There’s a rabid buzz in the air. People are foaming at the mouth and starting to go a little crazy…
[Spoiler… all is revealed below]
That’s right, crazy time = the Spanish Christmas El Gordo lottery.
You know, the once a year draw with the prize fund of €2.5 BILLION!
This is a behind the scenes video shot during last years draw. The stage is somewhere behind all the mad melee.
If you watch closely you’ll see the school children from San Ildefonso picking up the balls drawn from the machine. 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.
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 the draw.
So 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.
Can You Imagine Watching This Live On TV?
You already know your number has won, but you then have to sit and watch them draw the amount. It could be €100 or it could be €4 Million..!
Now there’s a tense few seconds in anyones life 🙂
There are actually hundreds of jackpot prizes too. Nothing massive, just lots of them – which is just the way it should be. (Who cares if 1 person wins 200 Million, I want to see 100 of you win 2 Million!)
Here’s just the top prizes for the Christmas El Gordo:-
- 180 x €4 Million prizes
- 180 x €1.25 Million prizes
- 180 x €500,000 prizes
- 360 x €200,000 prizes
- 1,440 x €60,000 prizes
There’s about a bajillion more prizes beyond the major ones too.
Playing El Gordo
I always give El Gordo a play. 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. But don’t get stung by the rip-off companies who charge a lot more than that (up to SEVEN times normal price!).
Or if you want the easy option (the one I use these days) join me in one of these El Gordo syndicates. This costs a one-off £20 and gives you a share in 10 decimo tickets. So 10 times the chance of winning.
It’s good honest crazy fun.
You probably won’t see the El Gordo draw live, unless you have a satellite feed from Spain (or er, live there!) – so I’ll make sure I post up a list of all the winning numbers as soon as I have them.