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How to Win a Basket Raffle Without Cheating

Jamie is a student of physics, mathematics, and philosophy who enjoys raffles, among other things.

A roll of raffle tickets.

A roll of raffle tickets.

Ever fork out ten bucks for a raffle and have some old lady beat you after only investing a quarter? I have, and it was ridiculously annoying. Imagine seeing a bucket filled almost entirely with your name deliver the only ticket not yours. Unlikely, right? After all, percentages and randomness determine a raffle, right?

WRONG! Certain factors skew the randomness, making the conventional raffle more of a strategy game than a game of chance. Here are some tricks on how to win that basket raffle and why they should work for you.

  1. Be Patient
  2. Disperse Your Resources
  3. Choose Your Basket Raffles Carefully
  4. Pick Your Battles
  5. Crumple Your Ticket
  6. Don't Leave!
A basket raffle.

A basket raffle.

1. Be Patient

Patience is the key to success. Sometimes when the tickets are being drawn, a person merely spins the tickets around and picks one off the top. This inefficient mixing method doesn’t actually mix the tickets at all. It just rotates the tickets in the bucket a few times, which makes whichever one is on top more likely to be drawn. So if you’re only going to buy a ticket or two, you might want to wait towards the end of the selling period. You'll be that much more likely to win the raffle if this is the case.

2. Disperse Your Resources

Just like in the above method, inefficient mixing methods can very easily skew randomness. So what if the person drawing the tickets doesn’t thoroughly mix and simply moves clumps around? In that case, your huge stack of tickets might all be on the very bottom. In order to avoid this, try buying periodically throughout the buying window. That way, you know you’ll always have a chance in every raffle regardless of how the tickets are mixed.

3. Choose Your Basket Raffles Carefully

Sometimes, despite the basket of crap being full of things you’ll never use, it might actually contain something valuable to someone else. For instance, everyone for some reason attempts to win the basket raffle with chocolates and other sweets. Looking at the monetary value of the contents, it’s usually barely worth putting a single ticket into these baskets.

Some crappy hair product basket, on the other hand, might have some reasonably expensive formulas. Hair product is expensive! Also if you ever see a ticket basket for the most part empty, try to win that one, regardless of whether you want it or not. At least you’ll win one of the raffles.

Raffles can be serious business.

Raffles can be serious business.

4. Pick Your Battles

Obviously, a bucket filled to the brim with tickets is going to provide little opportunity for success. If the tickets sold strongly outweigh the cost of the basket, then the raffle was a success for those hosting it, making it a lost cause for you. It’s just like playing the lottery. You’re more likely to spend the total jackpot before you win it, so the practicality in playing is greatly diminished.

On the other hand, the cause might make buying a ticket worth it, or maybe just the thrill of gambling. If you want to be a good person or have a good time with it, just try dispersing.

Crumpled paper sticks out in a basket full of tickets.

Crumpled paper sticks out in a basket full of tickets.

5. Crumple Your Ticket

Your ticket will take up more volume and stand out among the crowd if you crumple it a bit before putting it in the basket. The person pulling the raffle might glide their hand against all of the smooth surfaces and catch yours. I’ve tested this one, and I’ve got to say, I felt a little bit ashamed for it. It almost always works. Don’t make it too obvious you’re doing it, though. It’ll look suspicious, and someone might realize it. Just be inconspicuous and don’t crumple it too much.

6. Don't Leave!

I've been around for many raffles in which someone just isn't there to claim the prize. Don't expect the drawing to occur before you go. In reality, those tickets aren't being drawn until the very last minute, in most cases. If you're going to put out the money, at least give yourself a chance to win the raffle.

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


triston on March 06, 2020:

I want to win a nintendo switch

EMMA on January 16, 2020:


Kristin on December 13, 2019:

I didint win anything but i hope i get chance to win and it will help

Malake on December 05, 2019:

Instead of crumpling you should make a little rip too so they can get the fingers stuck and they will pick yours! thank u i just won a lot of money a electronics and a house!

Lindsey on June 01, 2019:

i need to know this stuff thx

junita on May 13, 2019:

I HOPE THIS WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANDRES on March 23, 2018:


Hinata on March 06, 2018:

I entered in a raffle several times, I couldn't put it at the top because whoever turns it last has to pay extra. And your not allowedto crumple them. So sorry, but this method doesn't work for me. Is there another way?

Lawrence Cotnam on December 05, 2017:

Learned this trick years ago. Entered a multiple prize contest with nine tickets and won seven prizes My wife has won several times and I won a prize this weekend. Please delete your article and keep this a secret. (Just kidding)

Chuck on November 04, 2017:

I tried this but rather than crumpling I just bent it and I won a ratchet set worth $95!! Thanks!

pancho pantera on July 17, 2017:

thanks for your advice! very useful. Let you know if I win

Jimbob Bob on March 22, 2017:

i here that the crumpled one works well hope to try it soon.

Jimbob Bob on March 22, 2017:

Haven't tried any yet but at my school we have Literacy baskets for MARCH and can't wait to try 1 of the many techniques.

turok on December 05, 2016:

What about a revers draw?

jp33 on November 17, 2016:

i have a school raffle tomorrow and i will try these and hope to win

Tim on August 06, 2016:

Isn't crumpling your ticket manipulating the draw and basically cheating?

G on July 16, 2016:

Use the "patience is the key" and "crumple the sucker" methods together. It works great!

Jessica on September 24, 2015:

Okay, this is amazing. I won $1,000 out of at least 1,000 THS IS A LIFE SAVER

I am so glad I looked this up, because heck, I JUST WON IT

Thank you so much and please keep posting more.

almost cheating on March 22, 2015:

The last few raffles ive gone too have been crazy...i started crumpling...more or less just folding the ticket to put a bend in it. Ive never won so much stuff. People are amazed...and so am I.

J on October 29, 2014:

Just used the crumple. I won 1 of 2 iPads out of a group of about 180 people ! Nice strategy

Darlene on November 15, 2013:

I have always used the crumple method. It gives the ticket some texture and almost always wins. Let me give you an example of what I have won, no lie: 2009 Harley Davidson, 2013 ticket to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, a miniature go cart, and other random liquor and gift baskets

Prici3x0.44 on October 27, 2013:

What are the chances of winning the raffle with all of the tricks ?

marion langley from The Study on June 29, 2013:

I am so trying this. I've heard of the crumple tip but the waiting for the last minute to play is genius! Thanks for writing.

Kellie on November 17, 2012:

Wow, These sounods like really good tricks especially the crumpled noe. I should try this tomorrow.

colpolbear (author) from Pennsylvania on February 06, 2012:

lol! Thank you rain.

Rain Defence from UK on February 06, 2012:

Nice one, I had never really thought of crumpling the ticket before, but yes it makes sense that it would stand out to the picker. I can just see you with a load of blue rinsed old ladies standing around the bucket, you in your suit with slicked back hair, shades and a menacing look on your face walking away with the hemorrhoid cream every time while the grannies sigh..

colpolbear (author) from Pennsylvania on January 27, 2012:


colpolbear (author) from Pennsylvania on January 27, 2012:

I have unofficially tested them. I didn't go and make a statistical analysis or anything, but through observation and comparison, I've found that these all at least enhance the chance of winning. They all work relatively well but that doesn't mean they'll always work for you. I highlighted the crumpling method because, well....that one works ridiculously wonders.

stephaniekawula from Missouri on January 27, 2012:

Have you tested all of these tips or was it common sense?

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