El Gordo Review - The Spanish Christmas Lottery under the Spotlight

Every year, almost all of Spain takes part in the so-called El Gordo Christmas lottery, whose prizes are drawn two days before Christmas Eve. Winnings are distributed over 17 prize categories and total 2.4 billion euros, so that the end of the year is often crowned by a real windfall. Since the chances of winning are very high and the Spanish lottery El Gordo seems much more lucrative than the “6 out of 49” lottery, it is not surprising that participants from abroad also want a piece of the pie. I’ll tell you everything you need to know below.

Worth Knowing about El Gordo in a Nutshell

  • The Spanish Christmas Lottery is a major gambling event in Spain.
  • Every year, more than 80% of all tickets are sold
  • The total value of all prizes is 2.4 billion euros
  • The probability of winning is almost three times higher than in the German lottery
  • “El Gordo” means “the fat one” and stands for the main prize of the lottery.
  • There are a total of 100,000 ticket numbers

The Basics: This is How El Gordo is Structured

A total of 100,000 tickets are offered by the Spanish Christmas Lottery, numbered 00000 to 99999. The tickets now cost 229.90 euros and are thus quite expensive – which is why they are usually sold in tenths. The tickets themselves are also perforated for this purpose; winners of a tenth can look forward to a tenth of the winning sum after the draw. 15,000 prizes are distributed over 17 prize categories, so that in addition to the main prize of four million euros, there are also other attractive prizes to be won. While in the past the tickets could only be purchased in state sales outlets, today it is also possible to buy your El Gordo chances online.

How To Play El Gordo

If you want to play El Gordo, you can look forward to a particularly simple procedure. Tickets are available in local outlets from June or July each year – but online it’s often possible to secure your own chances of winning from as early as February. Online and also on site, any ticket number between 00000 and 99999 can be selected, provided it is still available. Then it is a matter of choosing from the desired denomination. While a whole lot appears to be quite expensive at more than 200 euros, hundredths can be bought for just over four euros. These denominations have also become common, so you can adapt them to your needs:

  • Half a lot
  • One fifth
  • One tenth
  • One twentieth
  • One fiftieth
  • One hundredth

As you can see, the Spanish Christmas Lottery allows you to participate even on a slightly smaller budget. In Spain, it is common to share an entire El Gordo ticket as a family or group and then divide the winnings among all participants – this creates even more excitement at the draw.

Ziehungsbälle der El Gordo Lotterie
The Spanish draw balls for El Gordo are made of wood and are spun in a very large drum.

This is How the Profits are Divided

There are a total of 17 El Gordo prize pools, so it is not always easy for newcomers to keep an overview of the El Gordo prize sorting. The main prize of the lottery is the El Gordo, i.e. a fat prize of four million euros. All prizes are paid out through 170 tickets, so there is already €680 million to be won through the main pot alone. The main prize is followed by these types of prizes:

  1. Second prize of 1.25 million euros
  2. Third prize is 500,000 euros
  3. Fourth prize is awarded with two times 200,000 euros
  4. There are a total of eight fifth prizes of 60,000 euros
  5. 1,794 other prizes amount to 1,000 euros

In addition to these main prizes, there are also other prizes to be discovered that are more than just a small consolation prize. These are the ticket numbers directly before and after the main prize ticket number, which are rewarded with up to 20,000 euros each. In addition, some tickets can get their purchase price back if they have not won. All they have to do is match their last digit with the last number of the main prize ticket. It is precisely the consolation prizes that make the Spanish lottery so attractive.

El Gordo Christmas Lottery Win Probabilities

The El Gordo probability of winning is exactly 5.68 percent – so every sixth El Gordo ticket can bring a respectable sum. Of course, it is not yet clear what exactly the winning amount will be. About one tenth of all buyers can get back the price of the ticket. A little more than 84 percent of all tickets turn out to be a loser. These figures show: With a probability of winning of just under six percent, the Spanish lottery offers higher chances of winning than the German lottery with about two percent. 


Probability of Winning

El Gordo Christmas lottery


El Gordo Easter lottery


Lotto 6 out of 45


Are There Other El Gordo Lotteries?

Besides the famous Christmas lottery in Spain, there are other El Gordo lotteries to discover. There is a Summer lottery, an Easter lottery and a Halloween lottery. All variants ring in the holidays or holiday periods with a particularly exciting event. In Spain, many festive periods are therefore also associated with the thrill of the Spanish lottery. 

Watch El Gordo 2021 Draw Live - Christmas Thrills Guaranteed

Logo der staatlichen Glücksspielbehörde Spaniens
The Spanish gambling authority of state nature holds more than 10,000 sales points of the El Gordo tickets.

The draw for the El Gordo lottery winners takes place live on television every year on 22 December, so you can follow the whole thing full of excitement. However, many online providers also make it possible to attend the draw live in order to experience the thrill directly. However, those who cannot be there live do not have to miss out on their winnings: The draw results are also published on the official website of the Loterias Y Apuestas del Estado.  There are also online lottery ticket providers who will inform you directly by e-mail when you win. 

Conclusion on the Spanish Christmas Lottery

It is not for nothing that the Spanish lottery at Christmas time inspires so many participants from all over the world: Especially in Europe, the El Gordo lottery is known for bringing quite high chances of winning. It is not only the odds themselves that win participants over, but also the uncertainties about what prize one can dust off oneself. Because no fortune has to be raised to participate and the thrill is heightened by the pre-Christmas draw, it is a great way to test your luck. Entire villages have been known to win large chunks of the prize money in Spain. 

FAQs: All Questions about El Gordo 2021 Clarified

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions that might be of interest to you. With these, I will go into the topic even more intensively and prepare you so that everyone can start playing. Although it is a lottery that is easy to understand, you should inform yourself in advance about El Gordo 2021 – in order to make the most of your chances of winning.

How much does an El Gordo Christmas Lottery ticket cost?

As things stand, a whole lot of the El Gordo 2021 is sold for 229.90 euros. Proportions of the lots are proportionally somewhat more expensive, as they are subject to fees charged by the providers. For example, a tenth does not cost you 29.90 euros, but can be had for around 32.90 euros with most providers. If you want to play in a group, you should therefore buy whole tickets if possible. 

Can you play El Gordo in Germany?

In fact, playing El Gordo is also possible for you as a German participant, as has been shown. Lottery sites already hold tickets to El Gordo 2021 now, so that you can already purchase the desired number ticket if you are interested.

Where can you buy an El Gordo ticket?

The El Gordo ticket is available either through the official state sales outlets or through online lottery providers. The latter may charge minor fees, but in return they usually offer all the ticket numbers you want. So if you want to get your lucky number through, you’ve come to the right place online. 

When do you get paid your El Gordo lottery winnings?

It all depends on when you submit your ticket to the state gambling authority. The ticket must be submitted within three months, and then it can take up to three weeks until the prize arrives after verification. Nevertheless, the joy of the winners during the Christmas season is very great, as has been shown year after year. To ensure that the ticket is not lost, the El Gordo ticket should be submitted as soon as possible.

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