Selling raffle tickets at an event to raise extra money is pretty common. The most common type of raffle is a 50/50, where raffle tickets are sold for something like $1, and in the end, the person holding the winning raffle ticket wins half of the proceeds collected from the raffle. For nonprofits trying to make money on a 50/50, the value proposition is only 50%, and less when you count any cost of purchasing raffle tickets, a raffle drum, etc. Often times the social convention is that the winner of the 50/50 gives it back to the charity, but that doesn't always happen. In discussing 50/50 raffles with many organizations that have used them, it is actually pretty unusual for someone to donate back their 50/50 winnings.
Someone had tipped us to the idea of a lottery ticket board as an alternative to a 50/50 raffle. The idea works the same as a 50/50 but the payout is more limited because the most the organization will be out of pocket is the cost of the lottery tickets and the cost of the raffle tickets. Sales are the same as in a 50/50: raffle tickets are sold ($1/ticket, 15 tickets for $10, 40 tickets for $20, etc.) and one raffle ticket will win. But instead of winning 50% of the pot, the winner gets a bunch of instant win scratch-off lottery tickets, maybe $100/worth. The potential value of the lottery tickets is substantially more than the potential 50/50 value would ordinarily be. In the example from the tip, someone scratched off a $1000 instant win ticket, ensuring that everyone would want to buy a ticket the next time they did this.
We tested this lottery board concept at a recent golf outing to replace this year's 50/50 and see if we could raise more money. We bought $100 worth of instant win lottery tickets (38 tickets) ranging in purchase value from $1 to $10. Raffle tickets were sold, and in the end, someone won the lottery board. According to the winner, she won a total of $91 from the tickets, not bad for a $5 investment. Overall the lottery ticket board netted at least as much as the 50/50 did in previous years, and we will try it again next year to determine if this year was a fluke.
Overall, the lottery board raffle board fundraiser may be a good alternative to a 50/50 raffle. If you wind up using it, let us know how it worked.