La Primitiva is the oldest and most popular of all Spain’s lottery draws, dating back as far as the eighteenth century. Originally the draw used five balls from a pool of 90 but in 1985 the draw adopted a new 6/49 format similar to the one used today.
The draw takes place every Thursday and Saturday night and the results are available a short while afterwards. La Primitiva has some interesting rules and prize payouts, which are pretty unique in lottery terms. The draw employs a 6/49 lottery matrix, along with a ‘Número Complementario’ (bonus ball) that is used to win the third prize.
To play La Primitiva you must choose six numbers from a pool of 1 to 49 but there is also a seventh number – Reintegro – that is randomly selected for you when you buy your ticket. The Reintegro ball was added to the draw in 1991 and it is used to win an additional jackpot. If you match all six main lottery balls and the Reintegro ball you will win the advertised Especial jackpot, which climbs each draw until it is won and is capable of climbing to €100,000,000 or more!
In September 2012, the Joker was introduced as an optional side game costing an extra euro. In the game, players are assigned a random seven digit number and are awarded prizes of up to €1,000,000 depending on how many numbers they match.
What can I expect to win?
With the exception of the ‘Match 3’ €8 prize, the regular La Primitiva prizes are calculated on a pari-mutuel basis, using ticket sales and the number of winners per tier to establish the value of prizes. For example, if there are a large number of ticket sales for a particular draw but just a few winners per prize tier, the prizes will be bigger as a rule. This means that accurately predicting how much each prize will be is not possible but you will find the average payouts for each prize tier in the table below. These figures have been calculated using historical draw details and should only be used as a guide.
Where La Primitiva differs from just about all other lottery draws is the Especial extra jackpot. This extra prize is paid to any player who matches all six main lottery balls drawn along with the Reintegro ball, which offers jackpots in the tens of millions of euros.
|Numbers Matched||Average Payouts (€)|
|6 + Reintegro||Special jackpot|
|5 + Complementario||€24,500|
|0 + Reintegro||€1|
La Primitiva payouts – chances of winning
Due to Spanish legislation, the La Primitiva has to allocate 55% of all ticket revenue to the prize fund, which is significantly more than many other leading world lottery draws. This means that jackpots can climb quickly, even with low ticket sales.
You will win a prize of one sort or another if you match just three of the six main lottery balls but there are five regular prize tiers in total plus the Especial jackpot to play for each draw. The chances of winning the regular three ball to six ball prizes is much the same as it would be in other 6/49 draws such as the UK Lotto but the extra Especial jackpot has relatively long odds, coming in at nearly 140 million to 1.
|Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning|
|6 + Reintegro||1 in 139,838,160|
|6||1 in 13,983,815|
|5 + Complemetario||1 in 2,330,635|
|5||1 in 55,490|
|4||1 in 1,032|
|3||1 in 56|
|0 + Reintegro||1 in 10|