The Christmas trees are still up in town centres as are the decorations. There’s still a bit of food left to eat but it’s early January and it all feels a bit strange. Not so in Spain though, because on January 6 it’s the El Nino draw and people are dreaming of winning a massive lottery prize.
Spaniards do love a lottery with the weekly draws such as La Primitiva (which this week saw one lucky ticket-holder win a €78.5m jackpot), El Gordo and Bonoloto. When the Christmas period arrives, they go absolutely crazy.
Everything starts with the El Gordo de Navidad Draw held just a few days before Christmas with a €2.38bn prize fund. Tickets begin to be sold in July, you see Christmas does begin earlier every year. That starts off the Christmas celebrations and the countdown to the January 6 El Nino draw.
The El Nino draw is believed to have begun towards the end of the 19th century, long before EuroMillions and Powerball were thought of. The funds raised by the El Nino draw helped a children’s hospital in Madrid.
It’s All About The Children
It’s not just a lottery that has a €700m prize fund but one held on a significant date for Spaniards. El Nino means ‘the boy’ and January 6 is the date when it’s believed the Three Kings from the East arrived and gave their presents to Jesus.
Children play a key role in the El Nino draw. Rather than having some celebrity draw the numbers, this lottery has children sing the winning numbers. For many lottery players in Spain, this is like the last race on a card. If you didn’t win a big prize in the El Gordo de Navidad draw, then here’s another chance for a win. The chances of winning the El Nino draw are a shade higher than the El Gordo de Navidad so hopefully, Spanish eyes will be smiling on Sunday evening.
Steve is a self-employed writer and writes on a wide range of subjects. He’s written about everything from football previews to politics and even had a spell editing a magazine about women’s wrestling!