El Gordo Navidad Inspires Around the World

December 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Lottery News

The annual El Gordo Navidad raffle is due to be drawn on Saturday 22nd December 2012, and as the world’s biggest lottery prize pool edges closer to its extraction date, it seems the Spanish Christmas lottery  – or the Fat One, as it is often known – is really grabbing people’s attention and imaginations all across the world. From movie directors to the French state lottery director, it seems that everyone wants a slice of the good fortune which goes hand in hand with the El Gordo Navidad.

The Spanish Christmas lottery is famed for two things; its huge prize pool, which this year is anticipated to be a whopping €2.52 billion – yes, billion – and the unusual camaraderie which it encourages. The El Gordo Navidad works more like a raffle than a lottery, and players can either buy a whole ticket or a tenth of a ticket, due to the high cost. However, each ticket is sold in a series of approximately 180, which means for each prize, there are 180 winners. So, the top prize of €4 million can be won 180 times, which is how the prize pool becomes so big.

Due to the huge prize pool and the high cost of tickets, Spanish residents often club together in work groups, family groups or even whole groups of villages – and then share the big prizes! Just ask the tiny village of Sodeto, three hours West of Barcelona, who shared the jackpot prize in 2011. Every single resident in the village won a piece of the jackpot, bagging from between €130,000 up to a millon, depending on the stake they had bought. All except for one man, who was new to the village and had been missed off the annual Navidad ticket rounds.

However, the plight of the poor individual, Costis Mitsotakis (pictured above), and the story of Sodeto, has attracted the interest of Hollywood, with Disney announcing they will be making a film about the event. Expected to play the lead is Steve Carell, famed for his performance in the US version of the Office and as the lead in 40 Year Old Virgin. We at online-lotto.co.uk cannot wait for this!

The El Gordo Navidad has also put a sparkle into the eye of the Director of the French State Lottery, Christophe Blanchard-Dignac, who is said to want to introduce a similar game to the French market. Currently, France do not offer a raffle like the Navidad, but Blanchard-Dignac is hoping to change that, as he said he has been “inspired” by the success of the Big One and all the lottery winners it creates.

So could next year be the year of the Noël à la Française Lotto Jeu as well as a brand new feature film about unlucky Mitsotakis? We sure hope so!