El Nino Review
Once a year, Spain holds a lovely little lottery to chase away the winter blues called El Nino. It is held on the Feast of Epiphany (that’s the 6th of January for those non-churchgoers). Though referred to as ‘the little one,’ this is a lovely lottery with good odds of one in three of winning something. Let’s look deeper.
El Nino’s Game
This lottery is a little different from the usual pick your favorite numbers but is similar to its big brother El Gordo. A set of tickets is printed, ranging in numbers from 0 to 99,999. There are multiple sets of these numbers called “Series.” The individual sets are referred to as “Billettes.” “Billettes” are divided into “Decimos,” which represents a tenth of a ticket. Players can either purchase a full “Billette” or 10% of that.
El Nino Bearing Gifts
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that it is towards the end of the Christmas celebrations, but El Nino is a popular lottery. The date itself is an interesting choice. The Feast of Epiphany is the traditional day that the baby Jesus was visited by the three Kings of the Orient (or Magi) bearing myrrh’s gifts, frankincense, and gold. It would be rather lovely in gloomy January to get that gift of a great lottery win.
How Much Is El Nino’s Jackpot?
The annual prize fund is estimated at €840 million (US$1.1 billion) with a payout of 70% for prizes of the money collected. According to most lottery sites, the jackpot is estimated at €120 million (the US $160 million). Still, an article posted by The Associated Press in January claims that the most one player can win is €200,000 ($260,000). Keep in mind the way the tickets are shared out.
The jackpot paid out in January 2013 of €2,000,000 meant that each decimo was worth €200,000. Prizes are also paid out on the ticket number before and after the winning ticket, the first three and the last three numbers down to the last number of the winning ticket. It sounds like that’s one reason why this is such a popular lottery, as the odds are high to win something. On top of that, there is a heap of special prizes.
|Prize Divisions||Payout per Ticket||Number of Winning Combinations|
|1st place – “Gordo”||€2 million||1|
|2nd place||€1 million||1|
|Codes with the same last 3 digits as the drawn number||€1,000||1,400|
|Codes with the same last 2 digits as the drawn number||€400||5,000|
|Codes +1 larger or -1 smaller than the 1st place||€12,600||2|
|Codes +1 larger or -1 smaller than the 2nd place||€6,000||2|
|Codes with the same first 3 digits as the 1st place (except the 1st place)||€1,000||99|
|Codes with the same first 3 digits as the 2nd place (except the 2nd place)||€1,000||99|
|Codes with the same last 3 digits as the 1st place (except the 1st place)||€1,000||99|
|Codes with the same last 3 digits as the 2nd place (except the 2nd place)||€1,000||99|
|Codes with the same last 2 digits as the 1st place (except the 1st place)||€1,000||999|
|Codes with the same last digit as the 1st place (except the 1st place)||€200||9999|
|Reintegro 1 – Single number is drawn separately, matching the last digit of players’ codes||€200||10,000|
|Reintegro 2 – Single number is drawn separately, matching the last digit of players’ codes||€200||10,000|
Taxes, Spain and El Nino
As a result of Spain’s new austerity measures, winners over €2,500 (US $3,250) must pay 20% tax on their windfall. This applies to anyone, whether you are from Spain or anywhere else in the world. El Nino is open for anyone to play. It is popular, and it is estimated 93% of people who play El Gordo also play El Nino.
The Bottom Line at El Nino
The fact is though that this is a once-a-year lottery, and most players like more than that. I also think many people are more interested in the win this week versus the win in January. At the same time, I am putting this one on my calendar as I think the odds are very good even with having to pay tax on that jackpot.
Lots to Win
Only Once a Year
I do like this lottery, though, for regular lottery players, and it is a little different. If you don’t win with El Gordo, why not take a chance with El Nino. What a way to chase away your winter blues with a win!