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How does the ElGordo de Navidad lottery work?

Understanding how Spanish ElGordo de Navidad Christmas lottery works

What is the Spanish El Gordo de Navidad Christmas Raffle?

Spanish ElGordo de Navidad Christmas lottery is the biggest and richest lottery in the world, operated since 1812. El Gordo means “The Fat One”, takes place once a year in the week before Christmas and it is estimated that nearly 98% of adult Spaniards buy a ticket for this massive lottery, even if they normally do not participate in any other lottery game. It has become Christmas tradition in Spain to buy at least a small portion of the whole ticket. The xmas El Gordo de Navidad raffle creates 360 Millionaires each year during this special lottery super draw! Where €4.000.000 Euros is allocated to every one of the 180 lucky winners, plus additional 180 winners enjoy jackpot prizes of €1.250.000 Euros each.

How are numbers organized on ElGordo de Navidad lottery tickets?

The whole ticket or block is called Billete which contains 5 digits numbers and is divided into 10 so called Decimos or Fraccion which can be bought separately as a part of the whole ticket.

Additionally each whole block is sold multiple times (up to 180 times) in so called Series where  1 extra number is added to the original 5 digits number assigned for each whole block.

The main jackpot prize is paid to holders of tickets containing 5 winning numbers for each issued Series. That is why there are 180 main jackpot winners, because a winning combination of 5 numbers exist on 180 sold tickets, each for 1 series.

If a lucky winner does not hold the whole block but only 1 Decimo, obviously the prize is divided by 10 and the person wins 10% of the published prize.

Lottery tickets organized in this manner offer an opportunity for creating endless options for buying ElGordo de Navidad lottery tickets in various combinations in order to maximize the chances of having possession of at least a fraction of a winning ticket.

The easiest way is to simply buy the whole ElGordo de Navidad block ticket, however a very common practise among lottery players is to buy multiple Decimos from different blocks. Another common way to participate in the Spanish Christmas ElGordo raffle is to create a group of players or syndicates where all participants agree to share the winning prizes accordingly  between the total number of people taking part in the scheme.

Many organizations, so called online lottery ticket agents offer the opportunity to bring together those willing to play in a group share or lottery syndicates.

Read more: Where to buy El Gordo de Navidad, Spanish Christmas lottery raffle tickets online?

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How are winning prizes distributed in the Spanish ElGordo de Navidad Christmas lottery?

The total prize pool is estimated at well above €2 billion Euros!
180 winners of €4 Million Euros each
180 winners of €1.25 Million Euros each
322,920 winners of €1000 Euros each

Additionaly there are many smaller cash winning prizes, in total there are 2,754,720 lucky winners each year in Spanish El Gordo de Navidad Xmas super draw. There are six prize levels for the El Gordo lottery.

When you win the Spanish El Gordo Christmas raffle, the series of the ticket is completely irrelevant. The first winning prize is based on the 5 digit number. The series number is added purely for administrative purposes to distinguish tickets from each additional series of up to 180.

How does the ElGordo de Navidad lottery draw work?
How are winning numbers selected?

Due to the sheer complexity of this lottery and the volume of winning numbers, the televised draw can take up to 3 hours, but despite this it is consistently the most popular program on Spanish TV.

In a nutshell, 2 vessels are used:

1st big vessel contains several thousands of small balls, each containing unique tickets with 5 digits.

2nd smaller vessel contains in total 1787 balls with a prize amount printed on each.

A single ball is drawn from each of the 2 vessels at the same time and matched together, this results in a set matching 5 digits with a corresponding prize win amount.

1 ball is included for the 1st prize of €4 Million Euros

1 ball is included for the 2nd prize of €1.25 Million Euros

In total there are 13 balls for major prizes plus 1774 balls for the remaining smaller prizes.

Some of the numbers of the smaller prizes are calculated from the main winning numbers.


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What are the odds of winning the ElGordo de Navidad Spanish Christmas super draw?

The odds of winning in the Spanish Christmas El Gordo lottery are 1:85.000 and the distribution of money received from sold tickets is 70%

We hope this text helped answer the question how does Elgordo de Navidad lottery work?
Good luck playing the Spanish Christmas superdraw raffle!

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