International Christmas Lotteries

Christmas is a time for generosity and sharing. While individuals are shopping for gifts for their friends and family members, lottery operators are thinking of ways to offer the biggest and best jackpots of the year during their annual holiday draws. It is not uncommon for these draws to offer prizes worth hundreds of millions of dollars, awarding life-changing jackpots that will certainly make for some interesting Christmas presents.

Brazil's biggest lottery, the Mega Sena, is operated by the Caixa EconĂ´mica Federal bank. Draws are held twice a week, boasting prizes worth millions. 5% of all profits earned from these draws are saved for the Mega Da Virada‎, a generous New Years' Eve lottery draw. Every year, more than $1 billion worth of prizes are raffled off.

The Mega Da Virada‎ operates like a weekly lottery drawing, as players select 6 of 60 numbers rather than purchasing raffle tickets. This means that multiple winners can cash in on the grand prize. In 2012, three lucky players won the grand prize, each earning R$81 million ($44 million). All players who match 4 and 5 numbers also receive generous prizes. Last year, these jackpots were worth R$470 ($238) and R$27 000 ($13 000), respectively.

The EuroMillions is also well-known for launching generous Christmas draws every year. In 2012, the EuroMillions Christmas Millionaire Raffle awarded 50 $1 million prizes to lucky players across the continent. 25 millionaires were made on Christmas Day, and the remainder received their prizes on New Years' Eve. This draw is a traditional raffle, in which players purchase tickets rather than selecting numbers. Ireland and The Channel Islands host similar Christmas raffles; however, their prizes are significantly smaller.

Spain hosts its own lucrative Christmas lottery called El Gordo (The Big One). Started in 1812, it is one of the oldest lotteries in existence, and El Gordo is a popular tradition in Spanish culture. There is a quite a unique format to this lottery, which allows players to purchase tenths of tickets. Since each ticket costs €200, players can purchase a tenth for just €20.

Last year, 180 tickets were sold, contributing a generous €2.5 billion to the prize pool. There was one first-place prize worth €4 million, one second-place prize worth €1.25 million and a third-place prize worth €500 000. The remainder of the pay outs ranged from €200 to €200 000 for 15 000 for lucky players across the country.

Hundreds of lottery draws that take place every week, each offering up life-changing sums of money as prizes. For more information on worldwide lottery draws and slots jackpots, visit Hot Jackpots.