Spain prepares for El Gordo Lottery – €2 billion of prizes this year

Spain prepares for El Gordo Lottery - €2 billion of prizes this yearSpain prepares for El Gordo Lottery - €2 billion of prizes this year

MADRID – Spaniards and avid lottery fans all over the world are buying tickets for ‘El Gordo’ on 22nd December, which sees over €2 billion ($3 billion) given away in prize money. El Gordo (the Fat One) is the biggest lottery event of the year and will bring welcome financial relief for thousands of people in the run up to Christmas.

El Gordo is a national obsession in Spain and it is believed that 98 per cent of the population play the game. A ticket for El Gordo is often a valued early Christmas present for some people as well.

Whole tickets in this lottery cost €200 and are divided into “decimos” (tenths), which can be purchased individually at €20. This means that if a player purchases three “decimos” and the ticket number they hold wins €10,000 they will receive €3,000 and the remainder will go to other players holding the same ticket number.

With over 13,000 cash prizes given away and a one in six chance of winning a prize added to the fact that the prize pool this year is a whopping €2.2 billion, El Gordo is certainly an attractive lottery game to take part in despite the high initial cost.

The high prize fund is thanks to the fact that a whopping 70 per cent of ticket sales comes back as prizes.

Last year, 1,950 players shared the jackpot prize, meaning they each took home €300,000. This again shows the appeal of the lottery, as it shares prize money between many people and no single person wins a ridiculously large prize.

Published: December 6, 2010

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