Monday saw thousands of Spaniards and online El Gordo de Navidad raffle players celebrate wins in the world’s biggest draw, scooping up shares in over 2.2 billion Euro (US$2.7 billion).
The El Gordo Raffle (known as the Fat One), takes the cake when it comes to the biggest jackpot in the world. Every year people from all over the world, especially those residing in Spain sit in tense anticipation for approximately four hours as the ceremonial draw takes place. As is customary, the winners' numbers, revealed on wooden balls, were sung by a group of 22 children at Madrid's Royal Theatre.
The Gordo pays out 400,000 Euros for every 20 Euros spent on a number and this year's jackpot was widely distributed. There were winners from the capital Madrid to southerly Murcia. Once all the numbers were sung and all the winning combinations known, people went flocking to local lottery outlets or bars where they had bought their tickets to celebrate their good fortune.
The El Gordo Christmas Raffle has been running for just over 200 years and remains a major fixture of the festive season. Although sales had dropped off in recent years as the country went through a deep economic crisis, leaving over 5 million people, or nearly one in four workers, out of a job, with the help of the internet and El Gordo Raffle fans eagerly being able to take part in this magnificent Spanish raffle, things look a lot better and ticket sales were up for the first time since 2008.
The build up to the annual El Gordo de Navidad draw once again saw superstitious El Gordo players queue up for hours to make sure they bought their tickets from the “luckiest” vendors, where jackpots were hit before.
Every year, local bars and shops, sports associations and companies purchase series of ticket numbers for their staff. These tickets then get swapped or shared among relatives and colleagues who try to maximize their chances of winning a top prize.
This year, workers from Madrid’s central wax museum found themselves amongst the lucky big winners and staff from a restaurant not far from the museum also got lucky.
"The first thing I'm going to do is go to Paraguay to see my family. I haven't been for years," Madrid-based Gonzalo Lovera, a caretaker who won 1.6 million euros, told state television.
Champagne corks popped all over the country as El Gordo de Navidad (The Fat One) players checked their tickets to see what cut of the $2.2 billion prize pool.
El Gordo de Navidad Results
There were 10 top prizes, worth €400,000 each, for ticket number 13437.
Unlike many other lotteries, there is no single jackpot - instead the winnings are distributed among thousands of people.
The second prize was worth a total of €1.25m and the third prize 500,000.
Below you will see a full El Gordo de Navidad 2014 results breakdown:
How To Play el Niño
For those players who played the El Gordo de Navidad Raffle, will know what to expect from the el Niño Spanish Raffle. Once again, players do not select their own numbers but rather purchase pre-numbered tickets. The ticket numbers are all 5 digits long and range from 00000 to 99999.
Each number from 00000 to 99999 is printed multiple times in what are known as ‘series’. There will be many series for each number. Each series exist as a full ticket or “billete” which are then further broken down into “decimos’. A decimo is one-tenth of a full ticket and means that, should the 5 digit number win a prize, the ticket holder will one-tenth of the prize available. Purchasing a full ticket or billete will ensure 100% of the prize available for the ticket holder. Therefore, winning numbers are drawn for the 1st and 2nd prizes, along with many other additional prizes.
The el Niño Raffle takes place every year on the 6th of January in Madrid, Spain. PlayHugeLottos.com will be selling tickets for as long as we have stock available leading up to the draw day – so be sure to get your ticket as early as possible!