Our annual airplane raffle is a great way to raise money for the museum, and we take our annual airplane raffle very seriously.
There are a lot of things that need to happen before we draw the winning ticket which is why ticket sales stop at noon on the Friday before the drawing. First, we collect any sold and unsold tickets from our volunteer sales force. Some of our volunteers check out tickets to sell at a variety of aviation events and venues, and we need to get these back, sold or unsold, so they can be accounted for. Next, we need to make sure that the information from all of the tickets that have been sold has been correctly entered into our database. After we end ticket sales the day before the drawing, we conduct a thorough internal audit of every aspect of the raffle. In the course of this audit, we place each sold ticket stub in numerical order and cross-check against the sold tickets we have in our database. We do the same thing with every unsold ticket.
On the raffle day itself, we get an independent accounting firm to donate time and help us to conduct the raffle. After we do an internal audit, they go back through and check our work. They audit our records and account for and verify every sold and unsold ticket. Once the accountants have verified all of our records and the sold and unsold tickets, the sold ticket stubs go back in the tumbler and the accountants lock it.
This means that whether you buy your ticket on the first or last day of the raffle, it doesn’t matter! If you buy it on the last day, it won’t be “on top of the pile”, so to speak, they all have to be removed, counted, verified and put back in the tumbler. Once the accountants are finished with it, they lock the cage until the drawing. The cage is on display in the atrium throughout the day, and anyone is welcome to give it a spin!
Now comes the fun part – the drawing itself. We typically do this after lunch on the raffle day. We address the crowd and build the anticipation. The Museum President says a few words about the raffle and thanks the accounting firm for their help, as well as everyone who participated in the raffle. The money collected from the raffle goes directly to the bottom line to help the museum grow and prosper. THANK YOU to all who participate!
Then, the big moment arrives. We give the tumbler a few last spins, and a representative from the accounting firm that audits the raffle draws the winning ticket. We announce the winner, meanwhile crossing our fingers that they are present. While the winners of some of our previous raffles were not present, we were able to call them from a telephone that was connected to our sound system for everyone to hear. It’s a fun moment, and the reactions from the winners are priceless.
The first two winners were from the local Houston area and were able to make it to the Museum while our Wings & Wheels – Raffle Day Celebration was still ongoing. After all of the photos have been taken and hands have been shaken, the paperwork gets signed, and the winner flies off into the sunset in their very own airplane!
We hope that this year, the winner will be present at the event and can share the excitement of the drawing with our eager and enthusiastic crowd of visitors and volunteers. Who knows, it could be you! Get your ticket now!