This year’s draw got started at 9am local time (8am in the UK), and it was almost exactly three hours later when the first prize, also called El Gordo or the Fat One, was drawn. The winning number was 66513, and all the tickets for the first prize were sold in Madrid.
Every ticket holder who had a full billete won €4 million each, and this year there were 160 billetes in each series. Players also have the option to buy a tenth of a ticket (decimo), rather than a full billete, and anyone with a decimo that matched the first prize still won €400,000. Find out more about billetes, decimos and how the El Gordo draw works.
Among the winners of €400,000 was weather presenter Elena Minambres Hernando, who was getting her make-up done backstage when she realised her good fortune and rushed out to give a delighted interview, live on air on the Telemadrid TV channel. “I can’t even talk about it. I don’t believe it. I’ve always wondered what people feel like when they win. You see it on TV, everyone celebrating, but when it comes to you, you don’t know how to react,” she said, insisting that she had no plans to retire.
The prize pot is so huge because there are so many awards given away over the course of the draw, which lasts for several hours. The second prize this year was drawn as number 04536, and corresponding tickets were sold across a number of Andalusian provinces, mostly Granada. Check out more detailed El Gordo Navidad Results.
Children from the San Ildefonso School in Madrid again helped to conduct the draw, singing the results as the balls were drawn in accordance with tradition. The game has been running in Spain since 1812 without missing a year and remains incredibly popular, with favourable odds of winning compared to other lottery games and more than two-thirds of money spent on ticket sales returned to players.
This year’s draw has again transformed the lives of many players, and even though the next edition of El Gordo will not take place until 22nd December 2017, many fans may take the chance to get involved in the similarly exciting El Nino draw on 6th January, which offers a prize pot totalling €630 million.