Would You Buy a $150 Raffle Ticket For a Chance to Win a $350,000 House?

Before you answer let’s take a look at some facts about the raffle. First, this is a real raffle (local for me). Each entry into the raffle costs a cool $150 cash, which is quite a bit of money that you could be just throwing into the trash. But, when you break down the raffle into pieces you can determine if this is a good idea or not.

The most important thing to consider is that this raffle is only selling a fixed number of tickets. This means there are exact odds to winning, and the odds are significantly better than any lottery. Only 3,800 tickets will be sold, once they are sold out no more will be available. That means you have a 1 in 3,800 chance of winning the grand prize. Not too shabby, but still a long shot. But the house is not the only prize, there are many more. They are also giving away two brand new vehicles valued at $21,000 each, or you can elect to receive a cash award of $15,000.

Beyond the three large prizes they are awarding many other prizes. All said and done they will be awarding 40 prizes that are worth more than the ticket price. This means the odds of winning anything and making your money back is 1 in 95. Now those are slightly better odds.

But are those odds good enough for you to throw $150 at it? There is one last issue to consider and that this whole thing is for charity, two very important organizations around here. While you cannot deduct the value of the ticket as a charitable donation at least you are giving money to an organization that could use the help.

So would it be worth purchasing a ticket? I’m still undecided myself. Common sense tells me no, you’ll never win, you never win anything so use the money for something else. But the other side of me says sure why not, somebody has to win and it isn’t like you can’t afford losing $150. Plus the raffle directly helps one of my employers.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see once tickets go on sale in a few weeks. Who knows, maybe I’ll be reporting back with news of my winnings.

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Filed Under: Odds and Ends

About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.

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