Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is?

Let us tell you the story of this Spanish Christmas tradition.

Although the official dates of Christmas in Spain are from December 24 to January 6 (coinciding with the school holidays), December 22 is also marked on the Spanish Christmas calendar. The reason is that this day marks the draw of “El Gordo”. Do you know what we are talking about? Have you ever heard this expression?

Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is? 1

Why is it called “El Gordo”?

“El Gordo” is the Extraordinary Christmas Draw of the Lottery in Spain.

According to some sources, it is called so because, at the end of the 18th century, the advertising for this draw included a man, short and a little chubby, who had his body full of lottery numbers.

Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is? 2

Although the official name of this character was “el Enano Afortunado” (the Lucky Dwarf) or “el Fanático de la Lotería” (the Lottery Fanatic), eventually the nickname “Gordo” was used to refer to him, and over the years, the first prize of the draw was thus named.

History of the Extraordinary Christmas Draw

The Christmas Lottery Draw in Spain is considered one of the oldest in the world.

Its history dates back to 1812, when Spain was in the midst of the War of Independence against the French.

That year, the Cortes of Cádiz, where the provisional Spanish government was located, proposed to create this game to raise money to fund the conflict.

The first Christmas Lottery ticket went on sale on December 18 of that year.

The price of the ticket was 40 reales, and the first prize went to the number 03604.

The winner received 8,000 strong pesos.

Obviously, this draw was very different from the one we know today, and not just because of the modesty of the prize.

That “Gordo” of 1812 was only held in the towns of Cádiz and San Fernando, under the name of “Modern Lottery”.

As the French withdrew and the Spanish troops advanced the draw spread, and just two years later, in 1815, it was already held in Madrid.

Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is? 3

Even so, it was not until the end of the 19th century, specifically until 1892, that it began to be called “Christmas Draw” throughout the country.

Since then, it has been held uninterrupted, although during the Spanish Civil War there were two parallel draws (one for each side of the war, the Republican and the Nationalist).

For many years, Spaniards followed this draw on the radio or read the winning numbers in the press the next day.

Over time, it began to be broadcast live on television, becoming, for many people, a tradition to watch it every December 22 with friends and family.

What is a “décimo” and what is the Christmas Lottery prize?

Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is? 4

In Spain, practically everyone plays the Christmas Lottery.

It is also very common to buy “décimos” half and half with friends and family and share the prize.

The décimo is the minimum unit of the draw.

As its name suggests, it is one-tenth of a ticket: in other words, each ticket consists of 10 décimos that have the same number and belong to the same series.

In total, Spain’s Christmas Gordo has 100,000 numbers, issued in 172 series, whose digits range from 00,000 to 99,999.

The first prize is €400,000! for each décimo played (the décimo costs €20), although the Extraordinary Christmas Draw distributes more than 2.5 billion euros in prizes each year.

Do you already have your décimo for the next draw?”

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Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is? 6
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Alicia Kaleja
Going there was the best decision ever ! �
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Antonio Cinque
The best spanish school you can find in Valencia : Lessons are formative and never boring, The school offers a weekly and always different programme of cultural and leisure activities that are very helpful to practice the language, discover the Spanish and Valencian culture and make new friends. Teachers are competent and very friendly, they will make you feel like in a family and soon they will become your friends! Personally i stayed 3 months in this school and not only i learned spanish, but i have shared lovely moments with great people i will always remember with affection. Vamos Taronja y gracias por todo!! ❤️
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Intensiv course spanish Spent a wonderful week here and met wonderful people. All teachers are extremely friendly and courteous. Thanks for everything<3
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Will Douglas
La escuela estaba muy divertida, había actividades cada día y los personas que vienen son muy simpática. De verdad la experiencia estuvo fantástico y mi español ha mejorado mucho, yo sé necesito mejorar más pero si yo pude quedar más tiempo en esta escuela yo tendría fluidez español rápido.
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Una piacevole sorpresa Ho frequentato il corso per tre settimane e non mi aspettavo sicuramente di trovarmi cosí bene! Le lezioni sono frizzanti ed interattive, il metodo di insegnamento è dinamico ed i professori molto preparati ed umani. La lingua viene imparata in maniera divertente e colorata, mantenendo sempre professionalitá.
Inoltre la scuola organizza attivitá ed eventi per tutti i gusti e le etá, nei quali approfondire la lingua, scoprire la cittá e conoscere molte persone.
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Alexandra Utkina
Pasé en Taronja dos semanas inolvidables aprendiendo español con mejores profes entre los estudiantes de todo el mundo. Buena ubicación, ambiente amistoso, actividades interesantes para todos los gustos. Me encantaría volver este año.
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Shae Isaacs
I highly recommend Taronja! The school has been around for many years but recently got a brand new facility with brightly colored walls and excellent smart board technology. I had several different teachers, all of whom were excellent, and I found the curriculum very well organized. I especially liked the way the school’s advisors worked with me before and when I arrived to find the perfect placement for me. The majority of the students are young, but as a 50+ student, I’m happy to report I found classmates my age, too, and met some really interesting people of all ages and nationalities. In addition to classes, I took a couple of private lessons that really helped me. A huge plus for Taronja are its activities; every night you can participate in something - totally optional - from walks around the city, to cooking classes, to painting classes … And on the weekend they offer amazing excursions!! All great ways to practice your Spanish and experience Spanish culture. If I went back to Valencia, which I hope to do, I wouldn’t consider any other school. Thank you Taronja!!!
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Seha Liah
Tout !!!...
Les profs, les organisateurs, l'ambiance, les cours, les activités extra-cours, tout est génial !!! allez y ! 😀 <3
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