Ways to Give Out Prizes Randomly at a Party

by Nicole Schmoll, Demand Media
    Raffle tickets are an easy way to randomize prizes at a party.

    Raffle tickets are an easy way to randomize prizes at a party.

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    Randomly distributed prizes give everyone at a party the opportunity to experience the thrill of anticipating a possible prize. There are a few simple and common techniques that you can incorporate into any party to distribute prizes when you don't have enough to give something to everyone. Randomness can be both fair and fun and leave guests enjoying the party more than if prizes were already predetermined by status or rank.

    Assign Numbers

    Determine how many guests are attending your party. Create slips of paper for that number of guests. Write the numbers on individual slips of paper. Fold the slips in half or quarters and slip them into a baseball hat or fabric drawstring bag. Repeat the process so that you have an identical set of folded slips of paper in a second hat or drawstring bag. Reserve one of the bags or hats to draw from for prizes. Close the second bag or hat and shake the slips vigorously. Walk the bag or hat around and give each person an opportunity to draw a slip from the bag. After all of the slips have been distributed, draw for prizes by randomly pulling a slip out of the other bag and calling it aloud for each prize. Winners are the people holding the matching numbers called.

    Play Bingo

    Purchase a pad of bingo sheets filled with random numbers. Give each guest a bingo sheet from the pad. Use a laptop computer connected to a projector so that you can display the image on your screen up on a blank wall or screen. Use a random number-generator website to randomly select numbers. Have a scribe write each number down after the computer pulls it up. This method eliminates the cost of renting a bingo ball machine, while still giving guests a fun, random way to win prizes at your party. Enter the range of numbers matching your bingo cards and select numbers until someone calls out "Bingo!" Verify that the person's marked numbers have all been called and then distribute the prize. Show guests which prize will be awarded before each game.

    Go Bobbing

    Paint numbers onto apples with waterproof paint for a fun, fall party prize technique. Fill a tub with water and place apples in it. Set prizes on a table. Place a sealed envelope on each prize with a number inside of each envelope. Associate those numbers with the numbers on the apples. While you'll know what numbered apple goes with each prize, guests won't. The bobbing technique randomizes who will win each prize.

    Raffle Tickets

    Raffle tickets are one of the easiest and simplest ways to randomly give out door prizes at a party. Buy a roll of raffle tickets at your local craft store or look in the entertainment or paper aisle at your local grocery store. Raffle tickets come in identical pairs. Rip two off the roll at a time, giving one to a guest. Place the identical ticket into a drawstring bag or cardboard box with a small slit cut out of the top. Towards the end of the party, announce that you'll draw for prizes. Tell everyone to get their tickets out. Have someone that did not participate in the raffle reach into the box or bag and pull out raffle tickets. Clearly call out raffle numbers for each prize and let guests come and claim them. If you're hosting a casino party, convert non-cash value playing chips into raffle tickets when game time is over. Let players collect chips as they enjoy casino games like poker, blackjack, roulette and craps. Assign a monetary value ahead of time for each raffle ticket, such as one ticket equals $5 in non-cash value chips. Let players exchange their chips for raffle tickets. Give a complementary ticket to each guest so that everyone has a chance to win. While guests with more chips will have a greater chance of winning, actual winners will still be random.

    About the Author

    Nicole Schmoll is a freelance writer in Omaha, Neb., who has been writing professionally since 2005. Specializing in gardening, religion, communication and marketing, she has been published in "Woodmen Living," the "Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising" and various online publications. Schmoll holds a Master of Arts in communication.

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