The Spanish Christmas lottery is the second longest continuously running lottery in the World and measured by the total prize payout, is considered the biggest lottery worldwide.
Since December 18, 1812, the day long Christmas Lottery drawings are held according to exactly the same procedure each year. In the past it took place in the Lotería Nacional hall of Madrid.
On a private basis, or through associations, charities, workplaces, sports teams, cafés, shops and other organizations, it is also possible to buy or be given a fraction of a fraction of a ticket, called a participación (a share).
Many organizations buy fractions (a one tenth ticket) and divide them further into fractions of fractions and sell them to the public, colleagues or members of an association.
Tickets are officially sold in official lottery shops throughout the country as well as by licensed sellers on the street. Frequently a shop will sell a ticket number in all series meaning all the winners of that ticket will have purchased their tickets in that location.
This sometimes leads to a small village full of grand prize winners. Locations where previous grand prize winners were sold (El Gordo) often becomes a location of lottery pilgrimage where thousands of people queue and buy their ticket at this location.