El Gordo Christmas Lottery
– €2.4 Billion of Spanish Crazy

It’s crazy popular in Spain, and not greatly understood beyond those borders. But I have to admit, I love the bizarre old El Gordo Christmas lottery. It’s €2.4 Billion of total wackiness.

I mean, just look at this – what other lottery draw creates this kind of build up? There’s a rabid buzz in the air. People are foaming at the mouth and starting to go a little crazy…:-

This is a behind the scenes video shot during a previous draw. The draw machine is on stage somewhere behind all the mad melee.

This is El Gordo – Normal Rules Do Not Apply

For those who haven’t seen it before, the level of excitement is pretty odd just for a lottery draw.

Spain as a whole loves the Christmas El Gordo lottery draw. It’s part of being Spanish to play in this draw.

Note: I hope you love any products I recommend here as much as I do. But just so you know, this site may receive a small share of the purchase price if you do buy as a result of following a link on this page. It doesn’t affect my opinion or the price you pay.

So What Is Christmas El Gordo?

As the name suggests this is a once per year special lottery draw. It’s drawn on 22nd December every year in Spain.

What makes it totally unique is the incredible size of the prize fund – €2.4 BILLION. And the vast number of actual prizes it pays out – hundreds of jackpots alone.

It’s also quite different in how you play it – as it’s more of a ‘raffle’ than a traditional lottery game.

El Gordo Christmas Lottery Prizes

Here’s just the top prizes for the Christmas El Gordo:-

  • 170 x €4 Million prizes
  • 170 x €1.25 Million prizes
  • 170 x €500,000 prizes
  • 340 x €200,000 prizes
  • 1,360 x €60,000 prizes
  • 304,980 x €1,000 prizes

Then there are all sort of bonus prizes for things like matching the numbers picked before and after the 3 major prize winning numbers (that’s 340 x €20,000). And so it goes on.

So as you can see there are actually hundreds of jackpot prizes here. Nothing massive, just lots of them – which is just the way it should be. Who cares if 1 person wins 400 Million, I want to see 100 of you all win 4 Million instead!

In all there are nearly 3 million individual prizes paid out!

More Madness – The El Gordo Draw Process

It’s also part of being Spanish to spend hours watching the big draw on TV.

And it does take hours too. About 3 hours in all.

That’s because El Gordo pays out thousands of different prizes. And each prize is also drawn out of a ball machine too.

So first they draw a winning number from one machine, then the prize that ball has won from the next machine.

You already know your number has won, but you then have to sit and watch them draw the actual amount. It could be €100 or it could be €4 Million..!

Now there’s a tense few seconds in anyones life…?

Here’s a short video of the El Gordo draw in action. Bet you’ve never seen draw machines like this before:-

You can see (and hear) the school children from San Ildefonso school collecting the balls from the draw cages. And then singing out the winning results (in Spanish of course)!

It’s tradition that pairs of children from the school are involved every year. They sing out the winning numbers whilst they deliver each of the lucky winning balls to the officials sat at their desk overseeing the madness.

The whole draw process goes on for THREE hours.

It’s the World’s LONGEST Lottery Draw.

There are 100,000 differently numbered balls in the large drum (the numbers that appear on your tickets), and the smaller drum contains balls marked with the prize amounts.
They draw thousands of numbers from a huge drum, and each one wins a different prize.

The whole draw takes place on TV, and all of Spain is gripped with excitement, for HOURS!

Here’s another older video of the draw from back in 2009:-

It’s like some weird mass hypnosis voodoo or something.

How To Play El Gordo Christmas Lottery

To play El Gordo you buy a ticket which already has the number printed on it like this:-
El Gordo ticket

So the numbers that get drawn are those big 5 digit numbers at the top (in this case 12345). The numbers range from 00000 to 99999, and there is a lot of tradition and superstition around the numbers. Certain areas and families have been playing the same numbers for generations.

You can’t choose any number yourself as the tickets come ready printed. You can only choose from the selection available at the store you buy from (in person in Spain or online).

So tickets are more expensive than most lottery draws, but it’s great fun for a once a year punt.

WARNING: Buying El Gordo tickets online is a mine field!

You can buy tickets from various online ticket sellers. But what you get for your money does vary dramatically.

A standard ‘decimo’ ticket costs €20 if you buy it from a vendor in Spain. So if you can, buy them yourself or get a friend in Spain to.

Online, expect to pay double – that’s normal. But don’t get stung by the rip-off companies who charge a lot more than that (I’ve seen up to SEVEN times normal price before!).

This year I recommend you get your tickets from here. You get a fair price, and these guys have been around since 2002 (a lifetime in online terms).

Note for USA: sorry, but if you’re in the USA, you’re pretty much out of luck. Restrictions are so heavy for you folks living in the US now, that there is currently nowhere that I can recommend for you to get tickets (write to your Senator and ask them why they make it so hard for you to play in overseas lottery games, and what happened to the land of the free!).

Spanish Lottery’s El Gordo Christmas Advert (2019)

Something else that is eagerly awaited each Christmas is the new El Gordo TV advert for the draw. It’s always a very polished and expensive affair. This is a famous old Spanish institution after all (200 years of history right here). The adverts have become like mini-movies.

This year instead of one long advert we have a series of 4 shorter ones. No english subtitles yet, but if your Spanish is good, enjoy (or if you don’t speak Spanish, enjoy last years ad with subtitles here):-

The 2018 Ad With Subtitles:-

El Gordo 2016 TV ad

El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery Results

You probably won’t see the El Gordo draw live, unless you have a satellite feed from Spain (or er, live there!). It’s broadcast by TVE and RNE.

The results are also available from the Spanish lottery site after the draw is over (not quite as exciting). The english version of the site is here, but the translation is far from perfect.

El Gordo 2019 Results

Here’s the results for the last draw, which was 22nd December 2019:-

PrizeWinning Numbers
2019 El Gordo Results
4th41710, 49797
5th06293, 23059, 54527, 66212, 69823, 74770, 75206, 81610

And here are some of the previous El Gordo results:-

31 Comments so far ↓

  • John Mori

    I have sent a check to a lady in Canada, to have a chance at 10% of the winnings through her lottery syndicate. Michelle Brown, also sells Medals of Luck. I am hoping this is a legitimate offering. Do you have any information that would refute this? Thanks for your time, and good luck in your lottery endeavours.

    • LG

      Not sure who she is – do you have any more details (web address?), where did you hear about her? The ‘medals of luck’ bit is not giving me great confidence… 🙂

      • John Mori

        A short while back, I requested information about Michele Brown, from Medals of Luck, and entering the El Gordo. You needed more information, so here it is. Michele Brown, Medals of Luck, 43 Samson Blvd, Main Floor, LAVAL QC H7X 3R8, Canada.

        I hope this is legitimate for El Gordo entry. Thanks for your help.

      • LG

        Well, 43 Samson Blvd is a UPS store where they rent mailboxes. Although that doesn’t mean anything.

        But I’ve never heard of Michele Brown’s syndicate… and I can’t find any trace of her online. Again, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad – but it would make me wary of sending her any money. And the ‘Medals Of Luck’ bit makes me somewhat nervous…

        How did you hear about her?

    • Lorraine Royal

      I want to know too. I did the same thing.

  • Vince Anderson

    El Gordo seems to be a lot of fun. Since it’s a once in a year event, I want to give it a shot. Please give me more details of how I can become a part of El Gordo syndicate to improve my chances of winning at this lottery game.

  • GiGi

    I have been getting crosses and religious medals from Michelle Brown since 2009. But stopped last year. Once in a while I went for the 10% bit but won nothing.

    This lady, I believe, is quite religious. However she now has a partner ‘Valerie Love’ a mystic with crystal ball, who does not keep her word. Her literature says if you don’t have good experiences with her offerings she ‘will give double your money back’. I asked for my money to be refunded, and her reply was, No, she was going to “reinvest” the money in the lottery.

    I wrote back contesting this and have not heard back from her since. The list of scammers is growing bigger each year, many painting a rosy picture and drawing people in so that they can get their money. Keep clear of offers that sound ” too good to be true”.

    • LG

      Thanks for that GiGi – hopefully it will serve as a useful warning and help anyone else getting caught out. I won’t let my personal opinion get in the way too much other than to say mystics and psychics are a load of crystal balls… 😉

  • Yaya

    I think this is another scam. Beware of whomever is asking for money and if they promise to refund your money and do not follow through, then it’s time to bring it to the attention of authorities who will take action. Either to shut down that operation or to make them give back money to those who have paid Michelle Brown. Maybe 60 Minutes should investigate!

    • Edward Melnychuk

      I too received a too-good-to-be-true letter from Valerie, Michelle, and Eva. And sent them some cash! I’ve heard from them several more times always introduced as “you are our special and true friend… Please write us back as soon as you can!”. Along with a picture of three gorgeous ladies in low-cut gowns. And the return address is Laval, Quebec. Ciao, cheers, Edward

  • A.B

    I purchased these beautiful medals from Michelle and in return, although most of them are missing I received a three or six month 9 number, group play lottery ticket depending on the purchase price. We only get a share of the wins.

    So far I haven’t won anything yet, but they have won free tickets and maybe some four number wins. Now they are selling group play tickets for the Spanish EL Gordo Lottery.

    I dont know how they purchase the tickets or if they do at all, I take them at their word and hope to win. In time I hope to find out if they are for real.

    • LG

      Well, I think you’re being far too trusting.

      GiGi above says they don’t honour their guarantee. Now you’re saying they don’t tell you what numbers you’re playing or give any evidence of the tickets bought. (I wasn’t sure what was missing? ‘Medals’ or numbers, but that doesn’t sound promising either!)

      Never play in a syndicate that doesn’t tell you the numbers you are playing BEFORE the draw. If you want to play the Spanish lotteries in a proper syndicate, use BFL. If you just want to play in a syndicate, read more about lottery syndicates and the ones I think are best here.

    • GiGi

      I got yet another offer from Valerie Love offering me double my money back if I did not win. I wrote her to remind her she was at it again and did not keep her word. I have not heard back. Do not waste your money on these two people.

  • A.B.

    Would like to hear from Michelle and Valerie about how they purchase their tickets, the numbers they play for us and all relevant info regarding such. I heard there is a draw coming up in July. Surely there is a right way of doing things. Let us find out if this is all good and do it right so we can all profit and feel good about it.
    Thanks and let us please hear from you all soon.

    • LG

      You’re talking about the ‘Medals Of Luck’ people again aren’t you?

      If you don’t know how the syndicate works, if they even buy the tickets or the numbers they play – why on earth would you give them any money?

      There IS a right way of doing things, and I’ve never heard of a genuine syndicate operating in this manner.

      Yes, there is a big Spanish draw coming up in July – sometimes called the Summer El Gordo, or San Ildefonso Draw. If you want to play it, I recommend you play with a real syndicate.

  • Felicia

    The only lotteries I buy online are the lotteries that are offered by the official lottery corporation for my province. To be honest I don’t buy lotteries online often anymore, now I mostly just stick to buying them at local convenient stores.

    There was this one time a couple of years ago that I was looking into buying international lotteries from a website (forget what the name of it is now), I asked them if they would sign my name on the lottery ticket after they have purchased it and sent a scanned picture of the lottery that they supposedly bought for you, and they said that they don’t/won’t sign any tickets. That in itself I thought was suspicious. Be careful folks, best thing and proven thing to do is go out to a store and physically buy a ticket and sign that ticket. Heck, I don’t even split the cost of the the lottery with anyone as of late, I figure it’s best to manage these sort of things on your own, easier that way.

    • LG

      I’m not really surprised at an online company not signing the backs of tickets for you. They were probably buying thousands of tickets every draw. And putting players names on the backs of all of those is a lot of extra work, for no real benefit. I mean, if they really wanted to con you, it would be real easy to scan and then photoshop names onto tickets anyway. See what I mean?

      You do have a legal agreement with any company or syndicate that you play with, and should always know exactly what numbers and tickets will be bought before every draw. That isn’t happening with ‘Michelle Brown’ from what people are saying here – but it DOES happen with all normal trustworthy syndicates I’ve ever come across.

  • Chantal Guignard

    I just received another letter from Michelle Brown and Valerie Love offering me to participate in their new lottery group called : The 7 Countries Ultimate Lottery Group. The countries involved in this lottery group are : Canada, Italy, USA, Europe, Australia, Japan and Spain. They are in the order given on the letter. One month 28 $ or 20 $ cash. Two months 38 $ or 30 $ cash. Three months 48 $ or 40 $ cash. And the last : Six months for 68 $ or 60 $ cash. If you send a check you pay the biggest amount or you can send cash and pay less. If you send a check, you make it to Medals of Luck or to Valerie Love. You have to certify that you are at least 18 years old when you sign in with the group purchase agreement – Joint Ownership. But you have no idea what the numbers are and in what Lottery. And no idea from where to where it starts and ends. You get a small admit one coupon along with a number on it. But besides that, nothing.
    Do you have more information on this business or is it really scam and you give something but will surely get nothing. And the address is still the same as the one you have : 43 Samson Blvd Main Floor, Laval, Qc, H7X 3R8 in Canada Waiting for your answer. Thank you.

    • LG

      I don’t personally know anything about her but it all sounds very dubious. Never join a syndicate where you don’t know the numbers BEFORE the draw – this is just standard for every normal syndicate group I’ve ever come across. If you’re looking for a group to play with, I’ve used and can recommend these syndicates.

  • Carroll

    RE: Michelle Brown / Valerie Love / Medals of Luck
    I am on a limited income and they always want the money when I was getting short and every time I was late the group always wins. I just got a letter informing me the group won a lot of money but you did not get in the drawing so you do not win. I am beginning to think after reading all your notes, that it could be a scam. I have been taken so many times by scammers. They say that only ten can play. I do not believe totally.

    • LG

      Hey Carroll

      I think there’s now enough warning signs from people here to stay well clear of this bunch! Nobody here was won anything so I don’t believe their whole “we won but you weren’t in the group” stuff either. I’d recommend you pass their letters on to the relevant authorities.

      Any trustworthy syndicate provides all the numbers played to members before the draw takes place. So if you want to play in a syndicate I’d suggest choosing from the ones I have personally used here. They cater for all budgets – YPWP for example is free to join and you only pay when you want to play, which is a little as £2. And they don’t nag you with dubious claims about missed winnings either 🙂

      Hope that helps.

  • Deborah

    I recieved a letter from Eva for a 99 day personal study, Ra pendant & the vip spots for the lottery. All with double your money back. After reading all this I’m out. Sounds like same people, just a different name.

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