Three reasons why you need to play La Primitiva

Spain is a country that has an abundance of culture, blessed with picturesque holiday destinations, and renowned for its fine cuisine and elegant parties.

This Mediterranean oasis has also been known to offer an exciting array of lottery games. But, a game that has enthralled and captured the imagination of millions of players worldwide is La Primitiva.

So, before we get into why you should play the La Primitiva lottery, here is some history on this popular Spanish lottery game.

Related Article: How to play the La Primitiva Lottery

History of the La Primitiva lottery

Spain has a rich history in lottery games dating back to the mid 18th century. The La Primitiva lottery, or the ‘Big One’, is one of Europe’s most popular games and one of the world’s oldest lotteries.

In English, its name translates to “The Primitive One”, a testament to its early history. King Carlos III, under the proposal of an Italian politician and diplomat, Marquis of Esquilache, launched the La Primitiva lottery in the mid 18th century.

The game was established as a means of raising much-needed funds to bolster state coffers without the creation of a new tax.

Initially, the game was called “Lottery by Numbers” and used a 5/90 game format. It held its first draw on December 10, 1763, and 187,000 reais were collected in the first raffle, with 75% allocated to prizes and the rest channelled to the state.

La Primitiva gave birth to the modern lottery in 1812 when it became the first game to issue tickets with printed numbers, and the game also changed its name to “La Primitiva.” The ‘Big One’ was a tremendous success for over a century until the government abolished it in 1862.

The top 3 reasons why you need to play La Primitiva - History of the La Primitiva lottery

The Organismo Nacional de Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (ONLAE) reintroduced the La Primitiva lottery 123 years later, in 1985, by Royal Decree 1360/1985 of August 1. This rejuvenated modern version of this popular Spanish lottery game came with a revised game 6/49 game matrix.

So, why should you play the La Primitiva lottery?

1. Lucrative jackpots

Compared to other prominent lotteries, such as the US Powerball or Mega Millions, the La Primitiva lottery does not offer massive record-breaking jackpots. However, that does not mean it does not provide rewarding life-changing jackpots.

La Primitiva has a starting jackpot of €3 million (approximately US $3.6 million). The jackpot will continue to roll over and increase in value until it is won as there is no jackpot rollover cap.

After 56 consecutive rollovers in October 2015, La Primitiva recorded its highest jackpot of €101.7 million (approximately US $123 million). One (1) lucky winner eventually won this colossal record-breaking jackpot after matching the six (6) main numbers and the Reintegro.

The top 3 reasons why you need to play La Primitiva - Lucrative jackpots

The second-highest jackpot was also recorded in 2015 when it reached an impressive €98 million (approximately US $115 million), won by one lucky winner. In 2019, the jackpot reached €78 million (US $95 million), also won by one lucky winner, making it the third-largest recorded jackpot.

Below is a table listing the biggest La Primitiva jackpots recorded;

Date Won

Winner Name Jackpot Amount Date Won
Anonymous €101.7 million 2015
Anonymous €98 million 2015
Anonymous €78 million 2019
Anonymous €73 million 2014
Anonymous €32 million 2013
Anonymous €26 million 2007
Anonymous €24.92 million 2005

2. Better chances of winning

The lottery is a game of chance with no definite guarantee of winning the jackpot or other prizes. However, one guarantee that makes playing the La Primitiva lottery compelling is that it offers the most favourable chances of winning the jackpot.

Other popular lottery games offer incredibly high chances of winning their jackpots, such as the US Powerball with a 1 in 292,201,337 chances as the leading online lottery platform for scooping the top prize.

When playing the Mega Millions lottery, your chances are 1 in 302,575,350, with the SuperEnaLotto offering you a 1 in 622 chance of scooping the top prize, and you stand a 1 in 139 million chance when you play EuroMillions.

However, La Primitiva offers the best chance of winning a jackpot at 1 in 139,838,160. Below is a table listing your chances of winning other La Primitiva prizes;

Winning Tier Chances
Six (6) numbers + Reintegro 1 in 139,838,160
Six (6) numbers 1 in 13,983,816
Five (5) numbers + Complementario 1 in 2,330,636
Five (5) numbers 1 in 55,491
Four (4) numbers 1 in 1,032
Three (3) numbers 1 in 57
Reintegro 1 in 10

3. Easy to play

La Primitiva lottery is one of the easiest lottery games to play. It uses a 6/49 format, meaning that you need to choose six (6) numbers from a pool of 49 possible numbers.

A total of eight (8) numbers will be drawn, that is, the first six (6) numbers, including a Complementario number (the Bonus Ball) and the Reintegro number.

The top 3 reasons why you need to play La Primitiva - Easy to play

The Reintegro number, or the Refund number, has a dual purpose. Firstly it creates the jackpot prize tier of matching six (6) numbers plus the Reintegro number prize. And secondly, if you match the Reintegro number regardless of whether you matched other numbers, you will receive a small prize.

While the Complementario number only comes into play when you manage to match it along with five (5) numbers.

Interesting facts about the La Primitiva lottery

When the La Primitiva lottery was launched, it used the 5/90 game format, which was used with great success for over a century. However, when ONLAE reintroduced the game in 1985, it changed to a 6/49 format.

When conducting its draws, La Primitiva uses an amusingly unique mechanic. It is the only lottery in the world with two (2) different types of bonus balls, the Reintegro and Complementario.

The Complementario serves to boost the prizes tier for matching five (5) numbers and also the Complementario. On the other hand, the Reintegro is used to increase the jackpot prize tier for matching it along with six (6) main numbers.

In October 2015, the jackpot rolled over 56 consecutive times, resulting in La Primitiva recording its highest jackpot of €101.7 million.

As the leading online lottery platform, has made it easy for you to play the La Primitiva lottery. Do not miss out on being La Primitiva’s next multi-millionaire.

This article forms part of our La Primitiva Resource Centre.

This post was written by
Amanda Green - who has written 205 articles

Posted by Zeljko (15/07/2021)

I played it few times but not always. I will try again, maybe I will win something.

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