Spain Prepares for ‘El Gordo’ Christmas Lottery

Since 1812 the El Gordo has been an annual tradition during Christmas in Spain as friends, families, and even whole villages come together for the El Gordo, or ‘The Fat One’.

The El Gordo takes place on 22nd December in Spain with tickets on sale all year. Tickets are sold in billets, blocks of ten and due to the cost often entire communities club together to buy tickets. It’s called ‘The Fat One’ because of it’s huge prize pool, over €2 billion in prizes.

Throughout most of the El Gordo history the lottery was played by people across Spain, and as the country opened up for tourists it became popular to buy tickets while on holiday. In more recent years players have been able to play the El Gordo on line, opening up the richest lottery draw in the world to a worldwide audience with players using online ticket merchants to pick up tickets for the big draw.

The draw itself takes hours, and players around Spain get together to watch. Several ball pools are used and numbers are drawn in serial number form, with another set of balls declaring each prize amount. It’s pretty random, but Spaniards love it and Spain comes to a standstill for those few hours as tickets are checked.

Although the prize pool is huge, prizes are capped and that means there are many, many winning tickets and some great odds to win. The top prize is capped at €4,000,000 and odds of winning are around 100,000 to 1. There are also many smaller prizes and overall odds of winning a prize in the draw are just 1 in 10.

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