70.2 percent of residents in Spain buy Christmas Lottery tickets, which is equivalent to more than 24 million people, with an average expenditure of 59.26 euro per inhabitant. After Madrid, the autonomous communities that spend the most on it are Andalusia (with almost 380 million euro), Catalonia (around 360 million euro) and Valencia (over 320 million euro). Furthermore, the provinces that come behind the capital in terms of spending on the Christmas Lottery are Barcelona (258 million euro), Valencia (168 million euro) and Alicante (118 million euro).
On the other hand, the autonomous community in which the most prizes are given out is Castilla y León, with approximately 790 million euro paid out, followed by Catalonia (223 million euro), the Balearic Islands (115 million euro) and Castilla la Mancha (110 million euro). In Madrid in 2017, less than 30 million euro in prizes was given out.
Reasons for playing
The study found that lottery tickets are bought at Christmas out of habit (almost 90 percent), because of social pressure and because of a kind of preventive envy ("it is not going to be my acquaintances that win", says the report), and only 35 percent for recreational reasons. The only social sectors not affected by the social pull of this lottery are those under 25 (only one in four young people enter the Christmas Lottery) and those who declare themselves non-players (of which just over 10 percent remember having bought tickets), according to the findings in the report.
"The most striking aspect of these figures is that, in the last four years in which these questions (regarding reasons for playing) have been included in the aforementioned study, the answers are almost exactly the same, which indicates stable behaviours. Something like a ritual that is repeated year after year," says the technical director of the Yearbook research team, José Antonio Gómez Yáñez, lecturer in Sociology and member of the University Institute of Politics and Governance at UC3M.
The Special Christmas Lottery accounts for more than half of the annual sales of National Lottery tickets and moves between 2,400 and 3,000 million euro each year. It is the largest lottery in the world and in Spain its social impact, according to number of consumers, is equivalent to the participation of the population in general elections, according to the Yearbook, which describes how the lottery operates, its figures and socio-economic data. Society participates in this lottery through individual purchases, tickets split among family and friends, as well as the sale of large volumes of tickets by associations and clubs that use it as a means of fundraising.
It is also worth noting that the percentage of Christmas Lottery ticket buyers who use the Internet has been growing consistently since 2013: from 0.7 percent in that year to 5.6 percent during Christmas 2017.