Great Britain

Scots go mad for online raffles during lockdown as firms raise cash during pandemic

ONLINE raffles are booming after the number of charities and businesses using them has exploded during the pandemic.

Due to lockdowns and Covid restrictions, organisations had to find innovative ways to generate revenue while charities sought new ideas to raise cash after their usual methods were hit.

One solution was to take traditional face-to-face ways of making money and use the internet where folk could play fun games without leaving home, such as a good old fashioned raffle.

Stelios Kounou, the founder of competition website Raffall, reckons it could be the way forward for fundraising.

He says: "The first lockdown happened and you had people, businesses, charities and fundraisers who all wanted to host raffles online because they couldn't go outside

"They wanted to raise cash for hospitals or charities or local businesses. Hosting raffles online is a game-changer.

"In a traditional raffle at a fete or charity event there's that element of trust because people are face-to-face.

"We wanted a platform that allows people to easily, safely and legally host their own prize competitions online and look after both sides of the transaction."

One of the most unique ways to raise money for charity came from Scottish social media star Dean Henderson who runs a popular Instagram page called 1bike1world.

He cycles around the world with a cat on his back.

Stelios, 43, says: "Dean is massively popular on Instagram and has a great engaged audience. Last year he was riding in Turkey and decided to stop off and do a pottery class and made a cat bowl.

"He discovered our platform by pure chance and said, 'Right I'm going to raffle this off to my fans and support some local charities'.

I won £1m on the lottery at 22 – I wear clothes from Primark, shop at Asda & our biggest treat is a monthly Toby Carvery

"He set the ticket price at £1 and sold over 15,000 tickets which is more than £15,000 for a cat bowl you couldn't give away."

Other clever ideas include the Glasgow Clan ice hockey team raffling player shirts after their main source of revenue in ticket sales was stopped.

Football clubs followed suit as they tried to find ways to replace the money they are losing during the pandemic.

Individuals have also started using raffles as a way to sell their houses after the property market stalled.

People can pay a few pounds for a ticket and have a chance of winning a home worth hundreds of thousands.

Stelios reckons online raffles will continue to grow rapidly and that people already see it as a more realistic opportunity to win big prizes than the lottery.

He adds: "People will always want to enter competitions or the lottery. This is an alternative because the odds are so much better.

"On the lottery you might have a one in 14 million chance to win £5million.

"But on this, if someone puts their house and car up for a prize issuing 400,000 tickets at £1, you know if you spend a tenner you have a one in 40,000 chance of winning.

"In June the first person decided to use our platform to raffle their house and did it successfully and since then we've had about 20 houses.

"These are people who can't sell their house now because the property market is closed and they want to sell for whatever reason.

"And they ended up receiving a lot more money for their house than if they sold through an estate agent.

"We've had people who had a house worth £250,000 but they got £400,000 from us.

"With more transparency and far better odds, entering online competitions is a great alternative to the lottery.

"And we're seeing more brands take advantage of this by hosting raffles."

Visit raffall.com to host your own online competition or enter for a chance to win.

The moment roofer Jamie Heavens found out he's won one million pounds on a National Lottery scratch card

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