Hey – wanna buy a ticket?

raffle-ticket I’ve been here 18 months now, and I have participated in *4*, count ’em, *4* ticket raffles. Before I moved here, I had never been in any, that I can remember, anyways. Alaskans sure do 1) know how to put a volunteer event together to raise money and 2) Know how to use that money, creating community ties at the same time. I’ve volunteered other places I’ve lived, but I have rarely seen it taken to the high professional results-getting art that it is here. A lot of the time, this is done through the ticket raffle. I’ve written before about how “recycling” is done in Fairbanks, and the most recent ticket raffle I’ve seen plays on this theme:

Raffle Ticket method #1:

Spring Cleaning:

1) Take nice stuff, but nevertheless stuff you don’t want anymore, and donate it to the cause.

2) Buy raffle tickets that give you the ability to bid on other people’s stuff that looks interesting to you.

3) Put the ticket in the cup behind the item on the appointed date. The ticket drawn out is the winner of the item.

4) Money is kept as a “rainy day” fund, buying cards or flowers or needed things for an employee who is having a tough time.

Numerous variations on the “ticket” theme exist. I had organized art auctions and book and video auctions before in the Outside, but never had I done the “raffle ticket” thing. There’s a whole rules structure to the ticket auction that neatly side steps the problems encountered in a assigned secret number silent auction or out loud auction. Some more variations on the ticket raffle theme:

Raffle Ticket method #2:

The 50/50 draw: I did this one for the Yukon Quest this year at the Finish Banquet.Β  1) Walk around with a plastic fish bowl with enticing signs and stickers on it. 2) Stick the fish bowl in a person’s face and coyly ask, “Buy a ticket? It’s 5 dollars! Come on, you can buy one beer less, and it’s for a good cause.” (It’s best to wait for a break in the mushing conversation before you interupt, especially if they’re standing in the line for the bar.) 3) Explain that for a looooooong string of tickets, you can buy many chances to get 1/2 of the total pot at the end of the evening. 4) Coyly and shyly show them the arm’s length of tickets they get, starting at the wrist, rolling out the roll and finishing at the bust. If it’s a guy, ask them to hold the fish bowl for a second. (Note: this works better if you wear a top with a low collar, which I didn’t. 😦 ) 5) If you’re asked how much you’ve raised so far, tell them you’re doing pretty well, but haven’t counted yet. Shake the fish bowl and look at it. Another $5 paid means a bigger payout for you, ya know…

Raffle Ticket method #3:

Or, how about the “Shhhh, it’s a secret” game? This one takes a bit more marketing and selling from the fish bowl holder. 1) Explain that you’re selling tickets to a raffle to play a game at the end of the night, and the winner gets a really good prize. Tickets are $5 each. 2) When the person asks what the prize is, tell them. This works best with big expensive prizes. In the case that I saw, it was 2 coach tickets to Outside on Alaskan Airlines. That’s a good prize for this “what, still winter?” area. 3) Explain that you can’t tell them what the game is until later and then, your voice taking on a coy “I double dog dare ya” tone, ask them if they’re in. If they hesitate at all, give a slightly pitying look, then say “Oh well! I’m outta here.” Believe it or not, this worked like mosquitoes to bare flesh for the woman I saw working it that night. She, of course, was more suitably attired. She also made more than me.

Raffle Ticket method #4:

The Bingo Wheel Method: Sell tickets to the raffle, $10 or $25 each, explaining that out of the 500 tickets you sell, during the actual raffle, (held at a popular bar and restaurant, of course) 500 separate draws will be made, and the ticket numbers read out. Only the 1st, 25th, 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th, 250th, 300th, 350th, 400th, 450th, and 500th draw will award a prize though. The prizes are usually pretty good, but the lower numbers (25, 50…) are smaller prizes, like coffee travel mugs or sweatshirts. The higher numbers (250, 500)are airline tickets and cash awards. People really do come in droves to this thing. Or, maybe it’s a way toΒ  support the event, see friends you haven’t seen in while, and have a beer and some good conversation and halibut. I would totally go for those reasons. πŸ™‚

Of course, being an old ex-gamer, I toyed with the idea of making the “Bingo Wheel Method” (the matching numbered tickets are rolled around in what looks like a Bingo wheel) more random. How about using percentiles (three of em, even…) to determine the random numbers from 1-500 that the prizes are handed out on? Maybe it wouldn’t work as well – no one would know when to stop talking and listen to see if it was their ticket that won, if every number had a possibility of being the one that had a prize.

Wait, how about…more than one person has the number 25, for example, and then they all have to roll for initiative? πŸ˜€ Okay, okay, enough gamer talk…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Hey – wanna buy a ticket?

  1. Mom

    Well, you have done it again!!! Really excellent piece. Still say you should write a book. You have the knack for it not a lot of people have.

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