The oldest lottery game in the world is widely recognised as La Primitiva. This Spanish lottery game (known as El Gordo de la Primitiva) is a Spanish state lottery. It is the same lottery that once a year holds El Gordo or the “The Big One”. La Primitiva holds an impressive record for rollovers, with an unprecedented 56 rollovers occurring until October 2015, when its jackpot was finally paid out for €101.7 million. This is a lottery game which has been around for 250 years and continues to be popular in its home country.
How does La Primitiva work?
La Primitiva tickets are on sale from Mondays to Saturdays and cost €1.50 per game. Players must select 6 numbers and a bonus. There are two grids on a ticket, one with the numbers 1 to 49, and the other with 0 to 9. Players selections must include six numbers on the first grid and 1 number from the second. The draw takes place at 1 pm on Sundays, and players who match all 6 numbers plus the bonus will win the jackpot. Bonus balls are known as reintegro numbers.
Cash prizes and jackpots
La Primitiva offers up its jackpot prize only if players can land all 6 numbers and the bonus number, in what is known as the perfect match. There are second and third-tier prizes for players who bag 5+0 and 4+1 tickets. Low prize tiers are possible, too.
Rollovers are common in this Spanish lottery, and it is not uncommon to see players winning many tens of millions of euros with the game. One year, no jackpot winners were reported, until in October 2015, one player bagged all six numbers and the bonus to walk home with the €101.7 million cash prize. If one looks at the prizes won over the last few years €25m in 2005, €26m in 2007, €32 million in 2013, €73 million in 2014, and €101.7 million in 2015), it is fair to say that the popularity of the lottery is increasing, as well as the cash prizes.
Variants and similar lotteries
Most national lotteries in European countries offer something similar to La Primitiva, so the lottery is hardly unique in terms of how it is played. Very few European lottery games have rollovers quite as often as this one does, though. The same can be said of American state lotteries.
Part of the appeal with La Primitiva is that it does not have a cap. This means that the jackpot keeps rolling over until it is won. Throw in the fact that this is the lottery which caps off its year with El Gordo (the Big One), the biggest paying lottery game in the world, and you can see why La Primitiva is one of the world’s most famous lottery games.
Playing La Primitiva online
La Primitiva can see players snap up tickets at over 11,000 outlets across Spain. La Primitiva doesn’t really allow players to buy tickets online, though. Fortunately, there are plenty of online outlets which can offer you tickets, so even if you aren’t residing or vacationing in Spain, you can still get involved in this mad lottery game. Players simply need to read through the rules and regulations of online lottery ticket websites such as The Lotter and Lotto Land to purchase their tickets. Keep in mind that these sites do things differently, and you may end up paying extra for tickets to a lottery game which you wouldn’t normally be eligible to play outside of Spain.