Christmas time in the UK means shopping, parties, mince pies and turkey, not to mention emotive ads for department stores and re-watching Elf for the tenth year in a row while slumped on the sofa. Over in Spain, they have another very special Christmas tradition, which people in the UK can now get involved with.

That tradition is the annual Christmas lottery, which captivates the entire country during the period leading up to the big draw. Also known as ‘El Gordo’, (‘the big one’, a reference to its top prize), the Spanish Christmas Lottery is one which just about everyone in Spain buys a ticket. With a ‘full’ ticket costing €250, most Spanish players opt to team up to buy fractional shares of the full share. This means you can find family members, friends, work colleagues and neighbours all banding together to buy shares in a particular ticket. The Spanish Lottery has a top prize of €4 million, but this is one of the most generous lotteries in the world, with much of its enormous prize pool of £2.1 Billion being divided among tens of thousands of winners.

In fact, one in seven numbers selected wins a prize from the Spanish Lottery, making it one of the best value lotteries you will find. And the good news is that now you can take part from the UK, thanks to Lottoland offering bets on the Spanish Lottery from here. The way the lottery works is pretty simple, albeit slightly different to the lotteries we are used to on this side of the Channel. First you pick 5 numbers of between 0 and 9, to form one 5-digit number. Unlike the National Lottery, the sequence of this number is important because, for example, you will win a prize if just the last digit is the same number as the last digit selected from the main draw. Those prizes range from €200 (£178) all the way up to €4 million (£3.75 million) for the El Gordo top jackpot.

With so many prizes on offer, it is no surprise that the El Gordo Christmas Lottery is rapidly becoming a Christmas favourite outside the borders of Spain. To put it into context, you are 1,400 times more likely to win the El Gordo jackpot than the top prize from EuroMillions. There is a 1 in 7 chance of winning any cash prize, which compares favourably to the EuroMillions (1 in 13) and UK Lottery (1 in 9.3). Lottoland make it very easy to get in on the action from the UK. Just go to the Spanish Christmas Lottery section of their site, and once you’re signed up you are ready to go. Pick your 5-digit number, choose how much of a share you want to buy, and click submit. Now it’s a case of waiting for the big draw on December 22nd, but you won’t need to follow it online as Lottoland will send you an email to confirm the results. After that, all you need is some buena suerte to make it a Spanish Christmas to remember!