Can I run a raffle if I don't get anything? 2 Answers as of March 10, 2014

If I work at a student-housing property, and the business wants to do a give-away at a field-day event, can we run a raffle in which we give away a prize? The raffle would not be paid for by the entrants, but instead each ticket would be earned by participating in our event. If someone entered a potato-sack race, for instance, we would give them a ticket for participating. They could then use those tickets for a chance to win a prize such as a bicycle, an i-pad, etc. We would provide the prize for them, and would not profit from this event. As we like to hold event, we thought doing a giveaway would be fun for the residents, however, we wanted it to be fair as well as promote participation. Is this something that we can do, or would we need to go with a different route?

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Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Check with the laws of your state. Many states allow this sort of activity.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 3/7/2014
Lawyer for Independent Media
Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
It sounds okay, but you should post the rules clearly. You may also want to state that the winner must be present at the time of raffle. You may also want to limit it to one prize per person or per household. Also, you may want to have insurance and a waiver for the event in case anyone is injured. It would be easy to break an arm in a potato sack race.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/10/2014
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