This year’s El Gordo TV advert online

Children call out the winning numbers Credit: Screenshot YouTube

The Annual Christmas Lottery in Spain is treated as a real spectacular with children singing out the numbers as the El Gordo (Fat One) draw is broadcast on TV with a large audience present in Madrid’s Teatro Real.

Have you seen the advert?

The TV advert for the lottery is a bit like the John Lewis advert in the UK and this year is promoted with the phrase ‘There´s no greater luck than having each other’.

It tells the story of a young woman who is so burdened by members of the family asking her to do things for them, including her father who wants to ensure that she buys the lottery ticket that she wishes that everyone would disappear.

The following morning, the city is empty and at first she is excited to be alone and free to do whatever she wants and then she sees her father’s name on her phone and tries to contact him but he has disappeared with everyone else.

Passing by an empty Lottery store she goes in and takes a 10th ticket and leaves the €20 it costs and returns to her father’s home where she leaves the ticket and then falls asleep.

In the morning she is woken by the noise of the Christmas draw and then has a joyous reunion with her father and gives him the ticket.

Want to win €4 million?

This year, prize money had increased to €2.5 billion with the first prize number worth €4 million but unlike many lotteries around the world, there isn’t just one prize winning ticket but there will be thousands with some numbers being distributed across Spain whereas sometimes a particular region has one number exclusively.

Although profits from the lottery go to the Government but they benefit two fold as you may only win up to €40,000 before paying 20 per cent tax, so if you hold the entire winning ticket from the €4 million you have won, you will pay €720,000 in tax!

Each ticket is divided into 10 pieces (decimos) and for each tenth (which costs €20) you own, you receive a tenth of prize value but the lottery is quite generous with second price worth €1.25 million, third prize €500,000, fourth prize €200,000 and a host of €60,000 prizes

It is estimated that some 75 per cent of the population of Spain purchase anything from a decimo to a whole ticket in El Gordo and many workmates, clubs and families share the cost of buying tickets.

Don’t overlook El Niño

If you aren’t lucky in El Gordo, then there is still a chance to go for another large lottery, this one known as El Niño (the little one) where there is €700 million as prizes and this draw takes place on January 6 (Epiphany), the day after the visit of the Three Kings bearing gifts.

History buffs will be interested to know that the first Christmas lottery in Spain took place in December 1812 in order to try to raise funds to buy bullets and arms in order to fight Napoleon’s troops who were besieging the Andalucian city of Cadiz.

Originally confined to Andalucia, it spread to the rest of Spain and the organisation moved to Madrid which is where the National Lottery is managed from, to this day.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page