Posts

Showing posts from December, 2010

Social Networking & Location Based Games in 1812

Today is the draw for Spain’s Christmas lottery, known as El Gordo. It is indeed a big lottery, the biggest in the world. Tickets cost €20, but there is a very large number of prizes and some are very big. The ritual draw has been conducted in the same was since 1812. Wooden balls spin in large globes, one containing numbers and the other prizes. One school child sings the winning number, and a second sings the value of the prize. This shepherd like singing wafts from televisions, radios, and web browsers the length and breadth of the land and it goes on for hours.

The Christmas lottery is hugely successful. One report puts the participation rate at 98% of the population. Many people who do not gamble the rest of the year, buy a Christmas lottery ticket. But the lottery’s success is due to more than tradition and scale. Despite its age, it has two very modern ingredients: social networking and location based gaming.

One aspect of the Spanish lottery that makes it different from that o…