The perfect example of when it’s NOT worth giving your raffle tickets away has come along: It’s the fifth annual “Dream House Raffle,” a benefit for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which is indeed a 501(c)(3) charity.
The first prize (among many) is either a house in San Francisco (and a nice one, by the look of it) or $4 million dollars in cash. Nope, they won’t be giving any of these tickets away. They’ll cost you $150 a pop.
This is pretty much the opposite of a grassroots raffle. Riding on BART today, I saw ad signs for it lining the walls by the train tracks. The mail just brought me a four-page glossy brochure with details on entry and prizes. (It’s hard not to look . . . and to wonder, “If I won a vacation, would I take it or the $5,000 cash?”)
But sometimes, you’ve got to plan big in order to get big returns. They assure us that no more than 90,000 tickets will be sold — but that with all the smaller prizes, the odds of winning are actually 1 in 50. Better get shopping!