El Gordo de Navidad, also known as Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad, is a special Christmas edition of Spain’s Loteria Nacional.
El Gordo de Navidad is a significant part of Spain’s Christmas celebrations, with more than 90% of the country’s population entering the lottery, far more than the number of players who usually enter Loteria Nacional!
Draws take place once a year on the evening of December 22nd and are broadcast live on national television. It is traditional for family and friends to gather in each other’s homes, while there are also community gatherings in bars, restaurants, and town squares of people watching the big draw.
Tickets remain on sale right up until the draw takes place. Due to the structure of El Gordo de Navidad and the festivities around the event, the draw itself takes around three hours!
El Gordo de Navidad is a raffle-style lottery, with all tickets being printed with a five-digit number from 00000 to 99999.
Entry costs €20, with tickets available in batches of up to 10 as Christmas gifts for loved ones, or for those happy to spend €200 on lottery tickets.
Players have the option to choose their own numbers, which is rather unique for a raffle-style lottery. These numbers can be chosen when playing online via the operator’s official website or app, or participants can go for a Quick Pick with the following options instead:
Players who buy in-store tickets will receive pre-printed numbers.
El Gordo de Navidad has a fixed jackpot of €4 million.
Due to its format, the El Gordo de Navidad jackpot is guaranteed to be won and split between multiple players, with the individual jackpot being significantly lower than the overall €4 million prize.
El Gordo de Navidad is also the world’s biggest lottery in terms of its overall prize pool, paying out around €2.4 billion every year.
The odds of winning the El Gordo de Navidad jackpot are 1 in 100,000 which are by far one of the best odds.
At least 15,205 prizes are paid out across a total of 17 prize tiers, with this number guaranteed to be more due to the popularity of this lottery.
Secondary prizes range from €200 to €1.25 million. As with the jackpot, all prizes are certain to be split between multiple players.
Due to the prize structure of El Gordo de Navidad, the odds of winning secondary prizes ranges from 1 in 100,000 to just 1 in 10, as detailed in the table below.
Players have three months to claim El Gordo de Navidad tickets, with all prizes being paid out as lump sums.
Lottery prizes exceeding €40,000 are subject to 20% income tax for Spanish residents, while overseas players should check local tax laws to find out if they need to pay additional tax at home.
Players must be at least 18 years of age to buy El Gordo de Navidad tickets, which are available from authorized lottery outlets across Spain, or online via the official Loterías y Apuestas del Estado website and mobile app.
Overseas players can enter El Gordo de Navidad online via selected Lottery Agent websites.
A special draw of the weekly Loteria Nacional game, El Gordo de Navidad is operated by Loterías y Apuestas del Estado. The first Loteria Nacional draw took place in March 1812, with the first Christmas draw taking place the same year.
Originally, El Gordo de Navidad was founded to help raise funds for the Spanish armies who were fighting wars on several fronts at that time.
El Gordo translates literally to “The Fat One,” and is named due to the “fat” jackpot and prize fund it offers. El Gordo de Navidad is not to be confused with Spain’s weekly El Gordo lottery draw, which takes place every Sunday and is a traditional lottery rather than a raffle game.