Spain enjoys various different lotteries but the El Gordo far surpasses all the other daily, weekly and periodic Spanish lotteries.
The main El Gordo lottery draw is held every Christmas on December 22nd in Spain and is of great importance to the Spanish population with 98% taking part to try and scoop a share of the massive prize fund.
On the day of the draw, the majority of Spain seems to come to a standstill to watch the proceedings unfold, with the draw lasting a good few hours.
There are 2 very large vessels involved, one which contains numbered balls and one which contains balls with prize values on.
Children from a local school are called upon each year to draw the numbers and it is televised nationally across Spain with, I’m sure, a lot of the world watching in too.
It is operated by the Spanish Government and the ethos behind this Spanish lottery is to spread the wealth amongst as many of the population as possible and due to the size of the prize pot, this is exactly what happens.
The elgordo is also known as The Fat One which when translated into English means “The” One. It truly is one of the biggest if not THE biggest lottery in the world and the latest prize fund available (on 22nd Dec.2011) is, yes, a whopping €2.32 BILLION!
In 2011, there is a whopping total of 2.6 MILLION prizes to be won providing players with a 1 in 6 chance of winning a prize.
The El Gordo is drawn slightly differently from most traditional lotteries. Firstly, a numbered ball is drawn and then a ball with a prize value and this is the prize awarded to anyone who has purchased numbers that match those on the ball.
As with the way it is drawn, you actually play el-gordo in a slightly different way to other lotteries too.
You aren’t able to chose your own numbers but instead purchase a ticket that already has a pre-printed number on it. There are also series of tickets with the same numbers on.
There were 85,000 different numbers in the Christmas 2009 draw which just goes to show how huge this lottery is.
The ticket system works like this…..each ticket number is available 10 times, meaning that 10 lots of tickets with the same number will be printed. This is called a “serie”.
Each of those 10 “series” is actually one “whole” ticket and is called a “billette”. This is fairly expensive for most people at €200, so each “billette” is divided into 10 smaller tickets called “decimos” (ie.10ths) costing a more affordable €20.
So, you are able to purchase either a whole ticket (“billette”) or as many “decimos” (10ths) of a ticket that you wish.
Many families across Spain put their money together and share the cost of a whole “billette” as one of their lottery strategies to maximise their chances. Even some entire villages in Spain do this and Jackpots have indeed been won this way making a whole village rather wealthy in one go!
If you buy lottery tickets online, however, there are ways that you are able to increase chances of winning lottery games such as the El Gordo.
As per normal, to play in the El Gordo, you would normally have to be a resident of Spain but now that we can all purchase lottery tickets from global online retailers, you can take part no matter where in the world you live.
The cheapest lottery ticket prices are available, naturally, in mainland Spain with most online ticket retailers being more expensive and charging a premium.
An alternative is to maximise your spending power and play as part of an ElGordo Syndicate. From research, this is by far the most cost effective way to play this lottery and the odds of winning in a syndicate are reduced even more.