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You might be thinking that Christmas is over for another year but in Spain, there’s still one major event to take place. On January 6th the El Niño draw takes place and players across the nation will be hoping for a big win.

There are plenty of players throughout Spain who are still celebrating their success in December’s El Gordo de Navidad draw. Now comes another chance to win a big prize and this lottery distributes €700m to a large amount of lottery winners.

The El Niño draw is so important for Spaniards as January 6th is almost as significant to them as December 25th. That date is when it’s believed the Three Kings of the East visited Jesus to give him their gifts. ‘El Niño’ means ‘The Child’ and children play a key role in the El Niño lottery as often parents ask their siblings to give them some help with their lottery ticket and it’s children who sing the winning numbers.

It’s not totally certain when the first El Niño draw took place, but it’s believed to be towards the end of the 19th century to help raise funds for a children’s hospital in Madrid. All these years later the draw is regarded as the second most important lottery in Spain. Players who didn’t have much luck in the El Gordo de Navidad draw will be delighted to read that the El Niño offers a 2% higher chance of getting a win compared to the other lottery.

The prize fund this year is €70m higher than in 2017, when players in Torrent in the region of Valencia won the top El Niño prize.The first prize this year will be €2m per series with a runners-up amount of €750,000 per series. Third prize is €250,000 per series.

A 2014 Lottery survey showed that Spaniards play lotteries more than anyone else. It’s estimated that each Spaniard will spend an average of €18.17 on the El Niño draw to buy tenths for the lottery. That’s €1.27 higher than last year so the popularity of this lottery continues to grow. Madrid is the most successful province with the first prize being won there on 41 occasions. Barcelona comes second with 35 but perhaps this is the year where they can narrow the gap.

The clock is counting down to buy tickets for the El Niño draw… they will be available online at until Thursday January 4th, so hurry up.

Hopefully 2018 will begin with some big wins!