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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这些是我们学生的一些意见。 都是你们给我们的礼物!

Do you know what the Christmas Gordo is? 6
5 star rating
Ausgezeichnete Sprachschule Ich hatte 1 Woche Intensivkurs mit 1 Std. Konversationsworkshop gebucht. Bei Anmeldung musste ein Einstufungstest (schriftlich und mündlich per Handy-Video oder Telefonat) ausgefüllt werden. Am ersten Tag gab es ein erstes Treffen, bei dem die Kurseinteilung erfolgte und die Organisation der Schule erklärte wurde. Unterricht war vormittags (9-12.45 Uhr) und nachmittags (14.30-18.15 Uhr) im täglichen Wechsel, dazu Konversation etwa von 13.30-14.30 Uhr (nur in der ersten Woche inklusive). Gruppengröße offiziell bis 10 Personen, meist waren aber nur 5-6 anwesend. Zusammensetzung international, Alter von 18 bis Ü70, wobei die Jüngeren meist über mehrere Monate bleiben. Ich war im Fortgeschrittenen-Kurs (B2) und habe viel gelernt, insbesondere meine Unsicherheit beim Sprechen konnte ich überwinden. Die Stimmung war ausgezeichnet, wir haben viel gelacht, über alle möglichen Themen geredet und lernten auch viele Wörter der Umgangssprache.
Jeden Abend fanden verschiedene Aktivitäten statt, bei denen man sich mit anderen Studenten und den Lehrern austauschen konnte (ebenfalls fast ausschließlich auf Spanisch). Auch am Wochenende wurden Ausflüge angeboten. Insgesamt sehr empfehlenswert!
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Elena De Lazzari Avatar
Elena De Lazzari
Hi guys! I'm Elena, a 30yo Italian girl from Venice. I spent 3 weeks in the beautiful city of Valencia 4 years ago, it was my first vacation in Spain and I decided to start learning the language doing a course in Taronja. What a great choice! Days passed by super quickly, I really enjoyed the time I spent there as I felt part of a huge family. They propose interesting activities every day and night and during the week end, supporting people in interacting and meeting new friends. I learnt a lot, Professors were kind and professional and the method they use is the best I tried up to now. I planned my vacations in Barcelona, Malaga and Madrid, always matching with Spanish lessons, during the following 3 years but Taronja remains my favourite. Swapping courses timing every day gives you a lot of free time to go to the beach or visit the city. Nice idea the cooking lessons, too! Super positive feedback for you guys! That's why I decided to come back this August to spend a month with you! See you soon Elena
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Markus Mengelkamp Avatar
Markus Mengelkamp
Sehr gute Schule mit engagierten Lehrern. Tolle Stimmung. Viel gelernt.😄
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5 star rating
La miglior scuola di Valencia Sono stata in questa scuola ad agosto 2014 per due settimane.
Alloggiavo negli appartamenti con altri studenti convenzionati con la scuola.
Posso considerare questa esperienza, la più bella mia vita, grazie anche a questa fantastica scuola.
Le lezioni si svolgevano 4 ore al mattino o al pomeriggio, a giorni alterni.
Ogni due ore si cambiava professore e le lezioni non erano noiose e teoriche, ma interattive con giochi, in modo da parlare il più possibile imparando la lingua.
Ogni sera c'era un'attività organizzata.
Il lunedì c'era il tapas tour, il martedì il paella party il giovedì il beach volley e durante il weekend organizzavano o qualche escursione o serate in discoteca.
E' una grande famiglia, che ti permette di conoscere gente da tutto il mondo, praticare la lingua 24 ore al giorno e divertirti.
I professori erano tutti simpaticissimi e preparati.
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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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5 star rating
excellente école d'espagnol à Valence Taronja est une véritable école de langue espagnol pour les étrangers du monde entier, avec non seulement des cours de langues mais toute une série d'activités organisées gratuitement par l'école, d'autres seront payantes aussi selon l'activités en question.
très bonne ambiance et supers profs
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Seha Liah Avatar
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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sophie e Avatar
sophie e
5 star rating
Brilliant school, good activities Absolutely brilliant, I've attended other schools to learn Spainish, and by far is the best. Good teachers, good learning pace, lots of vocab work and lots of opportunities to practice speaking. Classes are good mix of grammar, and practical things to say and there out of school options are by far the best. If you're learning in Valencia this is the school I recommend to study at by far!!
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