The Lottery in Spain

There are several weekly and annual lottery draws in Spain. Here you will find information on and links to the games and the draws...

The lottery in Spain is incredibly popular and a number of different games are run each week. There are further special draws at Christmas.

State run lottery tickets can be bought at the official outlets (Loterias y Apuestas del Estado). They are blue and have a distinctive sign outside.

Foreigners and non-residents can take part in the Spanish lotteries. As of January 2013, all lottery winning are taxable whether or not they are taken out of the country.

Primitiva

Tickets can be bought at any of the licensed outlets. You can either choose 6 out of the 49 numbers or allowing the computer to select them for you. The draw is made on Thursdays and Sundays. The grand winner is the ticket which has all six numbers matching the winning numbers. There are smaller prizes for fewer number matches.

Bonoloto

This is similar to the Primitiva with a draw of six out of 49 numbers, however the Bonoloto draw is made every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

La Quiniela

This is a game based on the football results (similar to the football pools in the UK) where the player has to predict the outcomes of the league matches. Tickets can be bought from the official lottery shops.

El Niño

This is another extraordinary draw made on January 6 each year, in honour of the festival of Los Reyes. on the 6th January. The name El Niño means "the boy" and refers to the baby Jesus.

Cupón de la ONCE

This is a charity game run by the national association for the blind, the Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles. Tickets are purchased at the Green kiosks which can be found in most town centres. ONCE employs over 23,000 registered disabled people to run its lottery and all kiosks are staffed by the blind and disabled.

The main draws are on Fridays and Sundays, but there is also a daily draw for a smaller game. Prizes can be anything up to €300,000. Smaller prizes can be collected at the kiosks which sell the tickets but larger prizes must be claimed at the national bank, the Banco de España.

The results are broadcast each evening on TV and winning numbers are made available at the kiosks and online.

El Gordo de Navidad

El Gordo de Navidad, meaning "the Christmas fat one", was introduced by King Carlos III in 1763 as a way of offering people a better way of life.

This is the biggest draw of the year and tends to mark the beginning of the festive period in Spain, El Gordo, with the draw made each year on December 22. The winning numbers are drawn by pupils of the San Ildefonso primary school in Madrid, which was once an orphanage and has always been home to the children who make the draw.

More recently a summer draw has been introduced.

The tickets to enter the draw (décimos and participaciones) can be bought from authorised traders. The draw is part of the traditional Christmas build up and is well-covered by Spanish TV and radio. The draw is held the morning of the December 22 and lasts for about three hours. The odds of winning something are one in six.

EuroMillions

Euro Millions is a European lottery, which was created by the French, Spanish and UK lottery associations and launched in February 2004. The jackpot is usually much greater than the national lottery; a "roll over" (no winner) on this lottery can produce enormous prizes after just a couple of weeks. The stakes from the player in all the countries is pooled together, the minimum jackpot is €15 million.

How to play

The draw takes place every Tuesday and Friday evening. The game is based around a draw of numbers, which must match those on your ticket. All players of the EuroMillions Lottery must be over 18 and prizes can only be claimed in the country where the ticket was bought. Winning numbers are published online; there is also a record of previous draws.

Further Information