Spain Glossary

Spanish Lottery Shops and the Quiniela

Spanish lotteries shop

These places can be a minefield for the uninitiated. There are more ways to fritter away your hard-earned in here than there are days in a week. Most popular are the Primitiva and the Bonoloto (pick 6 numbers out of 49, BIG cash prizes), and the only one that ever gets me to step in once or twice a year, the Quiniela:


The idea of the Quiniela is to guess the results of the coming weekend’s first and second division football games (10 from the first, 5 from the second). You get to choose between a home win (1), a draw (x), and an away win (2). It’s 1 euro a line if you only pick one possibility per game, but things get really complicated, and expensive, when you start picking dobles (covering two choices for some games, e.g. a home win or a draw), and triples (where you cover all possible options for one or more games). Top Quiniela prizes range in the hundreds of thousands of euros, but are split amongst all those that pick all the correct results, and this often means the prize money is divided into less than life-changing amounts (though last week just two people took over 600,000 euros each, not bad!) The good news is that you start winning with just ten correct lines (though it may be just a couple of euros). The bad news is that it is surprisingly difficult – I think 9 lines is my record. Still, it certainly makes the weekend footy more entertaining!