Some pundits are of the opinion that the Spanish lottery is the biggest of its kind in the world. The lottery in Spain is called La Primitiva and it operates on a twice weekly basis. The Spanish lottery is run by the National Organisation of Lotteries and Bets of Spain and guarantees both a minimum prize and a jackpot prize somewhere in the region of 22 million euros, which makes it an attractive prospect to lottery players.
When you play the Spanish lottery you have to choose five numbers from a selection of 54 as well as another number between nine and zero. The person with all five numbers and the extra number has the jackpot and draws are held on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The odds of winning the Spanish lottery are almost 14 million to one. Another bonus of the Spanish lottery is that winners don’t have to pay tax on their winnings. What really confuses the issue in Spain is that there is more than one version of La Primitiva around.
Aside from the twice weekly lottery draws, here are three other major lottery draws in Spain that take place on an annual basis, the San Ildefonso super draw is held in July, the El Nino lottery is held in January and the Christmas El Gordo is drawn towards the end of December. El Gordo is one of the biggest lotteries in the world because it crosses 2 billion euros.
El Gordo is the most popular lottery in Spain and it is a matter of tradition that around 98% of the Spanish population takes part in this lottery draw on an annual basis. El Gordo is so popular that numbers are collected within a family and then handed down from one generation to the next.
Massive prizes that total in excess of a billion Euros each year is the chief reason for the popularity of the El Gordo lottery. The people also tend to collect old lottery tickets because the draw at Christmas time has meant the inclusion of religious scenes printed on the lottery tickets.
The winning numbers for the El Gordo lottery draw are taken from two large round cages. In one of the cages the numbers are printed on balls and placed there, while in the other cage the balls are placed and are treated as if they were the prizes. It takes around twelve hours or half a day for all the numbers in this lottery to be drawn.
Instead of a master of ceremonies drawing out the winning numbers, they are drawn out by school children who sing the numbers as they take them from the cage. The El Gordo lottery draw is broadcast on both radio and television with most of the country either listening to or watching the proceedings.
In the El Gordo lottery there is a series of 85,000 numbers to be drawn from each series is sub-divided and families tend to pool their money to buy tickets for this lottery. Figures tend to suggest that the Spanish spend more per head on gambling each year than anywhere else in Europe.