What is a Tombola Raffle?


Tombola! It’s just fun to say, isn’t it? Tombola! It’s one of those words begging to be yelled; you can’t say “tombola” quietly. It just wouldn’t be right. But what the heck is a Tombola raffle? Or a Tombola, for that matter?

Read on to learn:

What is a Tombola? 

The tombola is the basket or drum used in a lottery or raffle. It can also refer to a lottery in which the winning ticket is drawn from a revolving drum. Funny enough, it’s also an Italian expression for when someone trips, like “oops.” How tripping and picking a raffle ticket are connected is anyone’s guess, although maybe it has something to do with luck.

Tombolas and raffles

Tombolas are very similar to a Tricky Tray fundraiser in that they’re usually an additional fundraiser within a greater fundraising event, and the tickets themselves are lower-priced. However, Tombola raffles differ from Tricky Trays in that entrants cannot select which raffle prize they enter to win. All the prizes in a Tombola are drawn from the same container. For instance, a basket of Japanese candy may be what compelled a person to enter, but they might win the grab bag of artisan BBQ sauces instead. Which increases the feeling of a game of chance and thus causes entering to be more fun! 

How do Tombola raffles work?

In a Tombola raffle, fun prizes are out on display, and supporters may purchase as many tickets as they like. The prizes are generally something that anyone would like to win, but not quite as flashy as regular raffle prized. For instance, gourmet items and themed baskets work well for Tombola raffles. Most people are happy to take a chance on a $2-$4 raffle ticket to possibly win some lovely Belgian chocolates or a bottle of nice wine.

The winning tickets are then drawn from the revolving Tombola (or really any container you please).  You can organize the prizes won for each draw however you like.

What sorts of tickets do I use for a Tombola raffle? 

The raffle tickets best for a Tombola are double roll tickets. When someone purchases a Tombola ticket, you then tear off one side to put in the drawing, and the other goes to the ticket buyer. 

Tombola pro tip: One way to increase the funds raised is to offer discounted ticket bundles. For example, someone who wishes to buy a ticket also has the option to buy 5 and get one free.

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