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Reverse Raffle with a Live Auction

Reverse Raffle with a Live Auction

I recently did something new at an event that was super cool!  It is called a reverse raffle, and I think every event organizer should give it a shot.

Everyone who purchased a $100 ticket to attend the fundraising gala received one entry into a raffle with a grand prize of $5000. The entries looked like bingo balls and were placed in a massive drum using the concept that the last ball pulled at the end of the night was the winner.

This format was great for holding everyone’s attention throughout the event and created some heathy (and hilarious) competition amongst participants. The fun part for me was that the audience was given several changes to buy back their entries into the draw and yours truly (that’s me!) sold these extra entries through live auction.

Here is the reverse raffle schedule that we worked from:

  • 7:00pm – Half of the balls were removed from the draw and the audience was updated on which tickets remained.
  • 7:30pm – Additional 25 balls were removed from the draw.
  • 7:30pm – Audience was given the opportunity to ‘get back in’ to the draw – this raised an additional $1000 as I sold 5 additional tickets for $200 a piece.
  • 8:00pm – 15 balls were removed, with only 15 left in the draw.
  • 8:00pm – Once again, the audience had the chance to buy 3 additional tickets into the draw.  These ones sold for $500 each, adding up to $1500.
  • 8:30pm – Ten more balls were drawn, leaving 8 in the running for the grand prize.
  • 8:30pm – audience was given another chance to buy back in.  Two more tickets were offered at live auction, which raised $3000.
  • 9:00pm – Eight balls were removed, with two remaining.
  • 9:00pm – Audience is given a final opportunity to buy one more ticket into the draw, which sold for $2500.
  • 9:30pm – With three tickets in the draw, the winner was selected and won $5000.

Over the course of the evening, I also auctioned off five live auction items which provided entertainment throughout the night as opposed to having one long auction period.

So overall, the reverse raffle raised $13,000 – $5,000 prize = $8000 profit!  In addition to that, funds were raised through the sale of live auction items, silent auction items and ticket sale profits.

The reverse raffle was a great addition to the event which was highly interactive and entertaining.  While this particular event was fairly small with only 100 attendees, the reverse raffle is scalable and would work just as well at larger events.