The Mother of All Lotteries: El Gordo

This is the mother of all lotteries: El Gordo (or the “Fat One”) Christmas lottery in Spain. How big is El Gordo? Try €2.3 billion in prizes (about 3 billion US dollars). And even better: the lottery winnings aren’t taxed by the Spanish government. El Gordo is the most important prize in the Spanish Christmas Lottery and the largest lottery in the world. Roughly 18% of participants stand a chance at winning something, which aren’t bad odds. There are a limited amount of tickets. In 2006 there were 85,000 numbers. At €200 the tickets are expensive, so they’re also sold in décimos at €20 apiece. If you hold a décimo of a winning number, you get 10%. 98% of Spaniards have some sort of stake in El Gordo and the average amount invested per participant is over €70. This helps explain the size of the pot. Each lottery outlet only sells one or two numbers, so it’s very common for a large number of people from the same community to win. It’s very common to give Gordo tickets as Christmas presents in Spain. The draw is on Dec. 22nd.


Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

One thought on “The Mother of All Lotteries: El Gordo

  1. It’s no wonder Spain goes crazy over the Christmas El Gordo draw – there are so many jackpot prizes! There’s 195 jackpots of 3 million Euros just to start with. It’s insanely big.

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