Recently, Google featured the classic card game “La Lotería” as their second-ever multiplayer GoogleDoodle. Lotería is a game of a chance, composed of players marking images of sirens, scorpions, drunkards, etc. to create a sequence. It’s basically, a sexier version of bingo.
For some, lotería is a basic Spanish-language learning tool, but for many, the game is a treasured family tradition that is often played around the holidays. The real draw of the game isn’t its gambling aspects, but the beautiful artwork that has become synonymous with Mexican culture. The beautiful artwork is so beloved that it is not uncommon to see tattoos, home goods, wrapping paper, books or even weddings paying tribute to the game.
A Quick History
Lotería originated in Europe (Italy & Spain) in the 15th century and was brought over to Mexico in 1769. The game was originally only enjoyed by the well-off, but by the 1800s the game had become a staple at Mexican fairs, allowing all classes to embrace it.
The most iconic lotería artwork came about in 1887 when a French businessman, Don Clemente Jacques began publishing the game when he purchased a factory in Mexico. His version of the game gained popularity when a miniature version of lotería was included with canned food rations for military soldiers. The soldiers brought the game home to their families, solidifying that version of the game’s place in history.
Lotería is more popular than ever and is even being embraced in countries outside of Mexico. Lotería has gone on to inspire many artists who all have their own unique take on the images that are featured in the game. From millennial to Selena, there is no shortage of lotería hot takes.
The Many Versions of Lotería
Author’s Note: As a Coloradoan, I feel very conflicted putting this one on here. Where’s the Bronco theme?
Author’s Note: This version has been getting the most buzz and offers the most humorous and intellectual take on the classic game.
Read “The Little Devil and the Rose” -A book of poems dedicated to the history of family, culture, and struggles in the Southwest.