The Spanish Christmas Lottery Tradition

Christmas lottery Certain things never get old and have the power to continue to create a sense of expectation and excitement across a nation. They are rooted in the traditions that make a country unique and alive, and ensure we us want to be a part of it too. All the above applies to the Spanish Christmas Lottery; a game of chance that has been played for 204 years and is not seeing an end any time soon. In a certain way, it marks the beginning of the Christmas celebrations in Spain. The Spanish Christmas lottery is the biggest one in the world with the largest pool prize, and it’s generally referred to as ‘El Gordo’ – meaning ‘the big one’ or literally ‘the fat one’, referring to prize money of over €4 billion. The big win, however, is shared between many people, and it is a social phenomenon in itself, widely used in the Spanish language to denote luck. It all started in Madrid in 1812, creating a tradition that sees millions watch the much-awaited live television draw on 22nd December. As much as 90% of adults on average will participate, even if they don’t get involved in other lottery games throughout the rest of the year. The ticketing system is quite a complicated one, as you can’t choose your numbers freely. Specific shops sell certain number sets, so if you want to play your lucky number you may have to travel in order to get it. Also, each ticket costs €200, but it can be shared by buying just a tenth of a ticket for €20 or even small participations for €1, which is what many people do. Every year too, an advert is released that is usually a heart warming clip of a story relating to the lottery and how it has the ability to lift people´s spirits and make positive contributions to society. Also, it is not rare for a whole town to win ‘El Gordo’, as the whole winning ticket can be sold in just one shop, creating a sense of community and happiness that can only make the year to come a better one for everyone around. Exciting as it is, Spanish people make it even better. In the lead-up to Christmas it’s common to see long queues for tickets even though they start selling as early as July. On the 22nd, more than half the nation will be glued to the TV, watching the draw that can last for up to 4 hours. The Spanish Christmas lottery is definitely an institution and what it creates between people is kind of magical. There are many winners, and traditionally they give part of their win to the San Idefonso School in Madrid, a former orphanage that famously hosts the annual draw. If you are one of the lucky winners this year, why not treat yourself to your dream home in Marbella? If you are looking to relocate and live the lifestyle you have always wanted, contact us. Altavista Properties has great expertise and a wide selection of properties for sale in Marbella.