Informant Information:

Yerik Macias is a student at the University of Southern California studying Aerospace Engineering. He comes from a Mexican background, and is originally from Santa Ana, CA.


“I play a game called Loteria on Christmas. So it’s a I think four by four cards they give you. Each box is a picture. it’s a bunch of different things. There’s random pictures of stuff. It could be a melon, watermelon in English, or something else. I’m not sure why they chose the pictures. The way we do it, a lot of families do it the same way but it depends, you get pinto beans and you put one on every square. Then you choose someone to read out the deck of cards, they shuffle it put it face down and then start taking cards out from it. Then they read off what it is. And then if you get it, you just take a bean off. You can win, my family doesn’t do this, but you can win by getting horizontal or vertical lines, but the way we do it once you completely clear the card, cause otherwise the games are too short. We usually play it with money, so not much money but we get like quarters or dimes and put a different buy in each cents. Whoever wins takes it all. That’s pretty much it, I think.”

Q: Would you say that the way you play Loteria is standard?

“Yeah, there’s little nitpicky stuff, everyone has their house rules but you know, that’s the way you play it.”


The informant’s way of playing was somewhat different than the traditional way of playing. The informant mentions that his family reads off a card and whoever has that card takes a bean off. In the traditional game, there is no mention of pinto beans being used, and the person who reads off the card usually tells a riddle in order to make the card discrete to the other players. The fifty four Loteria cards the informant uses, along with the general way of playing remain true to the traditional game.