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Play the international El Gordo Navidad raffle
El Gordo Christmas Lottery
Sorteo de Navidad. Lotería de Navidad. Whichever way you say it, it all makes reference to the same brand - the Spanish Christmas Lottery. It is officially one of the oldest lotteries in the world, having first been organized by a branch of the Spanish Public Administration in 1812.
In terms of the total prize payout, the Spanish Christmas lottery is arguably the biggest lottery worldwide. In 2012, it was calculated that if every single ticket available was sold, the amassed total payout of prizes would be worth an astonishing €2.52 billion (70% of all ticket sales). The total amount of all prizes in the first category, El Gordo ("the big one") would amount to a very healthy €720 million, which is then distributed amongst 180 winning tickets - equally divided, each ticket's prize value would amount to €4 million. It is little wonder then, that the Christmas lottery is immensely popular with the Spanish, with a startling estimated 98% of the population participating each year. Players have a 10% chance of winning a prize, and as an added incentive (in case the jackpot figure wasn't incentive enough) all winnings are paid in a lump sum. Now you too can be a part of the action on PlayEuroMillions.com.
How To Play El Gordo Navidad
The Spanish Christmas lottery bears more similarity to a raffle than to a typical lottery draw. In fact, it forms part of the Loteria Nacional Extra series of super raffles or 'Sorteos Extraordinarios'. As with a standard raffle format game, players do not choose their own numbers but rather select from pre-printed tickets already containing set numbers, of which only a certain amount are released. It is therefore possible for the Christmas lottery tickets to sell out before the draw takes place.
Each five digit number is repeated across multiple tickets. The exact amount of times a number is repeated will vary from draw to draw but can sometimes be as much as 195 times. These full tickets are divided further into tenths, known as 'decimos'. Most players purchase a tenth of ticket (a decimo) but there is also the option to purchase a full tickets as well (known as a "billete").
- As a decimo holder, if your number is matched, you will win one-tenth of the prize.
- As a full ticket holder, if your number is matched, you will win the full prize amount.
See below for the 2013 prize tier values (prize amounts show the values won by each of the 160 full ticket holders in each tier)
- First - €4,000,000.00
- Second - €1,250,000.00
- Third - €500,000.00
- Fourth - €200,000.00
- Fifth - €60,000.00
Please note: 20% tax is applied by the Spanish Government on any winnings over €40,000.00.
The Draw Procedure
While the entry process itself is rather unique, you may be even more surprised at the actual draw procedure - which has not changed since the very first draw in 1812! The winning numbers and the associated prize value are drawn from two separate ball containers, and these are then sung out loud to the public by school children from the San Ildefonso school (formerly an institution reserved for orphans of Spanish public servants). This lengthy process is repeated for the many thousands of prize tiers in the draw. As a result, the draw itself can therefore take up to 3–4 hours to complete, with the children working about eight to nine shifts - equal to the number of frames of numbers to be drawn.
While the actual draw takes place on the 22nd of December every year in Madrid, Spain, tickets are already on sale a good few months prior (tickets are available on PlayHugeLottos.com). The public attending the event are more than likely to be dressed in lottery-related extravagant clothing and hats, which just further enhances the festive atmosphere. The entire event is broadcast by Televisión Española and Radio Nacional de España, as well as various other media channels.