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.

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

  1. ElGordo says:

    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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