How to Play
El Gordo is easy to play and because it only takes place once a year on the 22nd of December there is always a great deal of excitement and anticipation in the air as the draw begins.
El Gordo is a raffle game for which a set number of tickets are sold, all with pre-generated codes. Each ticket belongs to one of 160 series, each of which contains a set number of prizes. The top prize, also known as El Gordo, offers one ticket in each series the chance to win €4 million. There are other prizes available in each series for raffle codes which come close to the winning code drawn, right down to a Reintegro prize of €200 for the tickets which have the same final number as the number drawn for the El Gordo prize.
The number of series as well as the number of prizes in each series may vary from year to year, but one thing remains the same - the huge amount of prize money available!
Tickets are printed and sold in ticket series which means that you purchase tickets that come with a number on so you don't get to select your own.
Players can choose to buy a full ticket, which is known as a billete and costs €200, or purchase a fraction of a ticket, called a décimo, for €20. As buying a billete can be quite costly, it is very common for groups to pool their money to reduce the costs of buying a full El Gordo ticket.
As 70 percent of the money raised through El Gordo ticket sales is allocated to funding prizes, it's easy to see why this is the world's biggest and most profitable lottery game.
The El Gordo rules are straightforward and easy to understand, even if you have never played the game before. These rules and regulations for the El Gordo were established by the State Lotteries Company (SELAE) to ensure that the game is fair and that players know what to expect when they participate. The main El Gordo rules are as follows:
- Players must be 18 or older to buy El Gordo tickets.
- All El Gordo prizes worth more than €2,500 are subject to a tax of 20 percent.
- This yearly draw takes place in Madrid and is organised by the Spanish Government.
- Players must claim their El Gordo prizes as soon as possible as prizes will expire in 90 days if no winner comes forward. If you think you are an El Gordo winner, it is worth contacting lottery officials and claiming your prize as soon as possible.
You can grab tickets in minutes when you play El Gordo online, giving yourself the chance to win a portion of a huge prize pool whether you live in Spain or not. You will be able to select from a range of different tickets, all with different combinations of numbers. Pick the ones you would like to buy shares (décimos) of and pay for them. You will receive a scanned copy of the tickets - all you have to do is wait for the draw to take place on the 22nd of December. If your ticket is drawn and you become an El Gordo winner, you will receive an email notification from the online service. Smaller prizes will be paid out into your player account, while large prizes will need to be claimed in person.
Playing at a Local Retailer
There are a number of offline lottery outlets throughout Spain that sell El Gordo tickets. Simply visit an authorised retailer and buy a décimo or billete, whichever you prefer. You will then be given a hard copy of your ticket. Keep it in a safe place, as you will need to produce your El Gordo ticket to lottery officials if you win a prize.