For a fun variation on traditional raffles and silent auctions, consider holding a Chinese auction. Also known as “pick-a-prize,” “tricky tray” and “penny social,” the Chinese auction combines elements of a silent auction with the excitement of a drawing while giving players the opportunity to win great prizes.
Chinese auctions are especially fun when held around a theme. Christmas, golf, summertime, your organization’s services – virtually any type of theme can be highlighted in a Chinese auction.
- Two-part “admission-style” tickets
- Empty containers (one per prize, if you are offering multiple prizes)
In the Chinese auction, players (or bidders) purchase tickets, which may be as inexpensive as a penny each. (Many organizations allow bidders to purchase more than one ticket to increase their chance of winning.) The bidder retains one part of each ticket while depositing the other part in the container corresponding to the item on which he or she is bidding.
To determine the winners, a member of your organization who is in charge of the auction draws one ticket from each prize’s container and announces the ticket number.