Lottery games come in a myriad of forms. There is the traditional lottery, which involves selecting numbers and matching them to win. There are keno games, and even bingo is, in a sense, a form of lottery game. You also have raffles. Some raffles bring particularly big prizes to the table, and none tend to do so more often than annual raffles. What are annual raffles, and how can you get involved in them, though? In this article, we will take a closer look.
What Is an Annual Raffle?
An annual raffle is in many ways identical to a regular raffle. Of course, the primary difference between a raffle and an annual raffle is easily discernible from its name. Annual raffles take place annually (once a year).
Of course, there are certain perks and downsides to annual raffles, and we will come to those in a moment. First, though, we need to explain how annual raffles work. If you are not familiar with the concept, this next section is for you.
How Does it Work?
Unlike raffles, annual raffles only take place once per year. However, in most other ways, they work in the same way as a regular raffle.
A raffle is a drawing, whereby players with winning tickets are guaranteed to win cash prizes. Unlike lotteries, raffle tickets do not require you to pick numbers. Nor are they “Quick Picks”, where players have their numbers chosen from them at random. There are no numbers drawn in annual raffles at all.
Instead, players purchase a ticket or a series of tickets (known as a book) at a fixed price. Each ticket comes with a unique identification number or serial number. You have your ticket, and an exact copy of your ticket is entered into the draw. In the draw itself, all the accumulated tickets will be put into a pot, and at least one will be drawn at random. Whoever happens to have the matching ticket will be declared a winner. Annual raffles may offer a single prize to a single ticket holder, or they could offer several prizes, such as consolation wins to other players.
The Perks of an Annual Raffle
There are certain perks of playing annual raffles, as opposed to lotteries and regular raffles. It is worth making a note of these.
For starters, as annual raffles are only held once a year, the prizes they offer tend to be more extravagant than your typical, regular raffle or lottery. One of the biggest lotteries in the world is a raffle. It is known as El Gordo or the Spanish Christmas Lottery.
This game regularly serves up prizes worth billions of euros in cash. This raffle sees 99,999 different ticket numbers in play, with 170 instances of each ticket number available. Whichever number is drawn will see those ticket holders win vast sums of cash. A further series of ticket numbers are also drawn in this game, to create consolation prizes of considerable value. To give you an idea of the perk of playing annual raffles, El Gordo’s prize pool was worth €2.38 billion in 2019 alone.
Another perk of annual raffles is that there is guaranteed to be a winner. This is in stark contrast to lotteries, where there is not guaranteed to be a winner, as a rollover system is often in place.
The Downsides to Annual Raffles
As with any gambling game, there are also downsides to playing annual raffles. These, too, are worth a closer look, so you are not hit with any nasty surprises.
Playing in annual raffles means you will likely stand a shot of winning considerably more valuable prizes than with regular raffles. However, pots only tend to increase when many people play. As a result, you are likely to be competing with many millions of people in annual raffles, which local, regular raffles might only see you face a few hundred competitors.
Because of the cash prize being extensive, the cost of a ticket is also likely to rise. For instance, El Gordo has a ticket price of €20. If you wanted to buy a book (a set of 10 tickets) for this annual raffle, you are looking at a face value of €200 a game. Naturally, this is one of the downsides of playing raffle games. It is up to you to decide if the vast jackpot prizes outweigh the cost of these games.
A separate downside is that length of time you are going to have to wait to play this game. As they only take place annually, you are going to have to wait up to 365 days before you can play again.
Can I Play Annual Raffles Online?
Ordinarily, you would expect to see raffles at local fairs and fetes. However, as mentioned, some of the biggest lottery games in the world are raffles, and some – like El Gordo – are annual ones.
You do not need to be registered in a specific country to play most of today’s biggest lotteries and raffle games. Many of them can now be played online. Any respectable and legal lottery betting website should be able to offer you tickets to these games. There are plenty of lottery betting sites which carry El Gordo, for instance.
These domains are typically open to an international audience. You sign up to them as you would with any internet betting site. You then need to create an account and fund it to purchase tickets to annual lotteries. The process of joining such lotto sites is far more straightforward than winning the actual raffle.
Should I Play Annual Raffles or Lotteries?
Whether or not an annual raffle is for you, or whether you are more tailor-made for lotteries varies from person to person. If you want to participate in one of the biggest lotto games on Earth, then annual raffles could be the ticket for you. However, if you like regular action, decent chunks of change and cheaper tickets, then regular lotteries, or indeed regularly occurring raffles may fit the bill. Ultimately, it is down to you.