Gambling in Spain: the Christmas Lotto is still the most popular game among Spaniards (Part2)

Loteria de Navidad Espanola

The Spanish Christmas lotto is the most popular lotto game in the world with more than 18 million players on an annual level

The Spanish gambling market is characterized by a plurality of gambling operators depending on the country’s region. And while the gambling sphere in Spain is marking stabile growth rates there is one constant that is always at its highest: it is the Spanish Christmas Lottery. As online gambling sites in Spain stress, the most popular gambling game in Spain is without doubt the Spanish Christmas Lottery (el Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad), with its El Gordo being the most desired lotto prize in the world.

The fabulous numbers behind the Spanish Christmas lottery

According to statistics from the past year, the Spanish Christmas lottery, which dates back to 1812, is considered to be the largest lottery in the world. Thus in 2015, the lottery managed to sell all pre-printed 18 million tickets with a nominal value of EUR 200. The result was that the amount available for prices in the end reached incredible EUR 2.5 billion which is 70 % of the price of all tickets sold. The Christmas Spanish lottery takes place every year on 22nd December at the Teatro Real de Madrid in Madrid, being broadcast live on national Spanish TV usually at 9.00am.

The first prize, the popular El Gordo meaning “The Fat One” is the prize that every Spanish lotto player hopes for. It got its name, not long ago, in the 2011 when the first prize ticket number was won in 2011. Since then, it became a synonymous with the first prize of the Christmas Lottery, although “el Gordo” can be used to refer to any first prize in the lotto draws.

The reason why the Spanish Christmas lottery is the largest in the world can be found in the existence of many prizes of different amounts which are attractive for the Spaniards to purchase the tickets. Usually the families buy several tickets, one for each of its members, and the nominal value of a single ticket varied in history from EUR 70 to EUR 200. Statistics of several online gambling sites in EU claims that estimate that around 70% of the adult Spaniards purchase tickets for the Christmas lottery, providing an enormous base for the first prize. 

• La loteria de Navidad is the largest lottery in the world

• The Spanish Christmas lotto is played by 70 % of the adult citizens of the country

• The favorable tax policies make the Christmas lotto even more attractive

Favorable tax policies and great chances for wining a prize
The Spanish Christmas Lottery gives each year over 10000 prizes to winning numbers, providing incredible odds for winning some of them. The totality of combinations in the Christmas Lottery amounts to 100,000 combinations which range from from 00000 to 99999. The players do not chose the lucky number but buy instead a pre-printed ticket. On each lottery ticket there is an image of a Christmas nativity scene.

30% of the sale of lottery tickets goes for the government in the form of taxes while the rest of 70% is paid out in prizes. Until 2013, as gambling news report, La Loteria de Navidad was not taxed at all. However after amendments in the law concerning the lotteries in the country 20% tax was ascribed for winnings of over EUR 2500. However, the smaller prizes of less that EUR 2500 are still free of tax and these are the most common prizes won by the Spanish residents playing the Christmas Lottery.

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