Author Topic: 50/50 raffle etiquette  (Read 9815 times)

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Bijou

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2011, 09:24:11 PM »
I have a feeling that there is no true "correct" answer to this question, but I would like to hear people's opinions. I am participating in a 50/50 raffle. For those unfamiliar with the concept (this is the first time I've run into one), it works like this: People buy raffle tickets then one winning ticket is drawn. The winner receives half of the total amount collected for the tickets, while the other half is donated to a charitable cause. So if people put in a total of $1,000 buying tickets, the winner receives $500 and the charity receives $500.

My question is: What would you expect the winner to do with the money?

I ask because upon hearing about the raffle, my immediate, "before I could really think" impression was that if the winner didn't donate her winnings to the charity, she would probably look like a schmuck.

Now, I'm really, really good at feeling guilty about stuff I shouldn't necessarily feel guilty about so I'm curious to find out what other people consider the best course of action in a situation like this. Would you consider it rude/greedy if the winner kept the money or would you feel that there is an expectation to donate it? What if you knew and regularly saw most or all of the other people buying raffle tickets?

(The drawing for my raffle isn't until tomorrow afternoon, by the way, so we don't have a winner yet.)
When you bought the tickets, did you know it was 50% for the winner and 50% to a charity?  It seems like the rule for participation is already set...that the winner keeps half and the other half is donated to a charity.  Keep your half and enjoy it, or give it to a charity of your choice.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 09:26:26 PM by Bijou »
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kareng57

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2011, 09:24:21 PM »
Is this a fairly regular 50/50 draw - such as monthly at a workplace, or at a community meeting?  Has this been a precedent - that the winner automatically donates her "winnings" back?  If it seems to be expected then I agree with PPs - it really isn't a raffle at all and everyone might as well make a straight charity-donation.

If it's not necessarily the standard-practice, then IMO anyone who wants to donate her winnings back to the charity should keep quiet about it.  She can graciously accept the winnings at the time of the draw, but then after the meeting tell the co-ordinator that she'd like to donate them back to the charity.  That way, no future winners are going to feel obligated to do the same.

Sharnita

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2011, 09:45:37 PM »
I think each "community" has its own norms and expectations.  That doesn't mean that you have to abide by those but you might find it easier in the long run.

If it was a 50/50 at the school where I work I would have donated the money back until a year or two ago.  It has finally occurred to me that I spend enough of my own money and resources that I shouldn't feel bad keeping the money if I ever actually win one of those things.  Of course, I generally don't do raffles unless I know the person selling and I never have a whole lot of hope/emotion invested so when I do get the tickets on rare occassion I see the initial purchase more as a donation than an investment, if that makes sense.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2011, 10:00:19 PM »
Another consideration is that raffle or lottery winnings may be taxable, and if the amount if large enough, the organization may have to report it.  If the winner is expected to then give the winnings back, the winner gets a tax complication for nothing.  It makes no sense to expect winnings to be given back. 
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amylouky

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2011, 10:01:43 PM »
I think the winner should keep the money.
It really doesn't make sense to pressure the winner to donate the other 50% to the charity.. I mean, if everyone buying tickets knows that all of the money is going to the charity anyway, why not just take up donations?
The potential to win money is the incentive to buy the tickets, which is what makes the 50% donation possible. The winner shouldn't be made to feel guilty for not donating their prize.

johelenc1

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2011, 10:43:48 PM »
I can't imagine why the winner would need to give up the prize to the charity.  I certainly wouldn't.

ggreg7

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2011, 10:52:19 PM »
I was at a charity event recently for a group that my husband participates in and they had a 50/50 raffle.  When the winner was drawn the MC said "John is our winner!!  Would you like to donate any of those winnings back to X Charity???"

I was standing in the back of the room and watched as the wives heads pretty much spun around!!!  The guy who did the MC'ing that night knows to never do that again!!  It was awful.

Lynnv

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2011, 01:33:31 AM »
Our motorcycle club does one of these every month at our meetings.  The money is much smaller (usually between $30 and $50-so the winner gets between $15 and $25).  The most I have ever seen donated is the $0.50 to make it an even winnings.  So, for example, if the total take was $31 and the winner was entitled to $15.50, the winner might say "Just give me the $15 and donate the $0.50."  However, that is not expected or requested-and it happens only about 1/2 of the time.  I am the treasurer right now, and I always keep a couple of dollars in quarters in petty cash for just such occasions.

I have also seen lots and lots of these drawings as they are popular with bikers, so you see them at biker charity events and poker runs on a really regular basis.  I have never seen someone get nagged to donate their prize back, though I have seen it done on rare occasions.

I would never, however, expect a winner to donate their prize back to the charity.  And the most I would do is donate the change to make it an even amount.
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ipsedixit

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2011, 09:07:07 AM »
I agree with PP that it's the winner's prerogative and that no one should be assuming what the winner should or should not do with their winnings.  The terms of the deal are that the winner gets to keep the 50%.

I actually had never heard of anyone donating the winnings back to the charity until a couple years ago.  Friend's son was diagnosed with a terminal illness and in order to raise money, they had all kinds of fundraisers, one of which had a 50/50 raffle.  Friend was not happy that the person who won the 50/50 didn't donate the winnings back to their cause.  I'd just be happy that many people in the community came out to help and support my family.   :-\

MariaE

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2011, 09:36:59 AM »
If I knew I was expected to donate the winnings, I wouldn't bother participating in the raffle at all. If I win, the money is mine to do with what I will. I might donate it, depending on the cause, the situation, and my mood that day, but I might just as well keep it myself, and I'd be very unimpressed if I received any slack for that.

If you have to donate it, then it's not a raffle, it's a fancy way of donating to a cause.
 
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hardia

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2011, 10:08:46 AM »
50/50 draws are really common around here.  Most of the time, the winner keeps the money (as my husband did when he won a fairly big one a few years back at a music festival).  I only know of two instances where the money has been donated back -- Buck and Doe pre-wedding parties are really popular around here, and generally the 50/50 winner will donate their winnings back to the happy couple.  And they do them here at work a lot to raise money for the Christmas party and other social events -- one time the grand high poobah won and he donated his winnings back to the planning committee (every other time that I know of, the winner has kept the money).

Other than that, the winner is free to keep the money.  I'm sure sometimes people do donate it back to the fundraising organization, but it's certainly not the expectation, I don't think.

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That Anime Chick

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2011, 10:15:34 AM »

I wouldn't participate unless I expected to keep the money.  And if people made me feel guilty for it, it would be the last time I'd ever participate in one of their fundraisers.

Expecting the winner to donate their prize just seems like a tacky and convoluted way of guilt-tripping people out of money.  Hey, buy a ticket in a raffle. But the prize isn't really supposed to be an actual prize, and if you win, you're supposed to donate it back.  So really, we're just asking you for money, but are going to taunt you will the prospect of a prize to make it look more fun."

Every year we have a drive for a major charity in our area (they're a nationwide charity), and one of the things they do is a 50/50 bingo and 50/50 raffle. It's important to note that I have never donated to this charity, nor will I ever, due to issues I have with this charity (PM me if you're interested).

Two years ago we had a 50/50 bingo in which a co-worker won. She was estatic. She'd had a string of bad luck, leading up to losing her house in a fire. While the amount won was small (I think it was $75), the amount of pressure she got from everyone to donate bordered on harassment. She walked away in tears after practically tossing the money at the person who was in charge of the bingo game that day. She left the company not too long after.
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Yvaine

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 10:17:29 AM »

I wouldn't participate unless I expected to keep the money.  And if people made me feel guilty for it, it would be the last time I'd ever participate in one of their fundraisers.

Expecting the winner to donate their prize just seems like a tacky and convoluted way of guilt-tripping people out of money.  Hey, buy a ticket in a raffle. But the prize isn't really supposed to be an actual prize, and if you win, you're supposed to donate it back.  So really, we're just asking you for money, but are going to taunt you will the prospect of a prize to make it look more fun."

Every year we have a drive for a major charity in our area (they're a nationwide charity), and one of the things they do is a 50/50 bingo and 50/50 raffle. It's important to note that I have never donated to this charity, nor will I ever, due to issues I have with this charity (PM me if you're interested).

Two years ago we had a 50/50 bingo in which a co-worker won. She was estatic. She'd had a string of bad luck, leading up to losing her house in a fire. While the amount won was small (I think it was $75), the amount of pressure she got from everyone to donate bordered on harassment. She walked away in tears after practically tossing the money at the person who was in charge of the bingo game that day. She left the company not too long after.

That poor woman. I don't blame her a bit.  >:( I'm just mindblown that these people would harass anyone like that--let alone someone who'd just had a house fire.

Perfect Circle

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2011, 10:18:05 AM »
I see no reason why not to keep the money.

The football club I follow does a raffle every game. I have never heard anyone say they'll donate the winnings. Perhaps some do, but it's certainly never been made public.

To me it's a raffle. You buy tickets to win something. Those winnigs are yours to do what you want with.
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WillyNilly

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Re: 50/50 raffle etiquette
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2011, 10:24:48 AM »
My regular bar does a charity every year where they pick a local child with a major medical problem and raise money for the child and the child's family.  There is always a 50/50 raffle and usually it garners about $1,000 total so the prize is about $500.  Usually the winner either donates back half their winnings (so it becomes in essence a 75/25 raffle) or they buy the whole bar a round (buying that kind of round is usually a lower drink price, so 50 people in the bar might cost the person $150 or so).

Once one guy, Bill, started chanting, after the winner was paid out "give it back give it back!" trying to get others to chant with him.  A few did, but one of the more boisterous and popular guys shut that down quickly, first with a discreet "no, that's not cool, he won fair and square" and then a louder chant "Bill will match it!  Bill will match it!" Bill shut up pretty darn quick and everyone laughed.