Christmas is a time for family, food and fun, so it's not surprising that most of us put on a few kilos over the holiday season. But this December we don't just want you to gain a little weight- we want you to gain a lot. In fact, we want you to get as fat as possible - not in kilograms, but in cold hard cash. That's because this Christmas sees the draw of El Gordo de Navidad, "the fat one", a draw that's not just an exhilarating raffle, but Spain's biggest prize pool ever!
Taking place on 22 December and played by approximately 90% of Spain's population, El Gordo de Navidad, or the Spanish Christmas Raffle, is a hugely popular draw, with a massive €2,310,000,000 prize pool. Enter the raffle and not only will you be part of a winning legacy dating back to 1812, you'll stand a fabulous 1 in 7 chance of walking off with a prize - one of which could be the top jackpot of €4 million!
El Gordo de Navidad - Spain's greatest raffle
Working in the same way as the other El Gordo raffles that take place throughout the year, the El Gordo de Navidad gives players the chance to purchase shares in a limited number of raffle tickets, with 160 million tickets available in total. Match your raffle number to one drawn on the day, and you'll be paid out according to the number of shares you chose to purchase. The more shares you buy, the more you could win, and the more merry your Christmas could ultimately be!
With the majority of Spain's population taking part in the raffle, the draw day of 22 December has become famous throughout the country, with many players turning the five-hour-long draw into something of a fiesta, setting up parties and celebrations of their own while the number draws take place.
Televised live from the "Teatro Real de Madrid", and starting at 9 in the morning, the draw is known for its unusual number selection process, with children between the ages of 8 and 14 from the Colegio de San Ildefonso in Segovia not simply drawing the numbers and prize amounts, but singing as they do so. In return, many lottery winners choose to donate part of their payouts to the school, continuing a much-loved lotto tradition. This however is simply one facet of a lottery raffle steeped in heritage, one that began under the rule of Carlos III, and generated funds to help fight Napoleon Bonaparte. While today the raffle's payouts are instead used for different purposes, El Gordo de Navidad is still as popular as ever - particularly when prizes are won not simply by individuals, but by a syndicate of townsfolk, as happened last year in Roquetas de Mar: