Other El Gordo Draws
Although El Gordo de Navidad is known worldwide for the large number of prizes it distributes, and the big event organised for the draw, there are also other El Gordo draws around the world. This is especially the case in South America, where some lotteries have the same name and same operating system.
The Gordo of Catalonia
The Gordo of Catalonia is La Grossa, short for La Grossa de Capo d’Any. Launched in 2013 by Loteria de Catalunya, the first ever draw was held at the National Theatre of Catalonia. The annual raffle-style draw takes place every New Year’s Eve, and there are some incredible prizes on offer ahead of this year’s draw on Sunday 31st December.
Exclusive to Catalan residents, raffle tickets can be bought for €5 online and offline from over 2,200 official outlets and lottery retailers throughout Catalonia. There are 80,000 numbers for sale, ranging from 0 to 79,999, and players can choose which numbers they would like, unlike the El Gordo de Navidad where there are pre-printed numbers.
Fifty balls are split into five groups of ten, numbered from 0 to 9. One ball from each group is drawn to form the five-digit winning number. This process is repeated five times, once for each prize.
There are five main prizes in La Grossa for matching all five numbers:
- La Grossa First prize = €20,000 per euro played - €100,000 per €5 ticket
- Second prize = €6,500 per euro played - €32,500 per €5 ticket
- Third prize = €3,000 per euro played - €15,000 per €5 ticket
- Fourth prize = €1,000 per euro played - €5,000 per €5 ticket
- Fifth prize = €500 per euro played - €2,500 per €5 ticket
Around 20% of the money raised from the ticket sales is donated to programmes for children, adolescents, the elderly and disabled.
The Gordo of Mexico
The Mexican Gordo is one of the oldest lottery draws in the world, dating back to the Viceroyalty era where Mexico was still known as New Spain. The Royal Lottery of New Spain was established in 1770, so we can assume the national lottery in Spain was implemented off the back of the model of the Mexican National Lottery.
The proceeds from the Mexican lottery were donated to a public charity, helping the lottery to raise money that would be used for various public and private projects, including during the government reign of Porfirio Diaz where proceeds were used to help construct the General Hospital, the Asylum of the Casandea and the Morisco Kiosk. The National Lottery for the Public Assistance was officially established in August 1920 where the primary objective was to collect funds for public duties.
The Mexican Gordo takes place on 24th December and uses the same raffle system as the Spanish El Gordo except that tickets are divided by twentieths instead of tenths. This means there are twenty tickets for each billete.
The price of each twentieth is MX$100, with the cost of a whole ticket coming to MX$2,000. The Spanish Gordo is more accessible than its Mexican counterpart, with the price per tenth costing €20 and whole tickets priced at €200.
The Mexican Gordo jackpot is MX$200,000,000, divided into four series, generating a win of MX$2.5 million for a $100 stake. It distributes a total of 16,722 prizes and reimbursements for each of the four series, having a total prize fund of MX$397 million between the four series.
A total of 80,000 numbers are printed in the four series. This draw also has one of the best odds of winning, as the chances of getting any prize are 1 in 5.
The Gordo of Argentina
The National Lottery of Argentina was established in 1893, and at the time it was part of a State Society. The Argentinian Gordo takes place around 24th December, and the prizes distributed have been increasing in value ever since the first draw.
The lottery is very similar to the Spanish Gordo, with each ticket divided into tenths. It distributes three main prizes, calling its jackpot prize El Gordo (The Fat One) in reference to Santa Claus because this is a more recognisable Christmas symbol compared to the Three Magic Kings.
There is normally a jackpot winner every year, except for 1993 where the winning number 8078 wasn’t guessed for the first ever time in the lottery’s history, resulting in a vacant prize. The number 6 is the most common end number, with 8 the least common.
The prize fund for the Argentinian Gordo was ARS35 million in 2016, slightly higher than 2015’s total of ARS30 million. This figure may continue to rise if the number of printed tickets increase. It is now possible to play this lottery from the official retailers in Argentina.