How I choose winners in online random-drawing contests

The first time I held a contest, I chose the winner by literally choosing their name out of a hat. But after that I decided it was way too much work, plus I’m lazy, so I looked around the internet for something computer-y to solve my problem.

When I found Random.org I knew my problem was solved. Now I just use their Integer Generator and quick as a flash I have found the winner! It is so simple, and I’ll show you how.

  1. Count the number of entries you had in your contest.
  2. Go to www.random.org/integers/
  3. Do not panic. These are the only boxes you need to pay attention to:
  4. randomorg.jpg

    This example shows a contest with 17 entries and 3 winners (hmmm, much like this contest…). Change the 3 to a 1 to just choose one winner.

Stand back in awe of your mighty mathematical prowess, contact the winner and get them the prize — so easy!

Comments

  1. says

    Sounds like the evil algebra class I got a 2.8 in. I get to take algebra 2 in the fall. Oh my goodness, help! I’m having flashbacks to my algebra final! The agoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    (actually very cool way to make things fair)

  2. says

    Sounds like the evil algebra class I got a 2.8 in. I get to take algebra 2 in the fall. Oh my goodness, help! I’m having flashbacks to my algebra final! The agoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    (actually very cool way to make things fair)

  3. says

    Ahhh, PERFECTO! I am holding a contest on my site right now and was totally going to pick the names out of a hat too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :)

  4. says

    Ahhh, PERFECTO! I am holding a contest on my site right now and was totally going to pick the names out of a hat too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :)

  5. says

    I googled “random drawing” and got you, thankfully! So simple! So wonderful! Thanks for posting the link to the savior of my fingers and eyeballs. This is the 3rd Bloggy Giveaway I’ve put on, and when you have over 100 comments to draw from, it takes up paper, then I cut them into strips and fold each one…and I guess you know the rest (your bloodied fingers).

    I’m grateful for this simple answer. Oh, that all life’s answers could be solved with a link and a click. :-)

    Susan

    Susan’s latest post: Family Secret is up for grabs!

  6. says

    I googled “random drawing” and got you, thankfully! So simple! So wonderful! Thanks for posting the link to the savior of my fingers and eyeballs. This is the 3rd Bloggy Giveaway I’ve put on, and when you have over 100 comments to draw from, it takes up paper, then I cut them into strips and fold each one…and I guess you know the rest (your bloodied fingers).

    I’m grateful for this simple answer. Oh, that all life’s answers could be solved with a link and a click. :-)

    Susan

    Susan’s latest post: Family Secret is up for grabs!

  7. says

    Thank you! I’m holding my first contest this week and I forgot where to go to pick a random winner. Your site popped up in my google search and I’ve been here before so I knew I was going to get the answer I needed, and I did!

    Thanks~Pam

  8. says

    I have a giveaway running through this Friday and have close to 20 entries so far. Thanks for this tip! I was looking at Random.org but didn’t know what the Integer Generator was until now. So easy! And no paper cuts! :)

  9. Jovan Hackley says

    This is awesome. You saved me at least an hour’s work today. I don’t know if Jane is so plain if she’s spreading this sort of brilliance.

  10. says

    Thank you so much!! I do several drawings and can never get the formula right in Excel…this is sooo much easier!!! This will definately be on my favorites list from now on!!

  11. says

    Justin….I always have names, and I have them in an Excel spreadsheet, I used the random.org and whatever nmber it gave me I went to the Excel sheet and whoever was on that line in the sheet was the winner!

  12. says

    Boy did I get lucky! This is exactly what I needed and I found you on my first try! Thanks for the post, you just saved me a lot of time and effort!!

    Roni

  13. Jay says

    ok this is cool but what if i have like 2 thousand entries? should I put them all in excel and number them from 1-2k? still too much work. what if it’s 50k? arggg…

  14. says

    THANK YOU so much… I used a tricky excel formula for our last comp, but this one we have over 100 names and I wanted something super-easy. This is IT. Huge thanks. Bookmarked for future giveaways… yay! RC

  15. says

    Thank you so much!!! It’s my first giveaway and I had no idea how this worked. I was thinking the hat trick would have been easier, but you explained it very well.

    Thanks again!

  16. says

    Thank you so much!!! It’s my first giveaway and I had no idea how this worked. I was thinking the hat trick would have been easier, but you explained it very well.

    Thanks again!

  17. Scott says

    Random.org was 1st on google search but I couldnt find how to have a drawing when each person has a different number of tickets in the raffle/drawing. This blog was 2nd and maybe someone here knows how. How would using random.org work with these variables?

  18. Anonymous says

    Erika, thanks so much for posting this. Just found it, and this site is just what I need. No more drawing out of a hat for me, either! Lol.

  19. says

    I can’t believe that’s how simple it was, I was researching for ways to pick a winner on an online contest I’m having on my site, I came across random.org somehow the concept escaped me. Good thing I tried again and found this article. Thank you very much for this, your a life saver! Cheers! BTW great blog you have here!

  20. says

    Typed ‘random drawing generator’ into Google, and here I am! Thanks for the super helpful blog post! Working on my very first giveaway in my new business, and was slightly stressing about the time factor and frantically searching for a suitable hat! ;-)

  21. says

    I’ve looked at random.org, but I want to find a widget that not only picks the winner but shows on my blog the winning number. Any ideas?

  22. says

    I’ve done the same thing!! cutting up paper and having my daughter draw a name! although she thought it was fun (she’s only 4) it was WAAYYYY too much work haha! Thanks for this tip!

  23. says

    Thank you for advice, it works fine. Random.org has also a special function to pick a winner called “Third-Party Draw Service” – unfortunatelly it is paid :-(. I also found another site – http://www.randompicker.com , any experience? My husband is a programmer and often helps me choose winners using MS Excel ;-)

  24. says

    I am going to be running a competition soon for some crafted goodies – tatting, hand dyed ribbon and probably a little French sachet. This will be most useful thanks

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