EL GORDO – THE SPANISH “FAT ONE”

fat one

It is no news that lotteries have changed the lives of millions of people around the world. While some people regard lotteries as a waste of money, others regard it as a means to better their lives. In the world today, lotteries account for a reasonable number of millionaires. Lotteries such as the Euro Millions, the Powerball, the Mega Millions, Spain’s “La Primitiva” and the Swiss Lottery are amongst the most prominent and most popular lotteries in the world with their mammoth jackpot amounts. But none of these lotteries can compete with the Spanish “El Gordo” when it comes to mammoth jackpots amounts.

The “El Gordo” lottery game translated as the “Fat One” is the first price of the Spanish Christmas Lottery, which as the second oldest lotteries in the world, is still played today despite going through Spain’s three-year civil war. The Spanish Lottery which was organized each year since 1812 is Spain’s national lottery played during Christmas and organized by the Loterias y Apuestas del Estado (Spanish Public Administration as it was originally called). “El Gordo” takes place each year on the 22nd of December in the capital city of Spain, Madrid. In terms of the prize pool size, El Gordo is the biggest lottery in the wholeworld.  El Gordo is a lot different from all the other lotteries in the world and is more of a raffle than a draw. This is because it does not use balls. Rather, tickets are picked out of two huge drums.

How to Play the “El Gordo”

It should be noted that “El Gordo” is the name of the first price of the Spanish Christmas Lottery which is now used to refer to the lottery. Each ticket has a number that ranges between 00000 and 99999. During the draw, prizes are won when the number on a player’s ticket matches the number drawn from the drum. For over three hours on the 22nd of December each year, winning tickets are drawn and each winning ticket represents a price tier. While there is only one First Price – El Gordo, there are around 1,794 prices of £1,000.

With the Spanish Christmas Lottery or the El Gordo as is usually called, it is possible for more than one person to purchase a single ticket. This is because there are around 165 series in total which means that each number between 00000 and 99999 have 165 sets of tickets which in turn means that 165 people can have the same ticket number. Now, if for example the first prize number is 66666 which wins a prize of €4,000,000, it implies that the165 people with the number 66666 on their tickets can win the first prize of €4,000,000. Again, El Gordo is different from other lotteries in that the first prize of €4,000,000 won’t be divided as is the case if the first prize of the Powerball is won by more than one person. With the El Gordo, each first prize winner will receive €4,000,000.

Also, because each ticket is sort of expensive with the price of €200, many people might not be able to purchase the ticket so ticket is a perforated tear-apart sheet that consists of 10 identical sub-tickets called “décimos”. Each of these décimos can be purchased for €20 each and is entitled to 10% of any prize won by the ticket.

Also, some organizations can buy tickets and sell in even smaller portions called “participations and sell to employees or customers at a price slightly higher than the normal price for the participation. These participations are simply made by writing the amount paid, the number of the ticket and signing as proof of participation. If the ticket wins, each participant is entitled to a proportion of the general prize of the ticket. This method is most common and most Spanish citizens and residents hold at least a participation in a ticket of the Spanish Christmas Lottery each year, thanks to exchanges with family members, gifts from friends or those sold by employers

How to win and Prizes

Each year since December 18, 1812 when the first Christmas Lottery drawing was held, each drawing is held exactly the same each year. Before the lottery was drawn at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos de Madrid in 2010 and 2011, it was drawn at the Loteria Nacional Hall in Madrid. In 2012, it was drawn at the Teatro Real in Madrid. The numbers and their corresponding prizes are drawn by the pupils of the San Ildefenso school which is a school reserved for orphans of public servants. As this is a big day in Spain, the public usually attend the event in extravagant lottery-related hats and clothes. The draw which takes place each year on the 22nd of December is broadcasted on the Radio Nacional de Españaand the Televisión Española amongst other media outlets.

The draw uses two spherical vessels – one big one which contains 100,000 small wooden balls and a small one which contains 1,807 small wooden balls. Each of the 100,000 balls in the first vessel carries a five-digit number on it which ranges from 00000 to 99999. Each of the other balls in the small vessel have carry a prize in Euros.

The First Prize of the draw which is the “El Gordo” is €4,000,000 with an odd of 1 to 100,000 while the second prize is €1,250,000. The third prize is€500,000. The fourth prize is €200,000 and is awarded to two winners while the fifth prize is €60,000 and is awarded to 8 winners. The sixth prize also known as the “La Pedrea” is €1,000 and is awarded to 1,794 players. Other prizes for people who match some or any digits of the number drawn for the first prize.

World’s Largest Lottery Ever

On Tuesday, December 22, 2015, El Gordo paid out the largest lottery of all time, an amount which stood at a whopping €2.4 Billion Euros. That lottery saw a lot of champagne popping and people dancing in the streets as Christmas had in truth, come early. This lottery can be played on several online platforms including the Lotter.com. Playhugelottos.com, and Lottosend.com. Purchase a ticket now and participate in the world’s largest lottery.