El Gordo Christmas Lottery Help & FAQ

Christmas comes early for so many people on 22 December, the day of the big Spanish Christmas Lottery draw. Within our Help & FAQ section you will find all the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for the Spanish Christmas Lottery.

What Is the Spanish Christmas Lottery or “Loteria de Navidad”?

The Spanish Christmas Lottery allows you to bet on the official “Loteria de Navidad”, which is an annual lottery draw held on 22 December in Madrid, Spain. The lottery (often referred to as El Gordo) is internationally renowned for having the world’s largest total prize fund, with $3 billion awarded to the people of Spain in a single day in 2014.

What Is El Gordo?

Many people often mistakenly call the Spanish Christmas Lottery “El Gordo” – literally “the Fat One” in English. However, this is inaccurate, in actual fact El Gordo only refers to the top jackpot prize that is awarded for matching all of the 5 numbers correctly. El Gordo also does not only refer to the Spanish Christmas Lottery, many weekly national and regional lotteries across Spain also call their top prize tier El Gordo.

Why Bet on the Spanish Christmas Lottery with Lottoland?

Bdetting on the Spanish Christmas Lottery with Lottoland holds a number of advantages over buying real physical tickets from the official lottery in Spain:

• From Australia: Perhaps most importantly, Lottoland provides you with the chance to bet on the Spanish Christmas Lottery from Australia (excluding South Australia) and you will be entitled to the money from any winning game. Usually, You must have Spanish residency to play the official Loteria de Navidad in Spain and if you DO NOT any money you win will be void. This is not the case when betting with Lottoland! All winnings with Lottoland are guaranteed to be paid out!

• No games and pick any numbers: The Loteria de Navidad is quite different from the lottos that players are familiar with such as Tuesday Lotto or EuroMillions. The Loteria de Navidad draw only happens once a year, the prize money does not rollover, so only a limited number of tickets are issued in restricted number of 160 series. This means each number is printed in 160 full tickets equalling one series, or 1,600 ‘Décimos’ which are sold in the kiosks. Please note that a ‘Serie’ number on your bet slip is simply a reference i.e. Serie number 54 out of 160.

Every year Spanish people line the streets at specific kiosks such as the La Bruxia d’Or which has become famous for producing lottery winners. Certain number combinations (such as 1,5,6,4,0) that have produced several jackpot wins are also always popular, so much so that superstitious players will travel across the country to get their lucky numbers. At Lottoland you don’t have any of the hassle of chasing your lucky numbers – simply select whatever number combination you would like!

What Is the Format of the Loteria de Navidad?

The Loteria de Navidad draw takes place every year on December 22nd and is usually held in Madrid, Spain. Numbers are from a range of 00000 to 99999 but unlike Tuesday Lotto or EuroMillions, the prizes must be all won and are distributed amongst all the winning numbers sold.

A full price ticket costs $349.99 which is why the Loteria de Navidad allows players to buy shares of tickets, and the most common share is a 10th or Décimo. The original idea of the Loteria de Navidad was to share the wealth amongst the nation.

The draw takes place with two separate spheres, the larger one is filled with all of the different combinations of numbers possible (00000 to 99999) and the smaller one is filled with the prize amounts.

What Is the Total Payout of the Loteria de Navidad?

The total prize fund for the Loteria de Navidad and total number of winners in a single day makes it by far the biggest lottery in the world. Over €2.2 billion (approx. $3 billion) in prize money is won by tens of thousands of Spaniards each year with lots of feel good stories that make this lottery a truly memorable event.

What Are the Odds of Winning a Loteria de Navidad Prize?

If all combinations are sold, this amount equals a whopping €3.2 billion of which 70% or €2.24 billion is paid out to the players. Most lotteries have a payout of around 50% of the prize fund. In fact, a large payout means lots of winners (every 6th game), which compared to other lotteries is a very high number.

What Are the Spanish Christmas Lottery Prize Categories?

You can find the prize categories at our Results and Winning Numbers page.

How Much Does It Cost to Bet on the Spanish Christmas Lottery?

A 100% share for the Spanish Christmas Lottery costs $349.99 at Lottoland, however you can buy shares of a number combination which results in a lesser cost.

It is common in Spain for people to buy larger shares with family, friends, work colleagues or team-mates. The whole premise of the Spanish Lottery is to share the wealth amongst the people. So you could be spreading the wealth amongst friends and family this festive season when you bet on the Spanish Christmas Lottery at Lottoland.

The minimum stake at Lottoland is $6.99 for a 1/100th (1%) of a prize, or you can choose for a bigger slice of the win by buying a quarter or half of a full share. The most common share of a game is a 10th or Décimo, which is $49.99 and would return approximately $560,000 if you scooped the jackpot.

How Many Spanish Christmas Games and Shares Can I Buy?

The only limit on the number of games or shares you can buy is the number that has been allocated to the official seller from Spain you are buying from. This is a much more significant restriction than you may imagine – every year the most popular retail outlets and numbers sell out in a matter of days. Finding a Loteria de Navidad ticket in Spain a few days before 22 December can be like finding a needle in a haystack. When you bet online with Lottoland however this isn’t a concern since you can pick whatever ticket numbers you want, right up until the time of the draw on the Spanish Christmas Lottery!

How Do I Fill out a Spanish Christmas Lottery Game?

  • Choose the 5-digit number that you want to bet with from a range of 00000 – 99999.
  • Select how much of the game share you want, which will provide you with the cost. i.e. a Decimo or 10th of a game is $49.99.
  • Click submit to go to the Checkout area and complete the transaction with your payment method.

What Are the Odds of Winning the Spanish Christmas Lottery?

One of the reasons the Spanish Christmas Lottery holds so much appeal is its incredible odds of winning! The chances of you winning one of the El Gordo jackpots is 1 in 100,000, significantly better than your chances of winning the EuroMillions (1 : 116,531,800) or Tuesday Lotto (1 : 45,379,620) jackpots.

Your chances of winning money on the Spanish Christmas Lottery are about 1 : 10 and your chances of winning the price of your game back are 1 : 6.

Indeed, most Spanish children who often receive small shares as Christmas gifts from the time they are toddlers will have won at least some prize money by the time they are in their mid-teens! It truly is the feeling of “everyone wins” that makes the Spanish Christmas lottery such a special event!

When and Where Does the Loteria de Navidad Draw Take Place?

The Loteria de Navidad takes place each year on 22 December in Madrid, Spain. It takes over 3 hours in total, usually commencing at about 10am (CET).

The draw is supervised by 3 judges, who take note of all the numbers, and especially the big winning numbers.For each big winning number, there are 2 children who go in front of the panel and show the winning number and the prize category, each panel member takes note of it and writes it down.

Additionally, the winning number and prize category balls are placed on a rack and filmed, so all viewers can also verify the result.

What Is the Loteria de Navidad Draw Procedure?

The Loteria de Navidad draw is televised live to approximately 90% of the entire Spanish population and takes over three hours from start to finish! The jackpot El Gordo can be drawn at any time during this lottery marathon, meaning people are glued to their seats in taverns, tapas bars, living rooms and even village squares all day long in Spain!

The draw is more a nationwide party than a lottery draw with people donning fancy dress and gathering together for El Gordo parties. There are two separate spheres for the draw, the larger one is filled with all of the different combinations of numbers possible (technically 0,0,0,0,0 to 9,9,9,9,9) and the smaller one filled with the prize amounts to be allocated to each winning number.

Children from the San Ildefonso school that the lottery was originally created to fund work in pairs to sing the winning numbers to a panel of officials as they are drawn. One child will sing the winning number and the second singing the matching prize until there are no balls left in the smaller sphere. Because there are close to 2,000 prizes awarded, including the 1,794 La Pedreas, literally the “avalanche of pebbles”, this can take a very long time and now the children work in shifts to complete the task. Because the El Gordo jackpot ball can appear at any time in the proceedings the excitement continues to mount the longer it takes for the top prize to be drawn.

How Will I Be Notified of My Spanish Christmas Lottery Winnings?

At Lottoland we automatically inform you of any winnings shortly after the official draw and your money will be credited back to your Player account. You can then choose to withdraw to your bank account or decide to bet again for that dream win. For security reasons, jackpots or any big wins need to be verified and may take a few days before the winnings can be returned to a bank account.

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on My Spanish Christmas Lottery Winnings?

As long as you are an Australian you will not be taxed on any winnings on the Spanish Christmas Lottery when betting online at Lottoland. Since January 2013, if you play the Loteria de Navidad in Spain directly you will be taxed 20% on all winnings over € 2,500.

For any Spanish resident living in Australia (except South Australia) where online gambling is permitted, you can bet on the Spanish Christmas Lottery and get the same winnings as if you entered from Spain, and the good thing is, you don’t have to pay the tax – exploit this loophole.

Is the Loteria de Navidad the Biggest Lottery in the World?

The Loteria de Navidad is often billed as the world’s biggest lottery. In terms of total prize fund paid out then it is the largest as it is expected to exceed €2 billion (approx. $3 billion) – creating thousands and thousands of winners in a single day. The draw on 22 December has become a tradition in Spain for family and friends to get together in preparation to celebrate a win or dream of riches next year in the annual event.

You can now join in the ‘biggest lottery in the world’ with Lottoland and join in the festivities.

Read More about the Spanish Christmas Lottery

How to Bet on the Spanish Christmas Lottery