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Friday, December 22, 2017

Spanish Christmas Lottery 22nd December

An El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery ticket from 2009

On 22nd December each year, the Spanish Christmas Lottery is the biggest lottery in the world and an eagerly-awaited kick-start to Christmas - especially for those who become millionaires! 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.


The Spanish Christmas Lottery

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.

The children are called 'los niños de San Ildefonso' and in pairs they pick out small wooden numbered balls out of the two big golden drums that contain all 100.000 numbers. This lottery ceremony is called 'el soniquete de los Niños de San Ildefonso.'

One drum has the winning numbers and the other has the prize amounts. The children come forward in pairs and pick and sing out a lottery number from one drum, and then pick and sing out a prize amount for that number from the other drum.

The ceremony takes place at the 'Teatro Real de Madrid' and takes just over three hours. 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.

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