Lotería de Navidad- the Big One is coming!
Every year on December 22nd, a Mega raffle is held by the Spanish Government.
With winning odds beginning at 1:7, players have excellent odds of taking home a prize in the world’s biggest lottery! The El Gordo is the biggest lottery in the world. The name El Gordo means “The Big One.” The Spanish Christmas Lottery is called “el Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad” or just “Lotería de Navidad”. This year, this high winning odds and Mega Prizes raffle will celebrate its 203rd draw and soon ticket sales will also be available to you on icelotto.com.
Ticket Sales for Loteria de Navidad 2015 has begun! Get your Ticket here!
Lotería de Navidad History
Spain’s history of lotteries began in 1763 with the La Primitiva lottery which was created by King Carlos the third in order to raise funds for the Spanish treasury. The lottery continued for 100 years and later returned in more modern times in the summer of 1985. 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 the 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. Most Spanish people hold at least a small portion of a lottery ticket in the Christmas Lottery each year, even if they do not gamble during the rest of the year. This includes tickets exchanged with family and acquaintances, or participations sold by one’s employer.
Lotería de Navidad Rules
First, a little bit of terminology:
The Spanish Christmas El Gordo Lottery offers the largest prize pool in the world with a total prize amount standing on €2.24 billion (according to last year’s data).
This Popular Spanish Christmas Lottery is based on 5-digit raffle tickets (billets) spanning from numbers between 00000-99999. Due to the incredibly high worldwide demand to participate in the Navidad raffle, each billet is printed in only 160 series with each billet consisting of 10 décimos (1/10 of a ticket). Tickets can be sold in whole or divided into shares. To put it simply, each billet (also known as ‘book’) consists of 10 tickets with the same numbers. So for example, the ticket 12345 is printed 10 times under different series, and each series appears 160 times. The raffle itself is conducted via 2 sphere drums, one big and one small. The big sphere drum contains 100,000 balls, each with a unique 5 digits number on it from 00000-99999 and the small sphere contains 1,807 balls, each with a prize sum in Euros on it:
2014 Loteria De Navidad Prize BreakDown:
At the time of the raffle draw two spherical drums are used to pull the winning raffle numbers. The larger drum contains thousands of small balls made of wood with the five-digit codes imprinted. The smaller drum contains 1,807 wooden balls, each representing variations of the available prizes on it. A single ball is selected from each drum simultaneously to match each prize with one of the 100,000 ticket numbers. The entire draw is broadcasted live and takes about 3 hours in total. See last years winning numbers, loteria de navidad results 2014.
Loteria De Navidad 2013- the moment when the 2013 El Gordo was drawn:
Spanish Christmas Lottery tickets go on sale up to half a year before the draw itself! For the Spanish people- this is a mage occasion, same as Christmas Eve and Morning. Families are gathered; friends sit together at local bars and hold their breath as the numbers are drawn. This draw is taken very seriously- At 11 pm on December 21st a final inspection of the balls and selection globes is made before everyone leaves the hall. Three guardians, called claveros, hold the keys to the hall. At 8am local time on the morning of December 22nd the doors are opened to the public, with attendance limited only by the capacity of the hall. Half an hour later, High ranked lottery officials and Loteria Nacional authorities take their sits at a table to the side of the main draw. Once the draw starts at 9am, the hall is field with excitement up until the last number is drawn followed by a major nationwide celebration for the new winners who can be seen jumping from excitement, dancing around, drinking CAVA and hold their tickets up in the air!
A raffle that changes lives
There are several traditions created in the spirit of both this popular Lottery and Christmas- Many people, companies, bars, and charities buy one or more “décimos” and sell it off in parts to colleagues, friends and customers. Parts of “décimos” are called “participaciones.” In Spain, when someone wins the lottery, it’s a happy ending for all. The prize money is spread around the whole family! You will always see TV pictures of a whole village or town neighborhood dancing, hugging, kissing and drinking liquor on December 22nd! This is more than just a raffle. For many participants- it is a life changer.
The Spanish Christmas lottery – Loteria de Navidad tickets will be available online starting July, 2015.