Two-dollars and you’re in.
$5 and you get three chances to feel that anticipation of potentially winning.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing quite like a good raffle. And it wouldn’t feel like I was living in the Redlands without a significant interruption to many a sterling function with the raffle draw.
There’s the bucket of raffle stubs held aloft, eager hands dipping in, apologising if they were to pull out their own ticket, while secretly hoping they do just that.
‘B9, Pink B9,’ they might yell and we all wait for everyone to fish around in their hand bags, yelling out colour quips (‘I’ll just add a bit of white to my red ticket,” says someone up the back) or wishing none too discreetly that they had arrived a few seconds earlier to get the number 9 instead of 10.
It’s adrenaline pumping, action packed, heart stopping excitement.
And then there are the prizes themselves. Bottles of chardonnay, packets of Celebration chocolates and then an array of kitchen, home and craft goods.
And herein lies the problem. Because, while all wine and chocolate raffle prizes are gratefully accepted, I already have a significant amount of kitchen, home and craft goods.
I mean, just how many tea cosies does one girl really need – not discounting the ones shaped like dogs.
And so I have changed from that person who wills that C21 to be called out to wanting C22 to be called out instead. I no longer want to take home the cheese board and knife set, the crocheted hanging hand towel, the very cute set of five baby washers.
I sit there, willing them to call out any number but mine.
And perhaps it is this perverseness that makes me win.
Last time I tried to negotiate down to a lesser prize, asking for the wine instead of the creatively crafted bowl-shaped record. But no, a second prize was a second prize and they couldn’t possibly demean the value of such a unique item by offering it to the fourth or the fifth winner.The record bowl was proudly mine, whichever way I spun it (record pun fully intended).
And so I bring these things home. Sometimes I re-gift them to other raffles, feeling quite magnanimous in the gesture. The rumour goes that the person who subsequently won my clock in the shape of a ship’s rudder was absolutely delighted.
I see it now in a room of signed oars and other nautical paraphernalia, fitting in a treat. It was never going to work in a house whose only nod to water is a bathtub.
I fear however that I am not the only one and all of these raffle prizes are simply being recycled, going around and around in the great raffle washing machine. I wonder if the clock might yet come back to tick off my raffle indiscretions (ticking clock puns also fully intended.)