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The "National Lottery" with the issue of tickets goes back to the end of the eighteenth century. It owes its establishment mainly to the unconditional support of Leopoldo de Gregorio, Marques of Esquilache, tax minister to King Carlos III. This lottery worked in a similar way to the lottery which was held earlier in Naples (Italy). It would have been impossible had not Ciriaco González Carvajal, Minister of the State and Chamber of the Indies decided to create it. He justified this by stating:

"The Lottery project is a valid and important mean to increase income in the public Treasury without causing suffering to Spanish tax-payers…."

It was set up by Royal Ordinance on 30 September 1763, with José Pella as its first director and its offices were located in the Madrid square of San Ildefonso. The first draw was held on 10 December 1763 with total takings of 187,000 "reales", of which 133,600 "reales" were paid into the coffers of the Tax Department. The first draw in which the children of the San Ildefonso School took part as the main "actors" was on 9 March 1771, when Miguel Joaquín de Lorién from the National Tax Council was the director of the "National Lottery".

A new lottery project, which had its precedent in the one which already existed from 1771 in New Spain (now Mexico), was presented on the eve of the Peninsular War and before the General and Extraordinary Assembly in Cádiz. The proposal was very favourably received by officials at the time and in a full session on 23 November 1811, the Cádiz Assembly approved the proposal without a single vote against.

The people called this Lottery, whose proceedings were published precisely on 25 December 1811, the "Modern Lottery" to clearly differentiate it from the "Number Lottery" or "Primitive Lottery" which already existed in Spain. The state kept 25% of the total amount of the tickets and the rest was for prizes.

The first draw of this new type of Lottery was held on 4 March 1812 in Cádiz, 15 days before the First Spanish Constitution of our history was proclaimed, in accordance with the established rules. Initially the "National Lottery" was limited to Cádiz and San Fernando, later it went over to Ceuta. As the Napoleonic armies were withdrawing its sales were extended, first to the rest of Andalusia and later to the whole of Spain. The last draw of the "Modern Lottery" which was held in Cádiz took place on 27 January 1814, as its headquarter moved to Madrid and the first draw took place there on 28 February 1814.

Later in 1897, the "Extraordinary Christmas Draw" was introduced to be held on December 22 each year although this date has been altered for different reasons. Spain does not start its holiday officially until the "Children of Luck" share out millions of hopes and dreams to everyone on the day of the draw.

Uno de los primeros décimos de lotería que se conservan en España data nada menos que de 1827.


Aspecto del próximo décimo de lotería de Navidad del año 2005.

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