You’re selling raffle tickets to make money, so why buy the tickets pre-printed? Using Microsoft Word’s mail merge function, you can create your own raffle tickets and design them any way you please. A mail merge doesn’t have to make mail; it is simply a way to define certainly elements of a document, then automatically insert variable elements, such as raffle ticket numbers. The most important thing to remember is that each ticket needs a mate–you don’t want to pull winning ticket number 81018 only to find that no one bought that one.
Things You’ll Need:
- Microsoft Word 2007 or higher
- Microsoft Excel 2007 or higher
- Sturdy paper
- Paper cutter or scissors
You can use previous versions of Microsoft Excel and Word to make mail merge raffle tickets; the process is similar. For example, in Word 2003, you’ll find Mail Merge under Tools|Letters and Mailings.
- Create a new Excel spreadsheet.
- Based loosely on how many tickets you hope to sell, enter a number in cell A1. Standard raffle practice tends toward numbers with at least a few digits, so instead of starting with 1 you might start with 10001.
- In cell A2 enter the next number. If you started with 10001, enter 10002.
- Fill out the series by bringing your mouse cursor over to hover at the lower right corner of cell A2. When the cursor changes from a large outlined plus symbol to a smaller, plain plus symbol, click and hold the left mouse button, then drag the mouse straight down to select more cells in column A.
- Stop dragging when you’ve selected enough numbers. Note that while you’re holding the mouse button down, a tool tip will appear nearby displaying the number you’re up to. If you’ve gone too far, simply mouse back up.
- Save and close the spreadsheet.
- Open a new blank document in Word. Create two raffle ticket designs, one for the person who buys the ticket and one for the organization selling them. Make sure to connect the two tickets, for example by making them in two-cell tables, side-by-side. Include the name of the organization, perhaps the first prize, and any other information you want on the buyer’s ticket. You might, for example, include spaces for the buyer’s name (“Name__________”) and phone number on the organization’s ticket. On both tickets, enter a dummy number for the raffle ticket number as a placeholder.
- Click on the Mailings tab. Click on “Start Mail Merge,” then “Directory.” Nothing will happen, but all is well.
- Click on “Select Recipients.” Choose “Use Existing List.” Navigate to the spreadsheet file you saved in step 5 and click “Open.”
- In the “Select Table” dialog box that opens, choose the first worksheet and uncheck the box labeled “First row of data contains column headers.” Click “OK.”
- Back in the document, select your dummy number in the first ticket. Click the button “Insert Merge Field,” then select the one entry in the drop-down menu, which will be the first number from your spreadsheet.
- Repeat step 9 in the second ticket.
- Check your work by clicking on the “Preview Results” button.
- Click “Finish & Merge.” Choose “Edit Individual Documents,” then select “All” in the “Merge to New Document” box.
- A new document will open showing every single set of raffle tickets, each with its own number. Check over the document to be sure everything looks right. Alter the page margins if necessary.
- Print the document on sturdy paper.
- Use scissors or a paper cutter to cut the tickets, leaving each set intact. When a person buys a ticket, the seller should separate the tickets right then, giving one ticket to the buyer and dropping the other ticket into the receptacle from which the winning ticket will be drawn.