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'El Gordo' or 'The Fat One': Spain's Christmas Lottery, the Biggest in the World

Christmas in Spain: How to Play the Spanish Christmas Lottery, 'El Gordo'


The Spanish Christmas lottery, El Gordo or 'The Fat One', is the biggest lottery in the world and also one of the oldest, having started in 1812. While the first prize in 2005 was 'only' 3€ million, El Gordo has the biggest prize pool of any lottery in the world, last year totaling over two billion euros!

How the El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery Works

The Spanish Christmas Lottery works differently to most lotteries in the world. Tickets are very expensive, but you don't have to buy the entire ticket. However, if you don't buy the whole thing, you can't get the whole winnings! Read more about how this works:
El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery - How the Winnings Are Divided.

The Draw

El Gordo is drawn every December 22. The process is long (taking in excess of three hours) so you will likely see people sat by their radios for much of the day, waiting for the results.

For details of how the draw takes place, see this page:
How El Gordo is Drawn

Loteria del Niño

A second draw takes place on January 5. You will need to buy new tickets for this draw.

How Can I Play El Gordo?

Unlike with most lotteries, there are a number of ways of playing El Gordo, and some are very sociable. You don't need to be in Spain at Christmas time - tickets go on sale in the summer. Read more about How to Play El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery.

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