Echoes of the past: Roll-up to the Rainbow raffle

rainbows: Samantha Cuthbert, Rebecca Walton  and Joanne Brearley are selling tickets on behalf of the Rainbows twenty seven years ago
rainbows: Samantha Cuthbert, Rebecca Walton and Joanne Brearley are selling tickets on behalf of the Rainbows twenty seven years ago

Roll-up, roll-up, buy your raffle ticket here, only 10 pence, everyone a winner !

Have you ever wondered when raffles began ? Well, they have been around probably since the beginning of human civilisation. As fundraisers, they have a very long history and have been used by individuals and even heads of state for centuries.

History tells us that the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all loved playing raffle like games of chance, using dice or bones to cast lots and draw winners. Soon, these simple games of chance evolved into real fundraising efforts. The Chinese invented Keno, a form of lottery, which is still popular today. The money from these lottery’s was used for defence and civic projects, including the construction of the Great Wall of China.

In 1446 following the death of her husband, the widow of Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck sold tickets and raffled off his remaining paintings in one of the first recorded raffles. With the idea of using raffles to raise funds was something that soon caught on.

Printing raffle tickets and selling them are a great way to raise funds for both big and small projects. Raffles and lotteries have been held throughout Europe with the Netherlands even laying claim to have the longest running lottery dating back to 1727.

Today church groups, service clubs, community organisations and many others run raffles as fundraisers.

Returning to our three raffle ticket sellers: Samantha Cuthbert, Rebecca Walton and Joanne Brearley are selling tickets on behalf of the Rainbows twenty seven years ago.