Ideas for a Company Contest Prize Drawing
July 6, 2018 4:10 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to come up with a fun idea for a company contest prize drawing. We'd like it to have a Vegas and/or a Bingo theme. I need a way to randomly select a winner from around 3,000 entries and a way to randomly select a prize from around 6 options.

Other constraints, we're trying to do this on a shoestring budget. This will be taped live to tape, so whatever we do should show up well in a small video window, and there won't be a lot of time to edit it before release, so too much green screen is out. We want to build drama and have fun with it.
posted by willnot to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Every entrant can be automatically assigned a number, and then you ask a random number generator to pick a number.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:34 PM on July 6

Maybe a giant check / glitzy Bingo coin that represents a $ value? I think building an exciting narrative is the most important part - even if the prizes are small. Most of your success will come down to the team of presenters.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 4:35 PM on July 6

Sorry! I misread your initial question! When we've done this (on a smaller scale), we did it Bingo-style, with a rented whirling cage, or with a giant fabulously wrapped box (names were pulled by special guests).
posted by WaspEnterprises at 4:41 PM on July 6

Everybody (the 3000) have names or some unique identifier. Do a SHA hash on that bit of information. Use some randome (HEX) number generator to pick a digit. Keep picking digits until there is a single winner. Repeat. It should only take a few draws (each narrows down the players by 1/16, some mathy person could tell you the average number of draws).

This is over complex... Sort the contestants Names in alphabetical order. Flip a coin. If Heads throw away the top half of the names. If Tails throw away the bottom half. Reapeat until you have one Name. (Remove winners from list or just redo if you're not allowing a person to win two prizes.)

Roll a dice for the 6 and re-roll if it's already been given away.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:50 PM on July 6

You can basically pare down an orderd list of names to a single name by many methods that can take a varying number of steps to match any choice of how you pick a random number.... It could be dice, or cards, or a bingo machine, anything. Some drama worthy method of choosing a random number will do what you want withn an ordered list of names. With the bonus that if your ordered list is known to them (phone book, employee number, etc.) then they can go back and make sure you didn't mess up.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:58 PM on July 6

C'mon people this is theatre, the math is simple. Pick 1/N 1/N-1 1/N-2 ... 1/N-5 crossed with a shuffle of 6 prizes meant to be flashy and fun.

Cheap wise it's a coin toss or Odd/Even. Given a deck of cards or a 6-pack of ping-pong balls from the dollar store... Equal distribution over some number M. Odd or Even. A coin or a bit is bisection with the possibe odd in the middle, if the remaining N is mod 6 roll a die and throw away 5/6ths of thm play some cards, make a game for any starting point N.

I'm assuming an ordering (you can't use ID because of unbalance between old and new) and you can't use a name because A-Z isn't balanced. Take an ordered list of names that all agree upon and do a random N-ary paring down of the tree to a single person and repeat 6 times with N N-1, N-2 ... N-5. Picking a prize is 1d6 with the odd man out being the 5 because 6 = 1 2 3 6 (and 4 is degenerate 2).

Come up with some pick one (or one subset of xN) with pick 1 of N games that are easy and cheap and equitable,

This is a stage show. Shuffle a deck of cards and do binary based on red/black. Or N based on d6 or maybe d12 (1 2 3 4 6 12).

Given N names how do you throw a bunch of them away while making it fun? And filmable? If It's not live... spreadsheet and some simple math to determing if the remaining xY=N is mod something that gives you Y.

Yes the math is trivial:

> say (1..3000).pick(6) Z=> ('A'..'F').pick(*)
(1722 => D 174 => A 200 => F 405 => C 2582 => E 591 => B)
BAM, now make it entertaining.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:29 PM on July 7

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