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Spanish El Niño

Loteria del Nino, also known just as El Nino and translated as the Children’s Lottery, is a Spanish draw which takes place once a year. El Nino is played on 6th January, hot on the heels of El Gordo de Navidad just before Christmas, and the game’s gigantic prize pot makes it another one of the largest lotteries in the world.

How it Works

El Nino takes a similar format to El Gordo and is more like a raffle than a traditional lottery. Players are issued tickets with a random five-digit number between 00000 and 99999, and tickets are split into tenths (called decimos) which can be bought separately.

Two machines are used for the El Nino draw. One contains balls showing all the different prize values on offer and, as these awards are guaranteed, the draw is only complete when all the prize balls have been drawn.

The other machine determines which tickets are the winners, and one ball is drawn from each machine simultaneously. Players who match the winning number can instantly see how much they will receive.

Each ticket number is sold multiple times in what is known as a series. In 2017, for example, there were 45 series of each number distributed to retailers. This ensures there are multiple winners of all the prizes.

Prizes

The large number of guaranteed prizes creates a colossal prize pot, worth €630 million in 2017. The first prize is worth €2 million per series (or €200,000 per decimo), and the odds of winning are 1 in 100,000.

As well as the top prize, there are over 37,000 other awards up for grabs, giving ticket holders a 1 in 3 chance of landing a prize. The main prize tiers are as follows:

Prize Tier Number of Winning Combinations Payout per decimo
1st place 1 €200,000
2nd place 1 €75,000
3rd place 1 €25,000
Codes of one greater or one smaller than 1st place 2 €1,200
Codes of one greater or one smaller than 2nd place 2 €6,100