Good Luck with El Gordo

Loteria NacionalDo you like a flutter? Daydream about scooping the lottery and moving to Tenerife? You never know, you might strike it lucky while you are on holday here and just never have to leave.

You will find a lottery kiosk in every town and most commercial centres. You can even find official kiosks within some bars and restaurants. These are all selling tickets for the games run by the national Loterias y Apuestas del Estado. If you live in Spain, you can also open an account on the official Loterias y Apuestas del Estado website and set up regular bets.

Going by the number of different games you can play, Spanish people love a wager. Some of the games you can play are:

Loteria Nacional: this is a five figure draw and it plays on Thursdays and Fridays. The cost for each is different. $3 for Thursdays, $6 for Fridays and $12 or $20 for special draws like El Nino and El Gordo (Sorteo Navidad). Lucky winners are tax exempt with one tiny codicil – money won on this lottery must stay in Spain. Head out of dodge and you will get taxed on it.

Speaking of the Christmas El Gordo, there is a good reason it is called ‘The Fat One’. 

Wherever you are in Tenerife on the 22nd of December, you will most likely be within earshot of a radio. If you have a good ear for Spanish you’ll hear five figure numbers being sung out by one child followed by another singing ‘Mil Eeeeuro’. That’s the sound of El Gordo, (the Fat One), the famous Spanish Christmas Lottery.

The kids are from the San Ildefonso Orphanage and 36 of them take turns turns at singing out numbers. It goes on for hours. At €4,000,000, last year’s El Gordo first prize is not huge when compared to some Euromillions wins but the overall pot is huge. In fact, at over 2.8 billion euros it is the largest lottery in the world, as well as the second oldest

La Primitiva: play the simple version ( 6 numbers) or the multiple version (between 7 and 11) on Thursdays and Saturdays. There are 8 lines per ticket and at the simple level, €1 per line.  Though jackpot prizes don’t get to the insane size that Euromillions does, it is still significant. The llargest prize to date of €66 million was won in 2013.

Euromilliones: Since the organisers moved the goalposts, many punters cursed the greedy transnational cooperative that organises the Euromilllions and swore off the game for life. Now that it requires matching  six numbers out of 50 plus two numbers out of 12, the odds against winning are astronomical but so are the prizes! Which is why many of those punters are back queuing up to pay €2.50 per line to get back in the game.

Bono Loto: Choose six numbers out of 49 and play Monday to Saturday. At 50c per line, per day, this is the cheapest of the National Lottery games but there is a minimum of $1 per bet. Jackpots can reach into the millions but winnings over €2,500 are taxed at 20%. 

El Gordo de la Primitiva: Choose 5 numbers between 1 and 54 and a key number between 0 and 9. With the multiple bet you can choose between 6 and 11 numebrs. Lines cost $1.50 each and a full card has 6 lines. Drawn on Sundays.

La Quinela: This is a football betting game in which you have to select the winner of 14 games and the exact result of a 15th game.