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The El Gordo Lottery


History Of El Gordo:

The frequency for the El Gordo de la Primitiva draw changed to weekly from October 1997, having been held only once a month since its launch in 1993. It is organised by Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, a group established by Royal Decree in 1985 to run national lotteries in Spain.

This lottery has undergone little alterations in structure since its launch, and continues to be a popular lottery game amongst the Spanish. The most recent game modification occurred in 2005, where an additional prize division was added to the existing eight. This increased prize winning potential for lottery game participants.

El Gordo

How To Play El Gordo:

Taking inspiration from the USA Powerball and Mega Millions structures, El Gordo de la Primitiva makes use of two separate sets of numbers, although the number ranges differ slightly. Players select their choice of numbers from the following:

- 5 from a possible 54, the primary numbers

- 1 from a possible 9, the key number

Winning the jackpot requires matching all 5 primary numbers as well as the key number.

El Gordo Jackpots:

El Gordo jackpot prizes have continued to make headlines in Spain with their record-breaking amounts. In 2006, the popular Spanish lotto jackpot was an astonishing €26 million, and a mere two years later reached €27 million.

Yet another massive jackpot win occurred in 2011, topping all previous ones at a whopping €33 million. The latest lucky winner of the El Gordo jackpot scooped a prize of €25 million on September 10th, 2012.

The starting jackpot amount is €5 million. Rollovers will occur until the jackpot is won, meaning the jackpot prize can sometimes grow to five or six times the starting amount. The jackpot amounts are, however, taxed 20% by the government for winnings over €2,500.00, subject to changes made this year.

El Gordo

When To Play El Gordo:

El Gordo de la Primitiva is played once a week, on a Sunday. Because no sales are made on Sundays, the cut-off for ticket sales is the Saturday afternoon before the draw. This applies also to online ticket sales.

The draw is held in Madrid at 1pm (GMT+1) and broadcast on Televisión Española and Radio Nacional de España.

Results are confirmed after a few hours following the draw and mailers are sent to notify winners.

El Gordo Prize Structure:

The value of the prize tiers is determined by the volume of ticket sales from the previous week.

Prize Tier Match
Jackpot 5 Balls + Key Number
Tier 2 5 Balls
Tier 3 4 Balls + Key Number
Tier 4 4 Balls
Tier 5 3 Balls + Key Number
Tier 6 3 Balls
Tier 7 2 Balls + Key Number
Tier 8 2 Balls
Tier 9 0 Balls + Key Number


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