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
Julia Zisman Avatar
Julia Zisman
I would like to thank everyone for the experience! I really needed to improve the grammar, and I think this school was the first one where I could really feel some improvement (even though I was there for only two weeks). And they have many nice activities, so, you'll always have interesting options for how to spend your time outside the classroom. Another nice thing about the school is that they change the time of your classes during the high season (which is summer), so, you'll be able to have mornings and evenings free depending on the day. You also get to have classes with different teachers, cause they change every week, and then during one week you'll have two different ones. So, that's good too. Nice school! Definitely worth considering if you are thinking of learning Spanish in Valencia.
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rbrtzmck
5 star rating
Solo lo mejor. Perfecto para empezar o mejorar en cualquier nivel. Muchas ocasiones para hablar con chicos y chicas de paises diferentes.
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Elizabeth Watson Avatar
Elizabeth Watson
Profesores Excepcionales y instrucción único. ¡Voy a volver!
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Grant Gibbs Avatar
Grant Gibbs
Did a week here as part of my trip around España in November 2019. This was a very good experience. It is true what people say about this place, it is more than just a Language school, it is a full immersion trip into Spanish culture.
I very much enjoyed my time here and met some proper tidy folks. my only problem was that i couldn't spend a 2nd week here due to timings. Because of this, i feel i missed out on a lot of the extra activities due to the zig zag schedule and not being present for the switch-round in the 2nd week.
All in all though this was excellent and well worth the money. a 2nd trip is definitely on the cards for 2020 for at least 2-3 weeks. Tengo que volver a Valencia pronto!!!
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Salvini1967
5 star rating
Bellissima esperienza Taronja non è solo una scuola ma è un’esperienza.
La scuola Taronja è l’ideale per chi vuole divertirsi, vivere il mare e al contempo imparare lo spagnolo.
I professori sono tutti giovanissimi e preparati; si vede che hanno voglia di fare il loro lavoro e sono sempre disponibili.
Il punto di forza è il programma settimanale della scuola, in cui, per ogni giorno, si organizzano attività extra (la maggior parte gratuite) che vanno dalla paella di benvenuto alle feste in discoteca o in piscina.
Come studenti si possono incontrare tedeschi, svizzeri e ovviamente molti italiani, con fasce d'età ben distribuite.
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Robin van der Swaan Avatar
Robin van der Swaan
Una escuela con los mejores profesores y las mejores actividades!
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Global19813985183
5 star rating
MEJOR ESCUELA DE ESPAÑOL EN VALENCIA! Estuve en taronja durante cinco semanas completamente sola, fue mi primera experiencia de viaje en solitaria. A ver, yo compartía un piso con 5 chicos procedentes de todo el mundo, por eso nunca me sentí realmente sola, las clases son extructuradas muy bien, los profes competentes, cada día hay actividades diferentes muy baratas/ gratuidas y muy divertidas,las mejores fiestas en la playa. Por cualquier duda son disponibles en ayudarte, si tienes un problema tratan resolver, personas estupendas, siempre piden opiniones de los estudiantes para mejorar el servicio. Lo único mejorable son los pisos, mi alojamiento tenía la ventana frente a las tuberías de alcantarillado, por eso olía muy mal...no es culpa de ellos, los edificios en Valencia son todos muy viejos, solo tenéis que tener suerte con los pisos aja y ellos podrían seleccionarlos un poco más, y no alquilar los pejores (otros amigos míos se lamentaban de eso..) Por lo demás, experiencia total, muy aconsejada, es dinero muy bien gastado, seguro te la vas a pasar bien. Siete dei fighi, bravi!
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CapoMondo
5 star rating
Ottima scuola per studenti stranieri che vogliono imparare lo spagnolo In soggiorno a Valencia abbiamo approfittato per far svolgere un corso di 2 settimane a mia figlia che voleva approfondire il suo spagnolo. Consigliatami da amici si è rivelata una proficua esperienza. Ho parlato con gli insegnanti che fin da subito ho trovato gentili e disponibili. Mia figlia mi ha riferito che l'ambiente e il personale sono molto accoglienti. Gli insegnanti sono coinvolgenti e qualificati, oltre alla didattica partecipano alle attività organizzate della scuola. Ha avuto l'opportunità di conoscere persone da tutto il mondo e migliorare il suo spagnolo in poco tempo divertendosi. È stata un'esperienza molto positiva, infatti questa estate ci ritornerà ed io ne approfitterò per rifare un bel viaggio.
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