22nd December – EL GORDO

It is the Spanish Christmas Lottery Big Day.  The lottery is organized every year since 1812 an it is s based on tickets (billetes) which have 5 digit numbers.

Due to the enormous popularity of the game, each ticket is printed multiple times, in several so-called series. A unique 5-digit number is printed on each ticket and on the subsequent series of that ticket.121222022943-elgordo-story-top

The price for a billete is €200 each.  The price of a décimo (tenths of a ticket) is €20 and the payout is 10% of the published prize.

If you are in Spain, be sure you get one of the Gordo tickets.



Most Spanish people hold at least a small portion of a lottery ticket in the Christmas Lottery each year, even if they do not gamble during the rest of the year. This includes tickets exchanged with family and friends, or tickets sold by one’s employer.


The most entertaining day comes on 28 December with the Day of the Santos Inocentes, when people play pranks similar to those of April Fools’ Day. For this, the best thing is to buy novelty items at street markets such as the one at Plaza Mayor Square in Madrid.