Spain's La Primitiva Lotto was originally started in 1763 by the Marqués of Esquilache who was the Minister for Tax during the period of Carlos III and is one of the oldest lotteries in the world. The lotto format followed that used in Italy at that time and was a 5 from 90 game. This continued until 1862 when La Primitiva was discontinued.
A new lottery was introduced in 1812 (Lotería Moderna) and quickly overtook La Primitiva in popularity, despite being set up as a way to generate more income for the government.
In 1985, Loteria Primitiva was re-introduced as part of the Loteria Nacional (National Lottery) and operated by Loterias y Apuestas del Estado. At this point, Loteria Nacional changed the format to the present day 6 from 49 numbers and La Primitiva was run twice per week.
BonoLoto was launched in Febuary 1998. Played four times per week, BonoLoto has remained the cornerstone of the Loteria Nacional.
In 1991, the 'Refund Prize' was introduced to BonoLoto, so if a player matched only the Bonus Ball number, the cost of the ticket was refunded.
1993 saw the launch of El Gordo de La Primitiva. It originally started with the same format as the La Primitiva except monthly. El Gordo de La Primitiva proved to be a huge success, so it was decided to change it's format and September 1997 saw the final monthly draw for the El Gordo de La Primitiva.
In the following month, October 1997, the El Gordo de La Primitiva was changed to a weekly draw and the ticket price was halved.
In January 2002, the Euro was introduced to Spain and the last prize of El Gordo de La Primitiva was set at 15 Euros.
In 2005, the El Gordo de La Primitiva increased it's prize divisions to 8, thus increasing the chances of winning a prize. The eighth division (match 2 balls) was set at a fixed sum.
Lots of lottery players pick their birthdays or those of family members. There is, of course, only a maximum of 31 days available, but an aweful lot of people do it!
La Primitiva Lotto