The draw takes place at 4pm in Spain (3pm British time). It remains one of the most popular and lucrative draws in Spain and throughout several other parts of Europe. El Gordo’s popularity is highlighted by the fact around 70 percent of adults in Spain buy a ticket for El Gordo each year. This is a significantly higher proportion than those who play lotteries in any other European countries.
But in contrast to the likes of the National Lottery or the Euromillions draw, you don’t pick your own numbers.
For El Gordo, you buy a ‘decimo’ (tenth) of a number on a pre-printed ticket, and there are 100,000 different numbers available.
These range from 00000 to 99999 and are on the lottery balls which tumble around inside a giant rotating drum to give you a shot at winning anything between a few thousand euros to up to four million euros – depending on what number is drawn.
British expats can buy tickets for the bumper El Gordo draw at state-sanctioned vendors throughout Spain, and anyone can purchase them from the UK by registering for an account on elgordo.com.
In doing so, your ticket will be generated and you can choose how many you want to buy.
But tickets for El Gordo don’t come as cheap and are significantly more expensive than the UK’s National Lottery tickets.
A full ticket costs €200, but you can also buy a share of a ticket for €20 as part of a syndicate.
El Gordo offers a massive total prize fund, meaning you are in with a decent chance of receiving a huge early festive cash boost.