El Gordo (or El Gordo de la Primitiva) is a weekly Spanish lottery with better-than-average odds and every jackpot beginning with a minimum guaranteed jackpot of €6.5 million. If the jackpot isn’t won one week, it rolls over to the next week to make the next payout even bigger. Past jackpots have been known to reach upwards of €33 million before being won.

Although El Gordo jackpots don’t typically reach the levels of La Primitiva, it remains exceedingly popular, thanks to its generous odds. In fact, it is the generosity of the odds that make it difficult for this one to roll over more than a few times before someone steps up with a winning ticket. And yes, you can most definitely buy El Gordo tickets online. All you need is an account at one of these lottery websites:

Best El Gordo Lottery Sites

These sites offer the best way to play El Gordo online for anyone living outside of Spain. The process is as simple as selecting the number of tickets you want and then choosing your numbers. Then, the lottery site will send a real person physically located in Spain to buy the tickets according to your preferences. A copy of your ticket is then scanned, uploaded, and e-mailed to you for verification.

If you win money through an online El Gordo ticket, someone will contact you to process the payment of your winnings. Smaller prizes are typically just added to your online lottery account and can then be withdrawn straight to your bank. Large, jackpot-level prizes may require you actually to visit Spain to claim the prize in person. It may sound inconvenient now, but I can assure you that a trip to Spain won’t sound nearly so bad with a few million extra euros to your name.

El Gordo Explained

El Gordo is a pretty straightforward lottery. Tickets are sold for €1.50 and allow you to select five numbers from 1-54 plus a “key” number from 1-9. If you match all six numbers selected during the next drawing, you win the jackpot. Eight additional prize levels offer smaller payouts for matching some but not all of the numbers drawn by lottery officials.

Drawings are hosted every Sunday at 1 PM local time, and if no jackpot winner is declared, the prize pool rolls over to the next week. During each drawing, officials draw five balls randomly from a pool of 54 balls numbered 1 through 54. One additional ball (the key number) is drawing from a pool of 10 balls numbered 0 through 9.

If you play El Gordo online, you can also buy recurring subscriptions, play multiple tickets per drawing and participate in syndicates with other people. The world’s best lottery sites offer all these options plus more to make it simple for you to customize your experience.

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El Gordo Syndicates

Let’s say you want to take a real shot at El Gordo and play a whole bunch of tickets all at once. The idea crosses all our minds at some point, but with tickets costing €1.50 each, it gets expensively quickly. This is the ideal situation in which you would want to consider an El Gordo syndicate online.

In a syndicate, you and a bunch of people combine your money to buy a whole bunch of tickets. The cost is low for each syndicate member because you only have to purchase a few tickets. The agreement is that if anyone ends up with a winner, the prize money is split equally among everyone who participated in the syndicate.

For example, TheLotter.com is currently selling 40-line batches of El Gordo tickets for just under €16. Taking this option gives you 40 chances to win the big prize in the next drawing. The downside is that if you win the big one, you’ll have to split the money with 19 other people. What you lose in potential prizes is offset by much-improved chances of winning anything at all. Sites like TheLotter manage the syndicate for you, so you don’t have to rely on everyone being honest.

El Gordo de Navidad

El Gordo de Navidad is an annual Christmas drawing that takes place every 22 December. The name of this lottery confuses some confusion because it too is often referred to as “El Gordo,” but it is a completely different drawing that has nothing to do with the regular El Gordo.

Tickets for the Christmas drawing all sold all year long and then stop on the evening of 21 December. Over the course of the year, series of tickets are sold in series numbering from 1 through 195. The total prize pool now exceeds €2 billion, although up to 195 people can claim a single prize. Thus, this is the largest overall lottery globally, but it is not home to the single largest jackpot (that record still belongs to the US Powerball).

The top prize for any ticket maxes out at €4 million. It is not the largest single prize, but that amount of money is paid out to many people. That’s what makes El Gordo both unique and fun to play. Your odds of winning a life-changing amount of money are fairly decent by lotto standards.

Prizes for El Gordo de Navidad are paid out in tiers as follows:

  • Jackpot: €4,000,000
  • Second: €1,250,000
  • Third: €500,000
  • Fourth: €200,000
  • Fifth: €60,000
  • Sixth: €1,000