Christmas lottery in English) just around the corner.

The Fat One

This special Spanish raffle takes place in Spain and is run by the national Loterias national Loterias y Apuestas del Estado.

Related Article: Refugee Amongst Huge El Gordo Christmas Win

El Gordo means the “fat one”, which is no surprise considering the huge prize pool of 2 billion Euros. It’s this prize that makes it the highest in the world.

Not only is it the biggest prize in the world, but it is also the second longest running lottery, with the first draw taking place back in 1812.

However, winning the El Gordo de Navidad is much harder than let’s say the EuroMillions lottery, due to its prize structure. The probability of winning the Euromillions is roughly 1 in 116,531,800, whereas for El Sorteo de Navidad it’s 1 in 100,000.

But with a chance to win your share of 2 Billion Euro, you cannot miss out on your chance to buy El Gordo de Navidad tickets for sale at PlayHugeLottoscom!

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. Each ticket is then printed in 170 identical copies. All tickets are made up of 10 shares, known as a decimo, mentioned earlier. The winning tickets are then drawn from the containers and those with matching tickets are awarded prizes.

El Gordo de Navidad, Spanish Christmas Raffle

Where to buy El Gordo de Navidad tickets?

If you live in Spain, you would buy El Gordo de Navidad tickets at either hypermarkets, lottery offices or even at the local tobacconist shop, which are called Estancos. People in Spain consider some of these places “lucky” and you can find people standing in long queues, just to buy their El Gordo da Navidad ticket there and nowhere else. Unlike other raffles, you can buy El Gordo de Navidad tickets up to six months before the draw takes place.

If you are not residing in Spain but would love to buy a El Gordo de Navidad ticket, your best option once again is to buy the ticket right here at!

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.

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?

El Gordo de Navidad ticket

The El Gordo de Navidad Draw

The El Gordo de Navidad draw takes place on the 22nd December each year.

From 9am forty children between the ages of 8 to 14 years old from the school "Colegio de San Ildefonso" pick out small wooden numbered balls out of the two big golden drums called ‘bombos.’ Each bombo contains thousands of balls. One bombo contains balls inscribed with a pre-determined number combination, while the other bombo contains balls inscribed with a prize value. Each pre-determined number is printed on numerous tickets so, when a prize is selected to correspond with the number drawn, the prize fund for that tier will be shared between all of the players whose ticket matches the number drawn.

The children pick and sing out a lottery number from one bombo, and then pick and sing out a prizes for that number from the other bombo.

The whole process, which can be viewed on Spanish national TV, takes just over three hours and just about the whole of Spain comes to a standstill waiting for the 1st prize, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th winning numbers to be drawn. With so much money at stake it’s not difficult to understand why.

El Gordo de Navidad, The Fat One, Spanish Christmas Raffle

El Gordo de Navidad winners

The top prize in the El Gordo de Navidad is €4,000,000. This is split between players that have tickets with the winning five-number combination. The second prize is €1,250,000, with a third prize of €500,000 and a fourth prize of €200,000. There are also 1,794 prizes of €1,000 available. Depending on whether all the tickets are sold, the prize pool is around 2.24. These prize amounts can vary every year.

With over million people making sure they too had a ticket into the 2014 El Gordo de Navidad raffle last year, now is the time to buy your El Gordo de Navidad ticket at and make sure you get your favourite number combination!

Good luck - Bon Sort - Buena Suerte!

This article forms part of our El Gordo de Navidad Resource Centre.

This post was written by
Amanda Green - who has written 205 articles

Posted by Dorota (28/10/2015)

I love El Gordo

Posted by Ying Kwong (28/10/2015)

Test your luck, guys : )

Posted by Julian (28/10/2015)

I am so happy that this time i will be play this game

Posted by ZqTd (29/10/2015)

Saving up to play for this raffle ;)

Posted by Dorota (30/10/2015)

Good Luck

Posted by Krishnan (30/10/2015)

Though it costs much more than other tickets, it has more chances of prizes.

Posted by Ricardo (30/10/2015)

would try as lady luck maybe around.

Posted by IWw0Ut- (31/10/2015)

A good spot to invest a few $. If you lucky you can get a high return!

Posted by Ricardo (2/11/2015)

More sure way of winning .

Posted by Ritwick (3/11/2015)

Complicated but if I win I win big ... if only

Posted by Leyla (8/11/2015)

Good Luck

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