The following is a guest post by the folks at RaffleTicket.com:
We all know how a raffle works, you sell tickets and draw a winner, but how does a reverse raffle work? The tickets for a reverse raffle are sold just the same, but the difference is that you are going to draw all of the losing tickets first, and then the winners at the very end.
For example, say you sold 100 tickets for your raffle. The first 90 tickets that you drew would not win anything. The remaining 10 tickets would stay in the container and each one of the 10 will win a prize. Of the 10 prize winners, the first 9 tickets that were drawn would win runner-up prizes. The final ticket left in the container is the grand prize winner.
How to stage a reverse raffle
The reverse raffle will need to be held in a place large enough to hold as many people as you sold tickets to, but you can’t legally require winners to be present (more on raffle laws below). A reverse raffle isn’t as much fun if the winners aren’t there to sit through the tension of the losing tickets being drawn.
A great way to keep track is of who is there, so you don’t get all the way to the end only to find out that the grand prize winner isn’t present, is to have people put their tickets in the drawing container as they arrive at the raffle. You can verify ticket holders that are drawn by either having them put their names on the back of the ticket, or having them hold on to another part of the ticket that has the same number on it as the ticket that was put in the container.
Break up the monotony of a larger raffle
If you end up selling a lot of reverse raffle tickets, the drawing is going to take a bit to get through. To keep people from getting bored you might want to think about having other things going on at the same time.
For example, schools can stage their reverse raffles during a sporting event. At each break or halftime a certain number of tickets are drawn. At the end of the game, the 10 prize winners are drawn.
You could also have a silent auction going on at the same time, with the raffle tickets being drawn every ten minutes. Selling food or serving a dinner during a reverse raffle is also a good idea, as not only can you raise money from the food sales, but eating will give the raffle participants something to do while the drawing is going on.
About: A to Z Discount Printing specializes in fundraising advice for those interested in having a raffle to raise money for their group. You can find additional tips and videos on how to put a successful raffle or other fundraiser together on their blog at RaffleTicket.com.
Please note: Laws governing raffles are determined state-by-state. Some states, have deemed them illegal as part of gambling, while other states allow a raffle fundraiser for just about anything. (For a list of each state’s raffle rules, visit nals.org). In addition, some cities and even counties in the U.S. require a separate application for a charity raffle. Be sure to find out well in advance what’s required to hold a raffle, and get any applications submitted in time. In fact, because rules can be pretty complicated, it’s probably best to get legal advice before starting a raffle of any kind.