In Learn About Spain, Spanish Culture

Tomorrow  (Dec 22) is the annual Christmas lottery in Spain and I have my ticket thanks to Maider! While I won’t be able to share my winnings with you (I’ve already promised them to Maider) you can help us see if our number is called in the spectacle that is the Lotería de Navidad!

This isn’t your everyday lottería, this is a national pastime during Christmas every year and a pretty big deal.  Even those who don’t normally play the lottery will participate in la lotería de Navidad.

The lottery has been an important event in Spain since 1892, making it the second longest running lottery in the world and the biggest according to payout. (more about the lottery from wikipedia here).

On the big day, Dec 22, a nationally televised reading of the “premios” or prizes goes on for a good portion of the day.

The reading of the prizes is done by children, in a sort of lyrical shouting as they choose the winning numbers.

Most of the time is spent reading the numbers for the nearly 2,000 numbers that receive “la pedrea” or the 1,000 € prize.

But the big prize, known as el gordo is 4 million euros and it’s quite exciting when it’s called!

Along with “el gordo” the other big level prizes or premios:

primero (el gordo): 4 million €
segundo: 1.25 million €
tercero: 500,000€
cuartos (2 winners): 200,000€
quintos (8 winners) 60,000€
la pedrea (1,794 winners): 1,000€

Have a watch here.  Here’s little bit about what you’ll see.

The girl on the left is drawing from the cylinder behind her, a ball saying the prize amount. The boy on the right is drawing at the same time, the winning number, from a much larger cylinder which includes all the lottery numbers sold.  Each one they draw, someone somewhere is winning a prize. The majority are ‘mill euro’, until, all of a sudden, they hit el gordo – 4 millones!



The cheapest ticket you can get is around 20€.  The cheaper tickets actually equate to 10% of any of the winnings, since the same number is copied 10 times and sold as a cheaper “décimo”. Many times tickets are bought through work or exchanged as gifts for one another because everybody loves to play and you all share the same number!

So if you find yourself in Spain over the holidays, be sure to pick up a ticket!

And in the mean time, wish us luck! — Our number is 83.328 !!!

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  • Happy Hour Spanish

    unfortunately we didn’t win … 🙁

    but we’ll keep playing 🙂

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