Spain’s El Gordo is arguably the most famous lottery game in the world, thanks to its estimated €2.3 billion in prizes available to be won. One of the most lucrative European lotteries, El Gordo takes place on December 22nd each year. Aside from the incredible amount of money players can win with it, many people outside Spain don’t know what makes this game a standout among lotteries or why worldwide fans keep playing it year after year.
The following article was published by PR Newswire last 7th December.
Many lottery fans have heard about El Gordo and the ticket-buying frenzy that grows each year as the draw date approaches. Even so, most players don’t understand exactly why this game is unique, or why tickets are so prized among lottery fans.
That’s why European Lottery Guild has put together a list of 8 things you should know about El Gordo:
1. It’s mythic: Radios and televisions are tuned to the broadcast, and the cafés are packed with people watching it. The event is carried out with great pageantry, and schoolchildren sing out the results as each number is drawn. The whole ceremony can take up to 3 hours with celebrations lasting through the night.
2. It’s a winner-maker: The game was designed to make as many winners as possible. Family members often buy tickets together. Occasionally, whole villages find themselves wealthier after the draw.
3. It’s a true lottery: Rather than a lotto, in which players pick a combination of numbers, El Gordo tickets come with the numbers pre-printed on them.
4. It’s a number-lover’s fantasy: Ticket numbers range from 0 to 84,999 and there are 195 series of tickets. It’s traditional to use significant dates to choose a ticket (even unlucky ones). In 2009, tickets printed with the numbers forming the date of Michael Jackson’s death – 25609 – were heavily sought after.
5. It’s deeply traditional: The game was started as a fundraiser for orphans and has been drawn each year since 1812. The procedure followed for the draw has not varied.
6. It’s epic: Because of its unique prize structure, El Gordo can create up to 390 millionaires at a time.
7. It’s possible to win up to 7 times on a single ticket.
8. Its players are famously philosophical: After the draw’s done, it’s customary for non-winners to console themselves with the platitude “It’s health that really matters.”
“Of course, the El Gordo Lottery’s prize pool attracts enormous attention,” says Elisabeth Moore, Customer Relations Manager for European Lottery Guild. “After all, it isn’t every day that a single lottery makes an estimated EUR2.3 billion in prizes available to be won. But there are many other reasons, some rooted in customs and tradition, why Spanish El Gordo is so beloved.”
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