A Raffle with a Twist

Many of us dealt the Jen H. event at Royal Sonesta last month, but how many of you noticed that their raffle was a *little* different? I noticed, because I was dealing Pai Gow Poker, which meant no one wanted to play for the first half of the night. Until one man was brave enough to sit down and learn, and then the table almost filled up. In the meantime, while waiting for my table to sprout players, I watched the raffle. Most raffles happen at the end of the event, after everyone is done playing. But, at this event, they did raffles in waves. They had three waves total, and gave away great prizes throughout. Check out the items they had – and this is just a sample:


So, why did they do this? I think one reason is because they had so many great items that there wasn’t anything that monumentally stood out as a “Finale” for the evening. When your gifts are this impressive, there’s no need to draw extra attention to them – they do that work for you.

But I present it does something slightly better than that – it keeps people interested, and keeps people gambling. When you turn in chips for tickets, and lose during Wave 1, and quickly see another chance to win again around the corner, you gamble more. To try to win again. And when you miss on Wave 2, guess what? You gamble again some more to try to win again in Wave 3. This simple change took people from gambling a little to getting them to gamble a lot. Smart move if you have enough prizes to raffle off. And boy, did they. Check out this video of prizes:


Not too shabby. And the system they used had every gambling until the last minute. Well done, Sunoco, and well done, Kristi Kinkaid!


“Last year people won more than one billion dollars playing poker. And casinos made twenty-seven billion just by being around those people.”

–Samantha Bee

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