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Play the International Christmas Raffle
El Gordo Christmas Lottery
The Sorteo de Navidad, or the Spanish Christmas Lottery as its more commonly known as, is another lottery that has lay claim to the title of one of the oldest lotteries in the world – it has been in existence since 1812. Not only is it one of the oldest, but it is also widely regarded as being one of the biggest (if not the biggest) in terms of its total prize payouts. With a prize fund that literally runs into the billions of Euros and a jackpot prize tier that pays out millions, it's no wonder that an estimated 98% of the Spanish population enjoy entering this lotto each year. Players have a 10% of winning a prize, and as an added incentive (in the event of you not being entirely convinced) all winnings are always paid out as a lump sum.
The Richest Lottery In The World
The Spanish Christmas lottery actually bears more of a resemblance to a raffle, than an actual lottery draw. In fact, so much so that officially it forms part of the “Loteria Nacional Extra” series of super raffles, or “Sorteos Extraordinarios” in its mother tongue. Like a standard raffle-format game, El Gordo players do not choose their own numbers – instead, they select from pre-printed tickets already containing set numbers, of which only a certain amount are released. It is therefore entirely possible (and is most often the case) for the Spanish Christmas Lottery tickets to be sold out way before the draw is scheduled to take place. Tickets for the Christmas Draw have five digit numbers printed repeatedly across multiple tickets. Although the exact amount of times a number will be reproduced often varies, it can sometimes be anything up to nearly 200 times. These constitute full tickets, known as a “billete”. These billetes can be further divided into tenths, which are known as “decimos”. Most players opt to purchase decimos, although some have been known to purchase entire billetes to further increase their chances at winning. As a decimo holder, if your number is matched, you will win one-tenth of the prize. As a billete holder, if your number is matched, you will win the full prize amount. The 2013 prize tier values are as follows: * First - €4,000,000 * Second - €1,250,000 * Third - €500,000 * Fourth - €200,000 * Fifth - €60,000 The Spanish Christmas Lottery takes place every year on the 22nd of December, with ticket sales commencing a few months prior to the actual draw (which takes place in Madrid, Spain).
If you thought that the entry process was unique, you may be even more surprised at the draw procedure itself (which has not changed since the first draw back in 1812). The winning numbers and the associated prize value are drawn from two separate ball containers and these are then sung out loud to the public by school children from the San Ildefonso school. This process is repeated for the many thousands of prize tiers in the draw. As you might imagine the draw itself can, therefore, take up to 3 – 4 hours to complete.
The draw takes place in Madrid, Spain, and the entire draw is broadcast by Televisión Española and Radio Nacional de España.
Summer El Gordo
One of the “Sorteos Extraordinarios” (super raffles, if you remembered correctly) which is offered in the Loteria Nacional Extra series – and indeed, one which is loved the world over – is the Summer El Gordo, also known as the July Raffle. This exciting annual lottery is held on the first Saturday of every July and features spectacular opportunities for players to take home their share of a €140 million prize pool. There are ten guaranteed jackpot prizes of €2 million each (the jackpot pool amounts to €20 million), and 378,000 individual prizes up for grabs. The Summer El Gordo boasts excellent winning odds of 1 in 3, with all winnings being paid out as a lump sum. As with all Spanish lotteries, a government-applied 20% tax is enforced on all winnings over €2,500.
As with the Spanish Christmas Lottery, the Summer El Gordo is also played as a raffle-style game. Players are encouraged to choose a number between 0 and 99,999 – thus, players have a total of 100,000 numbers to choose from. All 100,000 numbers are sold ten times across ten books (also known as “series”), with each series being divided into ten tickets, or “decimos”. To put it simply, each number can be played a total of 100 times. Players can purchase all the available tickets for one number, which would guarantee them the maximum prize in the event of that number being picked.
Alternatively, they are able to select individual tickets for different numbers and thus receive 1/10th of the prize apportioned to the book if that number turns out to be the winning one. The Summer El Gordo takes place every year on the first Saturday of July. The next draw is scheduled for July 2014.
Please Note: Tickets are sold subject to availability.
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