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Spanish Christmas Lottery 22nd December

An El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery ticket from 2009

On 22nd December each year, the Spanish Christmas Lottery, the biggest lottery in the world and an eagerly-awaited kick-start to Christmas, is drawn. In 2017 there were 2,380 million euros in the El Gordo (The Fat One) prize pot. In this video, Tom Bacon explains how the whole El Gordo lottery works.

How the numbers are picked

Every 22nd December from 9am in the morning forty children aged 8 to 14 years old from the school 'Colegio de San Ildefonso' in Segovia, which was formerly an orphanage, draw the winning numbers. The children are called 'los niños de San Ildefonso' and in pairs they draw the small wooden numbered balls out of the two big golden drums that contain all 100.000 numbers. One drum has the ticket numbers and the other has the prize amounts. The children come forward in pairs and draw and sing out a lottery ticket number from one drum, and then draw and sing out the prize amount to be awarded to that number from the other drum. This lottery ceremony that takes place at the Teatro Real de Madrid and takes just over three hours, is called 'el soniquete de los Niños de San Ildefonso.' It's very sweet and Christmas in Spain just wouldn't be the same without it.

Naturally because of the money involved it's very exciting viewing if you have a ticket watching the winning numbers as they are called out.

Tenerife Land of Eternal Christmas

Sunbathing SantaDesert Island ChristmasScuba Diving SantaTropical Santa
Santa's Having a Whale of a TimeSurfing SantaWaterski SantaCamel Rodeo Santa
With a wide range of products in each design, click the pics (above) to see the full selections.