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What Are the Best Ideas for Raffle Prizes?

Tiffany Manley
Tiffany Manley

Raffles are an effective way to raise funds. In order to choose desirable raffle prizes, the organizers of a raffle should consider their audience. It is best to choose raffle prizes that are desirable to the audience, because this usually sells more tickets. Just about anything can be given away as raffles prizes, but a few items that do really well at raffles are electronics, homemade gifts, gift baskets, gift cards, gift certificates to local attractions and travel packages.

Electronics are one of the most popular raffle prizes. Many individuals enjoy a variety of electronic goods but often do not purchase these items for themselves. Video cameras, computers, televisions and media players are items that cost a considerable amount of money. This makes purchasing a relatively inexpensive raffle ticket for a chance at winning these items a good decision in many people’s eyes.

Raffle tickets.
Raffle tickets.

Homemade gifts and gift baskets are two great items to use for raffle prizes. These items are unique, which can make for a good raffle prize. Organizers of a raffle might ask fellow supporters to make something, they might approach a local business, or they might ask other people in the area to donate homemade items or gift baskets for a raffle.

Gift cards are another option for a raffle prize. Offering a gift card allows the winner to have something very portable and to purchase something that he or she wants. Gift cards to popular stores are desirable because many people enjoy shopping at these locations on a regular basis.

Tablets and other electronics make great raffle prizes.
Tablets and other electronics make great raffle prizes.

Many people enjoy frequenting local attractions, so gift certificates to these locations might be good raffle prizes. Local businesses generally enjoy helping out local organizations and charities, and they're often happy to donate admission to their establishments as a raffle prize. This type of prize is highly customizable for the target audience as well. If many families are in attendance, a raffle organizer might include tickets for museums, zoos or movie theaters. For an audience consisting of single individuals, gift certificates for local clubs and restaurants might be good prizes.

A gift basket for a raffle.
A gift basket for a raffle.

Travel packages appeal to a wide variety of people. Most people enjoy traveling and experiencing new things, so packages that offer all-expenses-paid vacations are desirable. Travel packages do not have to include out-of-area destinations. Raffle organizers might enjoy putting together a travel package that consists of local destinations such as hotels, restaurants, cultural activities or spas.

Discussion Comments


We had a Pirates of the Caribbean theme for a carnival and the raffle prize was a small wooden box with lock filled with a book or two on pirates, a bandana with skull and crossbones, a Treasure Hunt game, a large rubber skeleton, stuffed parrot, fun map where pirates found treasure years ago, money (tokens for a local FunSpot, a silver dollar, Pirate bills found on line and copied, $2.00 bills, a roll of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and 50 Cent pieces), scattered all around, and a genuine hundred dollar bill in plain view. We raised $600. A little girl won it and ended up putting all the money in her savings account.


I need some ideas for prizes for a raffle. I am raising $2000 for the Anam Cara House Geelong.

Anam Cara House Geelong offers support to people of all ages who are seeking palliative care within the Geelong and District community.

It is a community funded, non-denominational organization of health professionals, volunteers and supporters working together to provide “homelike” day hospice, short term overnight respite and end of life care. Please help me out with some ideas. I'm completely stuck. Thanks.


I know there are all kinds of prize ideas to get people to buy raffle tickets. I think as long as the prize is something that a lot of people would be interested in, you will have no trouble selling the tickets.

Everybody I know would love to win a TV, computer or even a car. I have been to some events where they are selling raffle tickets to win a car. The cost of the ticket is usually more than it would be with a smaller item, but that makes sense because of the higher worth of the item being raffled off.

I think that you would have a much greater response if you offer one big expensive gift than if you have several cheap gifts. Most people are more willing to put up a small investment for an expensive item. If they think the item is cheap, it is much easier to pass it up.


A few years ago our county fair was selling raffle tickets for a beautiful gray horse. We have owned several horses, but have never had a gray one, and this is my husbands favorite color of horse.

Since you didn't have to be present to win when they drew the winning ticket, he bought a few raffle tickets in the hopes of winning that horse.

He never did win, but has still mentioned that horse several times since then. Having a nice horse for a prize at a county fair was a big draw. We live in a rural area where there are many farms and a lot of people have horses.

The few times we walked past where they were selling the tickets, there were always people lined up to buy a ticket or two in hopes of winning.


My husband does a raffle every year where he works, and they normally have a pretty good turnout. We live in a more rural area where hunting and fishing is the thing.

So, last year when the prize was a nice fishing boat, everybody and their brother bought about ten of the tickets or more. Everyone was all excited about the raffle day.

It was a huge shock when the ticket was drawn that was the winner. For some reason, there were tickets in there that the corresponding ticket numbers hadn’t been sold.

So the ticket that was drawn didn’t actually have a winner attached to it.

There was a huge stink when the head over the raffle sent the boat back to the seller, and didn’t even bother to draw another ticket. He still kept all of the money, though!

Needless to say, someone new is over it this year.


Our high school football team has a kind of unique raffle each and every year. It goes something like this (I’ll try to explain it so that it makes sense, anyway).

They sell raffle tickets (I’ve never bought one because they are quite pricey) at about a hundred bucks a pop. You don’t get to choose your number, but one is given to you.

At the first scrimmage of the season with our biggest rivals (which we have every single year the week before the first ‘real’ game) a helicopter hovers over the field, where the numbers that have been handed out are scattered.

The helicopter has our team’s quarterback in it, who cannot possibly see the numbers from where he is. He throws a football randomly, and the number that it lands on wins ten thousand dollars.

Football is our town’s big thing, and so they always make at least three times what they give away. Not bad, huh?


I have also seen free raffle prizes used to boost attendance, this is where you are entered into the raffle just by showing up. I think the place I see this used the most is at baseball games, in particular the various minor league baseball games (I do not think I have seen this at a major league game).

If you look at the schedule the baseball team usually lists what they will be raffling off or giving away at each game and they indicate how many they have (such as a "free t-shirt to the first 100 people in attendance").

I think it makes for great entertainment in between innings (not as much as the silly games they play but its hard to beat two people dressing up in large sumo costumes trying to stand up much less knock each other over, but I digress...).

The most popular raffle in my circle of friends that has been able to get a few of our friends that do not normally come to games to come was a jewelry raffle! For many people it is hard to beat a diamonds raffle plain and simple.


I have seen it all as far as raffle prizes go at my latest charity event that I volunteered at.

This event was for an Infant Toddler Program that runs off of donations and is a program specifically for kids with Cerebral Palsy.

The even was a sporting clays tournament! For their raffle that had everything from ammunition to homemade carving boards made from the shiniest maple wood I had ever seen to gift certificates to swimming lessons. Oh and did I mention they raffled off a rifle! (But I guess that is not too hard to believe since it was a sporting clays tournament.)

Hmmm… let me see if I can think of some more as they ended up making more money from the raffle than they had in years past so it must have been a doozie!

They had vacation house rentals, restaurant gift certificates, certificates for someone to come in and steam clean your carpets, boxes of wine, boxes of beer, spa gift certificates, pottery, electronics, sports memorabilia and painted canvases. It really seemed like they worked at finding something for everyone and it was really wonderful.

Oh and if you ever need raffle ideas - I think that seeing what the popular Christmas presents were for that year also make for good raffle prizes.


I work for a school that has quite a few raffles a year, some of the raffle prize ideas have been turned into silent auctions on some occasions but I think they work either way.

Some of our popular items are local craftsmen items, I think that people enjoy knowing that they are supporting locally as well as the fact they have a "one of a kind" item. From what I have seen the more popular items tend to include jewelry, pottery, or frames.


This might seem obvious, but it's worth pointing out that great raffle prizes need to be a good fit for the amount of money you're charging for the tickets. Homemade goodie baskets are nice for dollar tickets.

I worked at a private school once that did a really popular reverse raffle. The tickets were quite expensive, but the prize was a car. People would group together to buy tickets with the agreement that they would sell the car and split the money.


Having a theme in mind can be a great way to decide what raffle prizes you should purchase. For those that are having any kind of seasonal party you can get the typical electronics and gift cards, but to make it really special having an "experience" up for grabs can be the best raffle prize.

During winter you can offer up something like a stay in a ice hotel or a ride on a dog sled. During the summer, offering someone the chance to try an extreme sport like skydiving could be just the thing you need to generate excitement about your raffle.

One of the best prizes I have seen so far was a raffle that offered time in a recording studio for young aspiring singers. This was offered at a music camp.


Be very careful if you plan to do any part of your raffle online. No matter what your prizes are a lot of online payment systems won't expect cash for anything deemed a prize in a lottery.

A good example of this is with PayPal. My friends and I made a raffle for tickets to win some game time cards online and you could buy your ticket online. Unfortunately our raffle got shut down because it was considered a lottery, which is illegal in most states.

Pretty much the only way around this is to make everything a donation because charitable donations aren't watched as closely. Whatever you do, don't use the term raffle or lottery when you want money for raffle tickets.

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    • Raffle tickets.
      By: Diane Keys
      Raffle tickets.
    • Tablets and other electronics make great raffle prizes.
      By: Rido
      Tablets and other electronics make great raffle prizes.
    • A gift basket for a raffle.
      By: imageteam
      A gift basket for a raffle.
    • A jewelry maker might contribute jewelry for a raffle prize.
      By: jameslyons
      A jewelry maker might contribute jewelry for a raffle prize.
    • Many raffles for children include remote control race cars as a prize.
      By: Andreas Gradin
      Many raffles for children include remote control race cars as a prize.