Pasapalabra is a Spanish television game show, adapted from the British format The Alphabet Game. The title is a portmanteau of the Spanish verb pasar, "pass", and palabra, literally "word".

"Pasapalabra" on background of letters in alphabetic circles
GenreGame show[1]
Presented by
Country of originSpain
Original languageSpanish
Running time43 minutes
Original release
NetworkAntena 3
Release24 July 2000 (2000-07-24) –
16 June 2006 (2006-06-16)
Release16 July 2007 (2007-07-16) –
1 October 2019 (2019-10-01)
NetworkAntena 3
Release13 May 2020 (2020-05-13) –



In each episode, two contestants team with celebrities (usually, one male and one female celebrity per team) to play various games. A team's correct responses in these games score seconds, extending their contestant's time limit in the final game, known as el rosco final or el rosco.

There are four rounds of gameplay prior to the rosco. All of them begin with the female celebrity, who sits to the contestant's right.

  • One of Four (Uno de cuatro)

In this round, players are given four options to choose from, then asked a series of questions, usually built around a theme (e.g. musicians, actors, countries, animals, etc.). A correct answer scores two seconds and removes that option from the board, which is then replaced by a new one; therefore, there are always four options for each question. An incorrect answer removes the correct one from the board and play passes to the next player on the team; players cannot pass without a guess. The players must answer as many questions as they can in 75 seconds.

  • Music Round (La pista musical)

Players go head-to-head against their opposite on the other team to identify a popular song; the two female celebrity guests go first, followed by the two contestants, and finally the two male celebrity guests. The host reveals the year in which the song was first released (though in some cases, they listen to a cover version, in which case the host will tell them the year in which the cover was released); a short snippet of the song is then played, and if the player can identify it correctly, they earn the contestant five seconds. A player may buzz in at any time after the music begins, and buzzing in does not stop the music; therefore, players will usually try to buzz in immediately when the music starts (though buzzing in too soon, before the music actually starts, results in a lost turn).

If neither player can guess the song, the host then reads a line from the lyrics (which are usually in Spanish or English, though occasionally in Italian or French); identifying the song from this earns four seconds. If not, another snippet is played, worth three seconds.

For two seconds, several options are possible: either the host reads the title with the words out of order; conveys the title using synonyms for the actual words; or, if the title is in a language other than Spanish, reads a translation of the title into Spanish, which the players must translate correctly.

If the players still do not know the song, a final snippet of music is played, worth one second; if neither knows by the end of this round, no seconds are scored, and play advances to the next pair.

The songs are generally popular songs from music history, though sometimes they are themes from film or TV series, or children's songs. In these cases, this fact is revealed at the beginning, rather than the year of the song.

  • Crossed Words (Palabras Cruzadas)

Players are presented with a total of nine words. Each word is split in half and randomly placed into one of two rows. The players are given a theme; they must then match the two halves to complete the word based on the description of the word. For every complete grid, contestants earn two seconds.

An incorrect answer passes to the next player. Since there are nine words, the player can win up to 18 seconds.

  • Where are they? (¿Dónde estan?)

Players are shown a grid of nine words, all revolving around a theme. They are only shown the words for a few seconds and must try to remember as many as possible, before the grid is replaced by numbers. The clock then starts at 75 seconds, and the host reads the words on the grid in random order; players must state which number the word is behind. Correct answers reveal the word and the host reads the next; incorrect answers reset the grid and the words are hidden again.

If a player correctly finds all nine words in a single play, the contestant locks in 10 seconds. If both teams find all the words on their respective grids, each contestant earns 10 seconds; if only one team does so, that contestant earns 20 seconds. If neither team finds all nine words, the team who found the most earns 5 seconds; if there is a tie, each earns 5 seconds.

  • Final round (El rosco)

In the rosco, each contestant is given 85 seconds in addition to the seconds they have accumulated in the previous rounds. Play proceeds through letters of the Spanish alphabet, except K and W: for each letter, the host reads a definition of a word starting with it (or, in the case of Ñ, Q, X, and Y, containing the letter). A contestant responds with a word, or passes by saying "pasapalabra". After a pass or an incorrect answer, play moves to the other contestant; each player's rosco contains one answer on which the host elaborates, usually with a brief explanation of the word's etymology. Completing the rosco with every response correct wins the show's progressive jackpot.

Once a player has heard all the definitions, they usually immediately pass to skip letters they have not answered to avoid losing time while they try to think of an answer (though no matter how fast they pass, one second is always deducted per turn). If a player wishes, they can say nothing and let their time run out.

If a player does not win the jackpot, they win €1,200 if they answer more correct than their opponent, or if each has the same number correct but their opponent has more incorrect responses (faltas); for example, if Player A has answered 22 correct and has no incorrect answers, while Player B also has 22 correct but one incorrect, Player A would be the winner.

In the event of a tie, each player wins €600. Therefore, a player can come away with a sum of money from their time on the show, even if they never win the jackpot.



Pasapalabra first aired on Antena 3 in 2000, with Silvia Jato as host. Constantino Romero substituted Jato in 2002. Jaime Cantizano replaced Jato as host in 2006.

In 2006, a Pasapalabra jackpot of €2,190,000 became the largest prize ever awarded on a game show in Spain, and the third largest prize ever awarded on a game show in Europe.[2]

In 2007, Pasapalabra moved to Telecinco with Christian Gálvez as host.[3] Pasapalabra aired evenings on Telecinco, Monday through Friday.[1]

In 2014, Lilit Manukyan of Armenia became the first Pasapalabra jackpot winner whose native language was not Spanish.[4]

On 2 October 2019, the programme was pulled by Telecinco, following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Spain in favour of ITV Studios in a royalty dispute over the rights to the Pasapalabra format. While initially adapted from the British panel game show The Alphabet Game, Mediaset argued that the format had evolved substantially to include elements (such as the endgame) that were not included in the original format, to the point that it believed ITV were no longer entitled to royalties. However, the court ruled otherwise.[5][6] Telecinco briefly replaced the programme with its own original format, El tirón, which was also hosted by Gálvez.[7]

On 19 December 2019, Antena 3 announced that it would revive Pasapalabra.[8] Roberto Leal took on hosting duties,[9] with Manel Fuentes filling in for him for two episodes while he was quarantined after contracting COVID-19.[10]

On 28 February 2021, a special 20th anniversary episode aired with former hosts Silvia Jato and Jaime Cantizano as guest contestants.[11][12]

On 1 July 2021, Pablo Díaz won a jackpot of nearly €2,000,000, after a record run of 260 consecutive episodes.[13]

List of El Rosco winners

Date Name of contestant Win (Euros) Win (Pesetas) Notes
10 September 2000 Juan Campoy Armero €60,101.21 10.000.000 ₧ First but smallest win of the first Antena 3 era.
24 November 2000 Gabriel García €168,283.39 28.000.000 ₧
January 2001 José Manuel Dorado €150,253.03 25.000.000 ₧
February 2001 Alberto Martínez Pellicer €132,222.26 22.000.000 ₧
March 2001 Joseba Molina €126,212.54 21.000.000 ₧
19 June 2001 Josep Badia €240,404.84 40.000.000 ₧
9 December 2001 Rafael Moreno €432,728.72 72.000.000 ₧ Biggest Spanish game show win at the time.
14 April 2003 Ernesto García €555,000 92,344,230 ₧
17 March 2004 Manuel Romero €1,023,000 170,212,880 ₧ First win above €1,000,000.
8 May 2006 Eduardo Bonito €2,190,000 364,385,340 ₧
9 June 2006 Rubén García €144,000 23,959,584 ₧ Final Antena 3 win until 2021.
6 August 2007 Marta Sierra €96,000 15,973,056 ₧ First win of the Telecinco era.
18 September 2007 Daniel Cerrada €186,000 30,947,796 ₧
16 November 2007 Miguel Rodríguez €240,000 39,932,640 ₧
20 November 2007 Javier Pascual €30,000 4,991,580 ₧
11 December 2007 José Francisco Martín del Pozo €66,000 10,981,476 ₧
14 January 2008 Nuria Fernández €24,000
21 February 2008 Rafael Soriano €228,000
1 March 2008 Mariano Gazo €54,000
13 June 2008 María José Sánchez €36,000
10 January 2008 Francisco M. García €90,000
21 February 2008 Rafael Soriano €228,000
28 April 2008 Víctor Puig €342,000
6 June 2008 Pedro García €234,000
13 June 2008 Manoli Casas €192,000
3 September 2008 Pilar Aimeigeiras €156,000
October 2008 Emilio Maestro €180,000
25 November 2008 Javier Álvarez €312,000
7 December 2008 Beatriz Soria €72,000
30 December 2008 Álvaro Altarejos €132,000
23 January 2009 Pedro Hernández €132,000
19 April 2009 José Manuel Lúcia €396,000
16 June 2009 Jon Iñaki Aguado €282,000
9 July 2009 Javier Granda €108,000
24 September 2009 Antonio García €450,000
13 December 2009 Rubén García €366,000
22 December 2009 Sebastián Cárdenas €42,000
10 January 2010 Francisco Javier Ajo €102,000
12 March 2010 Laura Gonzalo €282,000
22 March 2010 Pilar Acedo €36,000
4 May 2010 Carlos Rodriguez Rincón €186,000
17 June 2010 María José Hernanz €180,000
1 September 2010 Rosi Díaz €162,000
23 February 2011 Carlos Villalba €852,000
24 February 2012 César Garrido €1,524,000
21 May 2012 Alberto Izquierdo €374,000
18 July 2013 Juan Pedro Gómez €1,674,000
27 May 2014 Paz Herrera €1,310,000
21 August 2014 Paco de Benito €362,000
21 November 2014 Lilit Manukyan €318,000 First winner to not have Spanish as a native language.
19 February 2015 Luis Esteban €354,000
24 February 2015 Jon Otazua €18,000 Smallest Pasapalabra win.
11 June 2015 Susana García €450,000
10 October 2016 David Leo García €1,866,000 Largest win of the Telecinco era.
17 January 2017 Carlos Adán €318,000
14 March 2017 Julio Escartín €318,000
19 December 2017 Antonio Ruiz €1,164,000
4 June 2018 The Díaz Family €198,000 Only family to win the jackpot in the spin-off Pasapalabra en familia.
22 January 2019 Francisco José González €1,542,000 Final win of the Telecinco era.
1 July 2021 Pablo Díaz €1,828,000 First win of the Antena 3 revival.
27 September 2021 Sofia Álvarez €466,000 To date smallest win of the Antena 3 revival.
16 March 2023 Rafa Castaño €2,272,000 Largest win in the show's history.
15 May 2024 Óscar Díaz €1,816,000


  1. ^ a b "PASAPALABRA". Telecinco (in Spanish). Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  2. ^ Gómez, Rosario G. (May 9, 2006). "'Pasapalabra' da un premio de 2,1 millones, el mayor de un concurso" [Pasapalabra gives away a 2.1 million prize, the largest from a game show]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "Christian Gálvez, próximo presentador de 'Pasapalabra' en Telecinco" [Christian Gálvez, the next host of Pasapalabra on Telecinco]. FormulaTV (in Spanish). May 11, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  4. ^ Valdés, Isabel (25 November 2014). "Cuando era pequeña soñaba con ser la primera astronauta armenia" [When I was little I dreamed of being the first Armenian astronaut]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  5. ^ "El Supremo obliga a Telecinco a suspender la emisión de Pasapalabra "inmediatamente"" [The Supreme Court obliges Telecinco to cancel the broadcast of Pasapalabra "immediately"]. El Mundo (in European Spanish). Europa Press. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  6. ^ Mucientes, Esther. "Con la D, perder Pasapalabra: desgracia" [With the D, losing Pasapalabra: disgrace]. El Mundo. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  7. ^ Yotele, Redacción (2019-10-18). "Christian Gálvez desvela detalles de 'El tirón' y anuncia el regreso de Rafa y Orestes". elperiodico (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  8. ^ Vertele (19 December 2019). "Antena 3 se queda con 'Pasapalabra' tras perderlo Telecinco" [Antena 3 gets 'Pasapalabra' after Telecinco loses it]. (in European Spanish). Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  9. ^ Avendaño, Tom C. (14 April 2020). "Roberto Leal presentará el 'Pasapalabra' de Antena 3" [Roberto Leal will present the ‘Pasapalabra’ of Antena 3]. El País (in European Spanish). Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Manel Fuentes, presentador visto y no visto de 'Pasapalabra'" [Manel Fuentes, blink-and-you-missed-him host of 'Pasapalabra']. El Confidencial (in Spanish). 16 September 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Silvia Jato y Jaime Cantizano vuelven a 'Pasapalabra' por su 20 aniversario" [Silvia Jato and Jaime Cantizano return to 'Pasapalabra' for its 20th anniversary]. El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 31 December 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  12. ^ "'Pasapalabra' (19.2%) también triunfa en la tarde de domingo gracias a su especial 20 aniversario" ['Pasapalabra' (19.2%) also triumphs on Sunday evening thanks to its 20th anniversary special]. (in Spanish). 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Todos los números y récords que Pablo Díaz ha logrado en 'Pasapalabra' antes de ganar el bote". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 1 July 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.