The history of la Quiniela, the Spanish football game

La Quiniela of football

The Quiniela is the favourite lottery game for all football fans. We are all (or we believe we are) great at everything related with football and that we can easily predict the outcome of all matches.

Unfortunately, after seeing the first results we realize that it is not so easy.

How and who created the game of the Quiniela

Let”s do a little memory to know how the game has evolved since its beginning.

At the beginning of the Quiniela in 1946, there were only seven football matches played and not only the winner had to be predicted, but to make it more complicated, the number of goals of each team had to be guessed right as well. (Looks easy, right ? ;))

It was only a couple of years later, when the organizers (The National Mutual Sports Betting Trust, the former Loterías y Apuestas del Estado) established the 1 X 2 system.

Old football Quiniela 


In those years, and until not long ago, the betting ticket had to be filled by hand, with its corresponding symbols: 1, X or 2..

The name of the bettor and the address should be written in the upper margin, and when the validator checked the lottery ticket, they would put a stamp across the width of the ticket, which would then cut in half and give one part to the bettor and the other half to keep until the scrutiny is done.

How the Quiniela works nowadays

You bet on the future result of 15 Spanish football matches. Usually there are 7 first division matches and seven matches from second division, plus the special one, called PLENO al 15.

This combination of first and second division teams may vary if there are games of the national team, and in these cases, together with the Spanish national team game, three other important matches of that day are placed and the rest is complemented by teams from the second division.

The percentages of distribution of prizes are communicated beforehand. And from the total amount amount collected, 55% is destined for prizes. And that 55% is divided as follows:

    • 9% to distribute among the winners of the 5th category (10 matches)
    • The 7.5% to be distributed among the winners of the 4th category (11 matches)
    • 7.5% to be distributed among the winners of the 3rd category (12 matches)
    • The 7.5% to be distributed among the winners of the 2nd category (13 matches)
    • The 16% to be distributed among the winners of the 1st category (14 matches)
  • And a 7.5% to distribute among the winners of special category (14 matches + pleno al 15)

If there are no special category winners, the total amount is accumulated in the jackpot for the first prize of the following day.

The biggest jackpots in the history of the Quiniela

The Quiniela has given away many prizes in its more than 60 years of history, sometimes due to the accumulation of jackpots for many days, and other times for a serie of surprising results that nobody could have imagined.

In the following table you can see a compilation of the biggest jackpots awarded by the Quiniela. It does not do much to read about them, but we can imagine what we could do if we hit it …

Season Round Matches Prizes Winners Place
2005-2006 06 1st & P-15 9.089.888,93€ 1 Tarragona
1995-1996 28 1st & P-15 8.462.504,98€ 1 Madrid
2006-2007 29 1st & P-15 6.262.679,28€ 1 Majadahonda
2001-2002 06 1st & P-15 6.182.856,89€ 1 Sta Cruz de Tenerife
2012-2013 26 1st & P-15 5.726.292,03€ 1 La Muela (Zaragoza)
2002-2003 39 1st & P-15 5.258.225,19€ 1 Las Palmas
2001-2002 27 1st & P-15 4.463.085,38€ 1 Madrid
1993-1994 22 1st & P-15 4.403.212,02€ 1 Madrid
2006-2007 14 1st & P-15 4.340.495,56€ 1 Barcelona
2014-2015 05 1st & P-15 4.121.486.19 1 Madrid