Spain’s Christmas Lottery Will Shell Out €2.41bn in prizes

This year, Spain’s ‘Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad’ (Christmas Lottery), administered by the State Society for State Lotteries and Betting (SELAE), will pay out a total of EUR 2.41 billion in prizes, with the annual drawing taking place on 22 December.

172 million tickets, consisting of 172 ‘series’ of 100,000 ticket numbers, are available for purchase, with each ticket split into tenths for sale.

One tenth of a ticket is sold for EUR 20, which means that gross revenue will be equal to EUR 3.44 billion, of which 70 percent will be accounted for in prizes.

The first prize, usually referred to as ‘El Gordo’, is worth EUR 400,000 per tenth of a ticket, while the second prize is worth EUR 125,000 and the third prize is worth EUR 50,000 per tenth.

In each of the 172 episodes, prizes will be paid out to the corresponding ticket holders for any winning combination. That implies that across all shows, the top ‘El Gordo’ award is likely to pay out €688m.

Jesús Huerta Almendro, President of SELAE, stated: “Although this Christmas will be different, there are elements and customs that always remain. One of them is our Christmas Lottery. One of our most deeply rooted traditions, which has been accompanying us one generation after another for more than two centuries, and which gives us that much-needed hope in these difficult times.”

He emphasised that SELAE, a nonprofit organisation returning its profits to Spanish society,“is not alien to the situation we live in, because it affects our daily lives. For this reason, we were very clear that we must reclaim the common values that Loterías shares with citizens. So this year’s campaign focuses on the positives that must be taken out of difficult times.”

The lottery campaign launched today, and the slogan “sharing as always, sharing as never before’ will be broadcast in the media in the coming weeks.

SELAE also announced that as in previous years, the lottery draw would have the greatest health security measures used in its history, and will take place without public presence.

The operator said that for months, the Madrid Royal Theatre, where the draw is held, and the San Ildefonso School, where students participate in the draw each year, have been working together to establish a protocol on health protection to protect participating children, lottery staff and the media.

Measures decided by the institutions require the compulsory wearing of a mask for those present, only to be removed by those children who will announce the winning numbers during the presentation, while maintaining a secure social gap of two metres.

There will also be a screen to protect lottery staff, and in order to ensure social distance, the presidential table, which normally seats five members, will only seat four.

The draw will also take place without the public’s participation, and it will reduce by 50 percent the maximum number of media professionals permitted.

Results released this month showed that between January and October, Spain’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) had fallen 50 percent year-on-year, as state-owned lottery operators SELAE and ONCE brought in just EUR 1.9 billion, down 58.6 percent compared to EUR 4.59 billion in 2019.