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"What Exactly Is A Meat Raffle????"



This is one of the world's most vexing questions. Wikipedia defines a Meat Raffle as,

"...a tradition of raffling off meat, often in pubs and bars, common in Britain and in the USA in Minnesota. Typically the raffle is operated by a designated charity. The meat ranges in animal and cut and often comes from local butchers...All proceeds typically go to a charity."

In Western New York, meat raffles are traditionally held to benefit religious and non-profit organizations. Each meat raffle is unique in the admission price, number of raffle rounds, types of meat and other chance offerings such as 50/50 splits and sometimes theme basket raffles. In the Buffalo, NY area, meat raffles are an all-around social occasion



How Does a Meat Raffle Work?



Most meat raffles do share some commonalities. After paying your admission, selecting a seat at a table and partaking in a beverage of choice (typically draft beer or fountain soft drink), the meat raffle begins with exchanging your large bills for $1 bills. This exchange makes the job of the ticket sellers easier.

The meat raffle is divided into "rounds". At the beginning of each round, the emcee will announce the number of spins of the wheel for that particular round. This maybe one spin per round or maybe four or five spins per round. The more spins per round the better your chances are of winning a piece of meat with the same ticket. Ticket sellers walk around the room at the beginning of each round selling tickets. Each ticket typically cost $1 and usually have two or more numbers. This means that if the wheel lands on either of your numbers for that round you win the meat for that spin. Each spin produces multiple winners because the same numbers are sold to multiple people each round. 

There are other types of meat raffles as well. One other more common type is one that is operated like a Chinese or silent auction. In this type of raffle, participants purchase tickets that are then placed in buckets that represent different types of meats or meat packages. A winner is then drawn at random from each bucket.