The Spanish El Gordo- The Fat One is Here!

Spanish colored map


Every Sunday, at 21:00 sharp, lottery fans are glued to the screen as the Spanish El Gordo’s draw takes place, offering high winning odds to its participants. So what makes this 200 years old lottery so special?

Just a little before the “El Gordo’s Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad” or just Lotería de Navidadwill take place on December 22nd, the Official El Gordo, Also known as ‘the Fat one’, is in the spotlight; giving you the all you need to know about one of Spain’s finest lottery.


El Gordo the fat one




Spain’s first lottery was introduced in 1763 when the country’s first royal lottery was initiated by King Charles III. The Spanish El Gordo de La Primitiva is one of the oldest lotteries in the world.


King Charles of Spain

King Charles the 3rd of Spain


The country’s national lottery debuted in 1812, and El Gordo de La Primitiva joined Loterías y Apuestas Del Estado (the official Spanish lottery organization). El Gordo was later added to Spain’s lottery offerings, joining the La Primitiva lottery as a monthly draw in 1993 and evolving into a weekly draw by 1997. El Gordo offers impressive jackpots which frequently roll over into double-digit millions such as these top prizes:  €33,024,545 (2011) , €27,152,932 (2008), and €26,214,521 (2007).


First Spanish Lottery Ticket

First Spanish Lottery Ticket


The weekly lottery was added in 1993 almost 200 years after being created. The name El Gordo De La Primitiva is translated to “the big one of the oldest”. And no, this does not refer to other old and primitive things…





In order to play El Gordo, you must select 5 numbers ranging from 1 to 54) Plus an additional number (from 0 to 9). This additional number will be the same for all bets on your ticket.


Five numbers are drawn at random from 1-54, then another one for the key number from 0-9. First prize is for a perfect match (5+1), second for 5+0, third for 4+1, and so on until 2+0, totaling 8 prize categories. the ninth prize division will go to those whos’ Reintegro number matches the drawn number are entitled to a refund of the amount played. El Gordo’s first prize has a guaranteed minimum amount of €5 Million.


In the case of no first category winners, 50% of the amount reserved for the first category is accumulated to the guaranteed (or previous) amount for the next drawing, often leading to huge bonus prizes (just for the first category).


The El Gordo de La Primitiva presents players with nine prize divisions:



El Gordo de La Primitiva




The amount for the rest of prizes (33%) is then reduced by the number of tickets with 2+0 prizes, each of which receive a fixed amount of 3 €. The amount  is then distributed like this:

  • 33% for second category (5+0)
  • 6%  for third category (4+1)
  • 7%  for fourth category (4+0)
  • 8% for fifth category (3+1)
  • 26%  for sixth category (3+0)
  • 20%  for seventh category (2+1)




The special Lotería de Navidad Christmas El Gordo raffle began in 1812 and ever since has been held according to exactly the same procedure each year as five-digit raffle codes are drawn from a set of lottery sphere drums, the results are then sung by students of the ‘San Ildefonso School’ in front of live audience which has made it a custom to arrive dressed in lottery-related clothing to this glorious event. The entire event is broadcasted live as many across Spain are glued to the screen.


Every year on December 22nd, the Mega raffle is held by the Spanish Government. With winning odds beginning at 1:7 and Only 100,000 tickets are available, The Spanish Christmas Lottery offers €2.24 Billion in prize pool which makes it the biggest in the world! €640 million in jackpot prizes will be distributed to the 160 winning tickets printed with the raffle number corresponding with the “Gordo” prize! You too have 1:100,000 chances of winning the €4 million top prize!






El Gordo de La Primitiva’s most frequently drawn numbers are: 29; 43; 27; 53 and 41.
El Gordo’s most frequently drawn additional numbers are: 9; 7; 8; 0 and 6.
And most frequently drawn Reintegro number is: 0.


Players have 1:299 chance to match three numbers, 1:14,342 chance of matching four, 1:3,513,900 chance of matching five and 1:31,625,100 chance of matching 5+1 by winning the jackpot!


El Gordo lottery results have produced the largest Spanish prizes, reaching heights of €33 million in 2011. With a €5 million starting jackpot and eight further prizes, the El Gordo Lotto has earned a reputation for offering some of the biggest European lottery prizes.


The El Gordo de la Primitiva is drawn once a week, every Sunday at 21:00 Local time in Madrid Spain.




As ticket are currently sold on side for the upcoming draw, do keep in mind statistics and your number selection in mind and do make sure to check out El Gordo de la Primitiva information page for further information.


The next time you will hear the words “the big one is coming” in the lottery world, remember that the El Gordo, the big one, is here and will probably stay 200 years more and forever more with us at




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The Spanish El Gordo- The Fat One is Here!
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