World Biggest El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery 2023-24

Lottery World Biggest El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery 2023-24

What is El Gordo Spanish Lottery

El Gordo” translates to “the Fat One” in English. It’s the nickname for the first prize-winning ticket number in the Spanish Christmas Lottery, officially known as El Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad, often shortened to ‘Lotería de Navidad.’ So, when people talk about “El Gordo,” they’re referring to the big prize number, not the entire lottery.

El gordo spanish christmas lottery

El Gordo – the Biggest Lottery in the World

El Gordo is the world’s biggest lottery. It gives out more prize money than any other lottery, making it the largest lottery payout globally. It’s no surprise that over 75% of people in Spain buy El Gordo tickets or shares in it every year.

The first El Gordo lottery happened in 1812, and it was started by the government to gather funds for the Spanish troops fighting against Napoleon’s armies. The 209th draw is scheduled for December 22, 2022. Until 2013, all the prizes didn’t have any taxes, but after that, they started taxing the winnings.

The El Gordo lottery is always held on the 22nd of December in the morning.

The El Gordo lottery draw begins live at 9 a.m. (CET time) in Spain and is broadcasted on TV and online. It’s a significant event in Spain, shown live on TV every year on December 22nd. This year, the draw will be on Friday, December 22, 2023.

tax on winning lotteries

Tax on Winnings

Starting from 2013, if you win a lot in the lottery (more than 40,000 Euros), the government takes a 20% tax from your winnings. So, if you’re lucky enough to win big, the tax comes out of your prize money.

The Spanish government handles the lottery draw. They get 30% of the money people spend on lottery tickets as taxes, and the remaining 70% is given out as prizes. In 2022, a total of over 2,520 million euros will be given as prize money.

What is the Price of an El Gordo Lottery Ticket?

An El Gordo ticket is like a set of 10 smaller tickets, and it’s called a ‘billete.’ They all have the same number, and this ticket costs 200 Euros. If you only want one of these smaller tickets, it’s called a ‘décimo,’ and it costs 20 Euros. Sometimes, people in a group or a bar will split a décimo into even smaller parts, like tenths or twentieths, and these are called ‘participaciones.

Spanish Christmas lottery ticket

Where Can I buy an El Gordo Ticket?

You have two main ways to get El Gordo tickets in Spain. One way is online through the official El Gordo website by the Spanish Lottery organization. But the more exciting way is to buy them at your local bar. If you win, everyone else who got tickets from the same bar wins too, which can include many people in a village. On the day of the draw, the bar is usually crowded, and the atmosphere is filled with excitement as people wait to see if their number is called. If there’s a win, the celebration begins right away. You can also buy tickets from lottery offices all over Spain. At these offices, you can only get full tickets or smaller ones. For smaller parts, called ‘participaciones,’ you can buy them at bars, offices, or from your family and friends.

When is the Best Time to get El Gordo Tickets?

El Gordo tickets go on sale in the middle of July.

Who Draws the El Gordo Numbers

Kids from San Ildefonso Elementary School in Madrid, which used to be an orphanage, are the ones who pick the winning numbers for El Gordo. They do this in a special ceremony at the Teatro Real de Madrid. The kids, known as ‘los niños de San Ildefonso,’ pick two wooden balls from big golden drums. One drum has all the ticket numbers, and the other has the prizes. They call out a ticket number from one drum and then sing out the prize amount from the other drum. This ceremony is called ‘el soniquete de los Niños de San Ildefonso.’

There’s a story that says these kids used to sing Christmas carols in the streets, and that’s how they got noticed by city and lottery officials. The officials thought orphans wouldn’t cheat, so they asked them to draw the winning numbers. It’s interesting that only boys did this until 1984 when the first girls joined the lottery announcement.

El Gordo Winning Prize Money

In 2022, the El Gordo Christmas lottery had a massive prize of 2.5 billion euros. People bought tickets worth 3.3 billion euros, and there were 170 million tickets in total. About 15,304 winning ticket numbers got a share of the 2.5 billion euros in different amounts. This makes El Gordo the world’s biggest lottery, with the largest prize money given out in a single draw.”

How El Gordo prize work?

The first prize in El Gordo goes to one special number. Let me explain with an example.

In 2006, the winning number was 20297, and the prize was 3 million euros. This number, 20297, had 180 series, so the 3 million euros was given out 180 times to each full sheet or ticket with that number.

This means the total amount paid for the first prize was 180 times 3 million, which equals 540 million euros.

Now, if you had a ‘décimo,’ which is a tenth of a ticket, for the number 20297 in 2006, you won a share of the 3 million prize for each ticket in the series. So, a ‘décimo’ for the number 20297 won 300,000 euros in 2006.”

In 2022, the top prize for El Gordo is 4 million euros, and it goes to one special winning number. There will be 180 sets of this winning number, so the 4 million euros will be given 180 times to each full sheet or ticket with that number. This adds up to a total payout of 720 million euros for the top prize.

If you have a full ticket (billete) with all 10 ‘décimo’ tickets of the winning number, you win a share of the 4 million prize because you have one of the 180 sets with the winning number. So, a ‘décimo,’ which is a tenth of the winning number, will get you 400,000 euros in 2022.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the prizes:

  • 1st prize El Gordo: 4 million euros for 1 full ticket
  • 2nd prize: 1.25 million euros for 1 full ticket
  • 3rd prize: 500,000 euros for 1 full ticket
  • 4th prize: 200,000 euros for 2 numbers on 1 full ticket
  • 5th prize: 60,000 euros for 8 numbers on 1 full ticket

After that, there are smaller prizes, ranging from 20,000 euros down to the smallest, which is 1,000 euros, called ‘la pedrea’ or ‘the stones.’ La Pedrea pays 1,000 euros on a full ticket, so you get 100 euros for a ‘décimo’ ticket. Some Pedrea winners use the 100 euros to enter the next big lottery, ‘Lotería de el Niño,’ which always takes place on January 6th. The smallest prizes are 200 euros for a full ticket, which covers the 20-euro cost of a ‘décimo’ lottery ticket.

What are the Odds of Winning at El Gordo?

Some folks believe El Gordo tickets give you a 15% or 30% shot at winning, but the real chance is lower, about 5%. Even though it’s not as high as some might think, having a 1 in 20 chance is still pretty good.

How to Claim Your Winnings

If you win smaller amounts, up to €1000, you can get your money at the lottery ticket offices in Spain. For bigger wins, you can go to specific banks like BBVA, Santander, Banco Popular, and CaixaBanc. The banks don’t take a fee or make you open an account to get your lottery money. You can also reach out to the Spanish lottery organization, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, on their website or by calling +34 902112313.

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