El Gordo Or EuroMillions? You Decide

Which Is Better? EuroMillions Or El Gordo

Spanish Christmas Lottery Ticket. Credit: Yana Demenko/Shutterstock.com

Every Christmas in Spain the tradition of El Gordo is played out, but why has it reputedly become the biggest lottery in the world?

The Spanish Christmas Lottery, otherwise known as El Gordo, literally ‘the fat one,’ is renowned for being the world’s biggest lottery, boasting a prize fund surpassing €2 billion. The lottery is drawn annually in Madrid on December 22, takes hours to complete and has garnered immense international popularity.

El Gordo

It originated in 1812 in Cadiz and has become a deeply ingrained tradition in Spain. With the top prize being around €4 million. However, El Gordo‘s widespread appeal largely stems from its capacity to spread wealth among a vast number of people.

It’s not uncommon for entire communities to share the joy of winning, making this lottery a symbol of collective prosperity, hence its slogan ‘The greatest prize is sharing.’

A full ticket, ‘Billete’ will set you back €200, hence they are often purchased collectively, or one can buy a tenth of a ticket, known as a ‘decimo.’ Players don’t have to pick the numbers themselves, it’s more of a raffle.


EuroMillions is one of Europe’s oldest transnational lotteries it was launched in 2004 by just three countries, the UK, France and Spain. Other countries soon joined in such as: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland, making nine in all.

The draws occur twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a minimum guaranteed jackpot of €17 million and a maximum of €250 million.

The cost of a single line on a ticket is relatively cheap at €2.50. Players have to select five main numbers and two Lucky Stars/jackpot numbers to participate. Despite the high odds of winning the jackpot, a staggering 1 in 139,838,160, it remains a popular choice among lottery enthusiasts.

Top Five EuroMillions Winners In Spain

October 6, 2017 €190,000,000 Las Palmas, G. Canaria
July 7, 2020 €144,542,315 Mayorga, Valladolid
June 13, 2014 €137,313,501 Parla, Madrid
February 7, 2020 €130,000,000 Madrid
September 25, 2020 €130,000,000 Valladolid

In terms of preference, both lotteries appeal to different audiences due to their unique features: El Gordo with its communal aspect and EuroMillions with its large jackpot sizes. If in doubt one could always play both.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.