La Primitiva

  • Next Estimated Jackpot EUR 13,608,400
  • Spain
  • 12/02/2023 20:40:00
For information purposes only

The Lotería Primitiva de España ('La Primitiva') was first drawn on 10th December 1763 with ticket sales of 187,500 reales and a prize fund of 75% that amount. At that time, it was simply called 'Loteria por Números' or 'lottery of numbers', but in 1812 a new, more modern lottery was introduced, and the original game became La Primitiva until it was abolished in 1862.

How can you play a game that was abolished 150 years ago? Because in 1985, La Primitiva was resurrected by Royal Decree, and the first draw took place on 17th October 1985. Sales for that draw amounted to 473,213,425 pesetas at a price of 25 pesetas per ticket, and the draw has taken place on Thursdays ever since.

In the year 2000, ticket prices reached 150 pesetas, which became €1 when Spain joined Europe's single currency. While it's easy to interpret the name as meaning 'primitive', it's fairer to translate it as simply meaning 'original' or 'earlier', and it simply means that La Primitiva predates the 'modern' lottery launched in 1812.

How to Play

La Primitiva is a 6 from 49 lottery, similar to the original rules of the UK National Lottery and the German game 6aus49. Players select six numbers on the play slip, which draw they want to enter (Thursday or Saturday, or both) and how many draws they want to play - you can choose one, two or four, or unusually, you can play 12 or 48 draws in advance for a slight cash saving on your ticket price.

In each draw, six main balls are selected, along with two bonus balls, named the Complementario and the Reintegro. The Complementario is similar to the 'bonus ball' in some other national lotteries, and only applies to players who have matched five main draw numbers, boosting their prize from about €2,300 to about €45,000. Your Reintegro number can be picked or it can be randomly assigned. It's significant if you match no main draw balls, or if you match all six for the jackpot. If you match only the Reintegro number, at odds of 1 in 10, you will receive a €1 consolation prize, equivalent to a free game. Match all six main balls and the Reintegro number too, and you'll receive the 'special' jackpot on top of your ordinary jackpot win of around €1.7 million.

Draws take place twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays at 09:30 p.m. local time, with odds of a win starting from 1 in 10 for the €1 refund, and reaching about 14 million to one for the standard jackpot and 140 million to one for the 'special' jackpot.

La Primitiva players can also take part in the Joker game. Entry is an additional €1, and its top prize is €1,000,000. Joker cannot be played separately.

Selecting the Joker option will automatically add a seven-digit number to your ticket. This will include numbers from 0-9, and any number can appear more than once.

To win the top prize, you must match all seven drawn numbers in the same order. To win the second prize - €10,000 - you will need to match either the first six numbers or last six numbers in the same order. The more numbers you match, the larger your prize will be.

Fast Facts

First draw: 10th December 1763

First modern draw: 17th October 1985

Biggest jackpot: €101,724,559 million (October 2015)


La Primitiva is one of very few lotteries to have two different types of bonus ball - the Complementario, which boosts a 5-ball win by about 20 times, and the Reintegro, which triggers a refund on about one in ten tickets, and pays out a huge 'special' jackpot to players who match all six main balls as well.

Prize Tiers

Match Odds Approx. Prize (€)
6 + Reintegro 1 in 139,838,160 'Special' Jackpot
6 1 in 13,983,816 Jackpot (approx €1.7 million)
5 + Complementario 1 in 2,330,636 €45,000
5 1 in 55,491 €2,300
4 1 in 1,032 €70
3 1 in 57 €8
0 + Reintegro 1 in 10 €1

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