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16 words for the Spain´s Christmas lottery

Cups and umbrellas. Bombs and trumpets. They are not objects of an outdoor part, or day of rain, or musical instruments of an orchestra, but some of the terms used by the Spain’s national lottery to qualify certain elements of this raffle draw.

The Extraordinary Christmas lottery is celebrated on Thursday, December 22nd, and although there has been no failure during the last 204 years, there are some definitions that are not yet clear.

When it comes to playing, not everyone spends the same amount of money: it is not the same to buy whole tickets or share tickets as tenth of tickets  or share of tenth of tickets.


From major to minor, we would have first the series, formed by a ticket of each number that participates in the draw.

In total this year there are 165 series, and  each one there are of 100,000 tickets.


A ticket is the measure with which are distributed the great prizes, has a cost of 200 euros and make up ten shares known as “tenth”.


If you take a tenth (the most common way to play in the draw), you spend a tenth of the price of the ticket, that is, 20 euros, but your prize is equally proportional.


The shares are parts in which a tenth is divided through a receipt that establishes the number chosen one and the amount of money that would be received if the number was awarded.


In addition, Christmas lottery is also time to contribute donations, a surcharge that for different purposes organizations charge for the sale of lottery outside the administrations.

Alt= Lotería de Navidad en España, EFE

EFE/Manuel Bruque

The “Gordo” (fat), the “pedrea” (minor prizes) and the repayment

As for the prizes, everyone knows the “Gordo” (fat) of the 4 million, but still remains confused between pedrea (the minor prizes, 1,000 euros) and reimbursement, the return of what was played by matching with the last number of Gordo prize.

The draw, drum, balls.

During the draw, the balls of the numbers pass from a few “liras” that hang from the umbrella to the “tolva”, which transports them to the big drum, from where they fall by the trumpet to the cup; The children of San Ildefonso pick them up and place them on the table wires.

But what is a “tolva”? And a “lira”? Why an umbrella is used inside the enclosure?


The liras are 200 exhibitors in which the 100,000 balls of numbers are placed orderly to facilitate their verification before the draw.


These hang from the umbrella, and not in case there are whather leaks in the theater; Is known by this name the device that is used to hang the “liras” before dump the balls to the “tolva”.

“Tolva” (hopper)

For its part, the “tolva” is a transparent container that is used to move these balls to the big bass drum.


There is no need for a musician on the stage, and yet there are always two trumpets through which the balls slide, as much of the prizes as the numbers, to be deposited in the cups.


The draw glass is not only the glass in which they provide with champagne the winners of the first prizes, is also known to the glass vessel in which the balls fall.


These wooden boxwood balls are taked it by the boys and girls of San Ildefonso to be sung and, thus, to distribute joys and prizes one more year with the Christmas lottery.

 EFE / Practica Español

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