The Spanish Christmas Lottery is also known as El Gordo, which translates to the fat one in English. The reason for its name is because it is the world’s biggest lottery drawing. In fact, in 2017, 170 million tickets for this lottery were purchased. The biggest win at the time was 4 million euros per player with a winning ticket.
This particular lottery is so popular that of the 34 million people from 18 to 65 years old living in Spain, 73% of them had participated in it as of 2015. However, it dates much further back than that. There is only one other lottery game in the world that has been running longer. The first time this lottery was played was in 1812.
During times of war, it was common for lotteries to stop operating. However, even the Spanish Civil War breaking out was not enough to stop this lottery. It did move lottery operations from Madrid to Valencia. Operations returned to Madrid once the war was over.
El Gordo doesn’t work as most other lotteries do. Its ticketing system is not the type typically used. The lottery shops in Spain only allow people to bet on certain numbers. As a result, clusters of those who win the largest amounts in this lottery tend to live close together. One shop has every winning ticket for the lottery, so those who live nearby are all sharing the cash prize.
Each shop that sells tickets for this lottery gets its own unique set of numbers. In the past, if people wanted to vote for a specific number they had to buy their lottery ticket at the particular shop that had it.
But now, Lottoland lets you play the Spanish Christmas Lottery El Gordo online. Regardless of where it is played, it is overwhelmingly popular throughout Spain. As a result, each number in this lottery is heavily played. In any given drawing, most numbers are chosen as many as 165 times. This lottery is so popular that businesses in Spain tend to buy up tickets that they then turn around and sell to their customers.
The game is so popular that it even gets its own Christmas ad. One was filmed movie style and had a run time of 20 minutes. The mini-movie followed the meeting of a Spanish man and Alien while waiting to make a purchase at a lottery store.
The ads create anticipation for the eventual Christmas drawing, which takes place on December 22nd. The drawing of the lottery is such a big deal it often isn’t completed until a few hours after it started. The way in which the lottery balls are drawn is not the same as others. Students of a school in Madrid sing each number when it is drawn. The balls are drawn by male and female students, though in the beginning, it was only males.