Spanish National Lottery FAQ

Some FAQs or commonly asked questions and answers about the Spanish Lottery games

 

1. Question: Are Spanish lottery prizes tax free?

Answer: With the change in law in Spain which came into effect 1st January 2012, all lottery winnings above 2,500€ are taxed at the rate of 20%. This applies to all the Spanish lottery operators, such as Loterias y Apuestas del Estado, la ONCE, and the Cruz Roja. Winnings below this amount remain tax-free.
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2. Question: Where does the Spanish Lottery money go?

Answer: The money raised through lottery ticket sales is split on a 70/30 basis. The 70% of the money is returned to players in the form of prizes, and the remaining 30% goes to the State to cover administration expenses and support the Public Treasury and to support social projects.
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3. Question: Are the Spanish lottery draws totally fair?

Answer: Yes, they are absolutely fair. The National Lottery is managed by the Spanish Government, which guarantees a totally safe draw, and prizes are paid to claimants immediately.
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4. Question: Do I have to be in Spain to play?

Answer: No. If you are outside Spain then you can buy a lottery entry via the internet.
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5. Question: What is a “special draw”, and can you provide some examples?

Answer: A special draw is a lottery draw that is tied in with a specific event or special occasion, such as Saint Valentine’s Day. Special draws tend to attract a lot of interest from players, so prize funds are often much bigger than usual. Some special draws, such as El Gordo de Navidad (Christmas fat one) are played internationally. Other examples of special draws are: El Niño (commemorating the birth of Jesus), Niños de San Ildefonso (to raise funds to help Saint Ildefonso School) and Cruz Roja (to support the Red Cross).
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6. Question: Can people play the lottery as a syndicate?

Answer: Yes, syndicate entries are permitted. For those who are not familiar with this approach, a syndicate is a group of people that buy lottery tickets on a shared basis. If they win a prize, it is divided equally between the syndicate members, which are often friends, family members and work colleagues of the syndicate founder.
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7. Question: What happens if I lose my lottery ticket?

Answer: Lottery tickets belong to those in material possession of them, so if you lose your ticket and someone else finds it, the finder has the legal right to claim any prize it wins. For this reason, it is always sensible to sign the back of your ticket as soon as you buy it and then make sure that you keep it in a safe place. This makes it advantageous to buy lottery tickets online, as your tickets are stored with your online account as proof of purchase, and you are notified automatically of any winnings.
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8. Question: What is the history of Spanish lotteries?

The lottery in Spain has a rich and interesting history with more than two centuries of tradition. The first draw of the Spanish lottery was in December, 1763, thanks to King Charles III of Spain, who founded the 'Loteria Real', or Royal Lottery; then also known as la Primitiva. The operator of Spanish Lotteries is 'Loterías y Apuestas del Estado', and over the centuries of its existence it has developed a variety of games, such as la Primitiva, the Loteria Nacional, el Gordo de la Primitiva, BonoLoto, la Quiniela, and the renowned Gordo Navidad, among others. More on the history of the Spanish lottery here.
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9. Question: I've got an email telling me I've won the Spanish Lottery

Beware of Spanish Lottery scams where fraudsters try to get you to pay to receive a nonexistent prize.
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