Lotteries are a long-standing tradition in Spain and La Primitiva has one of the longest histories of the games still running today. That history dates back to 1763, when a version of La Primitiva was first introduced by Carlos III's Minister for Tax, the Marques of Esquilache. When it began, the game featured 90 numbers, of which five would be selected at random.
In 1812, however, the Loteria Nacional began and rapidly became more popular than La Primitiva. This led to La Primitiva being discontinued in 1862. The game was eventually re-introduced in 1985 under the operation of Loterias y Apuestas del Estado, part of the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations. Today, La Primitiva remains one of the most popular lottery games in Spain, with regular draws held at 9.30pm (GMT+1) every Thursday and Saturday.
To take part in La Primitiva, players choose six numbers from 1 to 49. In addition to these six numbers, they are also assigned a random number called "el Reintegro". The purpose of the Reintegro number is to serve as a jackpot booster, but only for players who match all six of the main numbers.
As well as the Reintegro there is also a bonus ball. This is drawn after the six main numbers, and will enable players who match five numbers to win a larger prize. The bonus number has no relevance for any other win combinations.
The La Primitiva jackpot is guaranteed to be at least €3 million. However, this total rolls over and increases in value after every week where there is no claimant. Past weeks have seen the top prize rise in value to well over €20 million and the largest ever jackpot stands at €66.6 million.
Given the presence of Reintegro and bonus numbers, it is surprising that the lottery only has seven prize tiers. At the bottom of the tiers is a ticket refund that goes to players who match the Reintegro number. Otherwise, there is no relevance for the Reintegro unless all six numbers are matched.
These are La Primitiva’s prize tiers:
Residents of Spain and international players can enter La Primitiva through ElGordo.com, although the website actually refers to it as Spanish 6/49. In order to take part, players must first sign up for an account. This involves submitting basic personal information and card details to cover their payments. After this step, players can purchase tickets for the next draw on the schedule.
The subscription format of the site is a convenient feature designed to streamline the buying process. Players can mark out their various lines, with payments made from their chosen method. El Gordo's La Primitiva offering is slightly more advanced than that of Spain’s main national lottery, as subscriptions for this game are not yet available online.
After picking your six numbers on ElGordo.com, you will be asked to submit your email address twice for verification. In the shopping cart, it is possible to view the value of lottery tickets in euros, US dollars, Great British pounds, and other global currencies.
Results can also be checked via the homepage of LaPrimitiva.com and on the El Gordo results section. Spanish residents can also expect to find results within news bulletins and newspapers, but neither approach will be as quick as checking online. El Gordo sends out notification emails to ensure that players do not forget to check their results.
Smaller prizes will be paid directly into your account if you win, but you may have to arrange an alternative transfer if you win one of the top prizes. You can contact El Gordo directly with any questions related to claiming winnings and customer service representatives will help to arrange the payment of your prize.
Additionally, it is worth noting that there are mailing scams targeting the Spanish lottery. El Gordo advises that players are to ignore any written communications that request money in exchange for claiming winnings. Players should contact El Gordo with any doubts.