Loterias y Apuestas del Estado
La Primitiva is one of the oldest of all lotteries tracing back its roots a few centuries. It holds the record for the largest jackpot in Spain of 102m euros.
Available in Spain, though some concierge and betting services offer it in other countries.
How it Works
Date and time of draws
La Primitiva draws take place on a Thursday and Saturday at 5pm CET.
No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot
There are 49 balls in the machine and players choose 6. A bonus ball (the 7th) is chosen automatically for them. The jackpot is won by matching all 6 plus 1 bonus balls.
There is a joker variation to the game whereby players pay an extra euro for a random 7 digit number. Depending on how many digits they match to the number chosen, they can win a further 10 euros to 1m euros.
Price, Tickets & Sales
Tickets are quite affordable for La Primitiva, costing just €1. The joker variant costs an extra €1.
Tickets Sold Per Draw
The Primitiva is a big lottery, selling around 13m tickets per draw, similar to the size of the UK's Lotto, for example, in ticket numbers at least. The day the record jackpot was won in 2015 ticket sales surprisingly only reached €27m.
Sales per draw
As it is more affordable than most, sales per draw are lower, but it still features in the top 10.
Odds of hitting the jackpot
There are seven prize tiers with the lowest worth your original stake of 1 euro. Many of these tiers work on the basis of a % of stakes after payment of the fixed prizes. The prize payout table with average prize sizes is given below.
The odds of winning the jackpot on La Primitiva are a massive 1 in 138m similar to the German lottery and harder to hit than the euromillions and the eurojackpot (though for a lower ticket cost).
Balls and Bonus Balls
6 and 1
6 and 0
5 and 1
5 and 0
4 and 0
3 and 0
0 and 1
*Average jackpot size when it is hit
Odds of winning any prize
The chances of winning any prize are 1 in 8 which is good but the lowest tier only pays the stake back. For a prize worth more than your stake the odds are on the high side (as lotteries go) at 1 in 54.
This is the only lottery we encountered that has no minimum jackpot. Not too encouraging then to play in the first draw after a jackpot has been won as you'll win either €800k or €2.5m depending on whether there's a win on the second tier or not (6 balls and no bonus ball). The prize allocation for the second tier is rolled up to the main jackpot when a second tier prize is not won.
Average jackpots you might win, if you're playing every week, will be around €9m.
Average jackpot when hit
The average jackpot size when it's hit is around €17m.
Highest jackpot ever
There is no cap on La Primitiva which, with long odds of 139m to 1, means that it can get to a sizeable amount. In October 2015 La Primitiva hit its record of 97m euros and was won by one ticket holder.
Jackpot winners per year
Each year there are around 10 winners on La Primitiva.
Contribution to the jackpot
The contribution from stakes to the jackpot varies, depending on whether the second tier prize has also been hit or not. If it has then 6% of stakes (11% of prizes) are added. If the 6 ball second prize has not been hit then 18% of stakes or 33% of prizes is added to the jackpot for the next week.
Return to Player
Loterias y Apuestas del Estado say that 55% of sales are returned to players in the form of prizes. This will vary by draw though according to the size of the jackpot.
RTP when first seeded
As the jackpot has no initial seed, if you were to win it just after it had already been won, you would imagine your return to player to be fairly poor. In effect, it is a reasonable 0.48. Since the odds of hitting the jackpot are so remote on this lottery the value of the jackpot prize of all prize payouts is not too significant.
On an average week, your RTP is very close to the advertised 55% of stakes that are returned to players as prizes (or 0.55 RTP).
RTP when jackpot typically hit
If you're playing when a jackpot is at the average size it is won (of around €18m) your RTP is 0.61.
Back in October 2015 there would have been some value in playing when the jackpot was at €91m. The RTP that week was around 1.18! With so few tickets sold on that draw too, your chances of walking away with a jackpot on your own were high and so a positive return. But... Spain is one of the few European countries that tax lottery winnings (at 20%) and this is what sadly kills the value.
Payouts and Taxes
Annuity vs Cash
Bets are the full cash amount after tax.
Spain is one of few countries in Europe that charges tax on lottery winnings. They are tax free up to €2,500, 20% thereafter.
This is another large and popular national lottery in Europe. It's affordable and the good odds of winning at least your stake back give it some stickiness. Jackpots are reasonable but so they should be with only a 1 in 139m chance of winning them! A nice product overall with some decent rollovers too but it's the 20% Spanish tax rate that prevents us from giving it lots of stars. If the jackpot manages to make it up to €130m then do sign up!
Good sized rollovers because of the long odds of winning the jackpot. Frequent small payouts and nice affordable price too.
Spanish 20% tax makes it difficult to find real value and having no minimum jackpot seeding would put many people off playing on subscription. The jackpot seeding being dependent on winners in the second tier is a bit odd and unpredictable.
Looking forward to the day the jackpot hits the €100m mark but would probably need to get to €140m for real net value after taxes and reductions for sharing. To play this or other lotteries online, check out our preferred lottery agents page.