The History of Raffle
While most modern New Zealand casino players may enjoy the odd raffle, sometimes in digital form, the concept of the raffle has been around since the beginning of recorded human history. In the Bible, it is written in the Old Testament that Moses used a lottery system in order to give land west of the Jordan River to his followers.
In ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome, people played raffle like games. In these games, much different from modern casino games, they would throw bones or dice to cast lots. After the lots were casts they would then draw winners. It wasn’t long before the raffle turned into a way of raising money for specific endeavours and causes.
In ancient China, the Hun Dynasty developed a type of raffle called Keno. The money raised from this was used to defend the country and also on civic-type projects. These projects included constructing the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall was constructed to provide border defence and stretched over twenty one hundred kilometres. An undertaking of this magnitude required enormous amounts of resources and cash, and this new raffle system helped bankroll this endeavour.
In the 15th century, there are records of people using this system to get rid of the personal effects after a loved one has passed away. Instead of just selling everything off, they would run raffles and often turn much larger profits for individual items.
During that same century, Belgium began using raffles to pay for things like public housing, churches and other civil developments.
During the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth raffled some china serving dishes, several tapestries and a large sum of money.
The value of these items was much lower than the value of all the tickets that were sold. Eventually, raffles made their way to the United States, where they are still used today for things such as fundraising.
How It Works
At its core, raffles are a form of gambling where patrons will buy a numbered ticket for the chance to win a prize or a number or prizes. The patrons are given a time that numbers will be drawn and announced. These numbers are drawn from a container. This container holds all of the possible combinations of numbers that were sold as tickets. Once the numbers are drawn, they are matched to winning tickets and the patrons who won can collect their prize or prizes.
It’s quite often that raffles will have more than one prize available. So when patrons buy a ticket, they’re not just buying a ticket to win a single prize, but rather a chance at winning one (or more) prizes that are on offer.
In order the sell the largest amount of tickets, organisers will often bundle groups of tickets together and offer a discount. So instead of paying five dollars for one ticket, a patron can buy three at a time and only pay twelve dollars for the lot. This drops the prize of the ticket down from five dollars a ticket to four dollars a ticket.
Raffles are quite popular in New Zealand, and some would say they are as popular as online bingo in New Zealand is in the region.
In cash raffles, instead of drawing for prizes, patrons buy tickets to win a part of the total earnings. These are not as popular as traditional forms of raffles, especially for fundraising.