POLL: One Big Time Winner vs. Everybody Happy Party?

POLL: One Big Time Winner vs. Everybody Happy Party?

I was talking to someone last night who was organizing a corporate Christmas party. She was preparing P300 Sodexho GCs to be raffled away during the party, and I commented that okay, at least everybody goes home with something. And then she told me that no, there were 200 people attending, and they were only giving away 50 P300 Sodexho GCs. I’m like, what about the other 150 people, are they going home with nothing?

She sighed and told me that it’s not her fault. She argued against it, but was overruled. They also had 1st, 2nd and 3rd major prizes.

This got me thinking about writing this blog post, because it’s become a relevant topic again now that we’re in the Christmas season. What kind of party/event would you rather attend?

A. A party with a small number of major prizes while the other attendees go home empty-handed, or

B. A party where the major prizes are smaller, but everyone who attended goes home with a minor prize.

What kind of party prizes do you prefer?

A few people win major prizes, the rest go home empty-handed
Everybody goes home with something (smaller prizes for everyone)


I have planned many corporate events and parties, and I have attended more events and parties. Needless to say, the one I always prefer is the type where everybody goes home happy. Even if the budget is limited, I can somehow manage to squeeze out something nice for everyone, unless I was overruled and there was nothing I could do about it.

I am just not a fan of having one person win, say, the latest iPhone, while the other people who didn’t win anything go home feeling like “losers”. Like, why would you want this? I would much rather have the goodwill of everyone vs. the goodwill of one person (the winner of the iPhone). For me, that is money better spent. Unless that one winner is so important that you rig the raffle to let him win, but that’s another case. Most people are not that lucky when it comes to raffles. Karamihan ng tao hindi swerte sa ganyan. They go to that party not really expecting to win that iPhone, but even so, there’s still that tiny bit of disappointment when they don’t win.

There is also no rule that says that a Christmas party or whatever event needs to have 1st, 2nd and 3rd major prizes. If your budget can afford it, sure, go ahead. I don’t know, I just don’t feel that the budget for the major prize should all go to one lucky person.

For me, if there is not enough budget, huwag nalang magpa-raffle. Hindi naman required. Just get everybody to enjoy each other’s company and use the extra money to give a small token. I like introducing my guests to new bakers by having each guest go home with something like a cupcake, a small box of brownies, cookies, etc… That’s around P30-P100 per guest. People have come up to me days later and tell me “ang sarap nung pinamigay mo na egg tart! First time ko palang na-try, sarap talaga“. This is better than a bad raffle experience where some of the guests feel “suwerte” and others feel “malas” at the end of the party. Christmas party na nga, may suwerte/malas hugot pang mangyayari.

I’m not complaining because I never win. I win sometimes. Other times I don’t. There are people who are luckier who win more often, and there are people who have never won at all. Personally, I would prefer it if the winner won because of effort, and not through sheer luck. I would rather see someone win Best-Dressed or Best Costume or win from games (just not “most number of likes”).

Sometimes people say, “why does everyone need to go home with something pag raffle, pinakain na nga sila eh”. That’s just not a big draw for me unless balita ko special yung ihahandang pagkain. I go to the party because either I’m required/expected to go, or I want to go for my own reasons. Kung pagkain lang, puwede akong kumain sa bahay o sa labas mag-isa. That kind of answer is actually insulting to guests, parang ang tingin ng organizer patay-gutom yung mga guest. It’s great if the food served is amazing, but it’s not “payment” for attending. Expected ka talaga magpakain kasi nagpaparty ka eh, alangan naman gutuman ang guests habang nakikinig sa mga presentation mo. Kung masarap yung pagkain, counted lang yan as plus points for the organizer. Hindi yung pagkain yung reason kung bakit ako pumunta. I went to see friends, keep updated, show moral support, etc…

Anyway, my point is, it’s disappointing for the attendees who go home with nothing while others go home with major prizes, and that’s not the feeling I want people to leave with, especially during Christmas. What’s worse is, I once attended an event where out of 25 guests, 12 went home with something (major and minor raffle prizes), and the 13 people went home with NOTHING! How bad must that make them feel? Like they were the unluckiest people in the world, no doubt. Parang, sorry, malas ka lang eh. I was left thinking, “WTF, Mr. Organizer? Mas mahal pa gas and parking ko kaysa sa pinakain mo (pizza and Coke).” I am sure those who spent more for Grab were more pissed off. To give you some context, this was a blogging event where we were expected to blog about the featured item after we left. Lugi ka na nga sa pamasahe, may trabaho ka pa pag-uwi, pero zero ang nakuhang prize. Half the guests happy, half the guests sad. If they had just re-allocated the prizes, where, just for example, for easier computation, instead of 10 people getting P2,000 gcs, why not make it P1,000 GCs good for 20 people? Everybody goes home happy.

And then there are the parties where they keep on raffling minor prizes until everyone wins something, even if it’s just a P200 ang pao. Kahit nga P20 lang. Everyone goes home with a positive feeling. These were the parties / events that stayed in my memory even years later because of the positive feelings they left behind. This is how they usually run the raffles in our association parties – everybody goes home happy. There’s also this old gentleman who always donates oranges and gives everyone oranges before they leave. Sadly, he has passed, but I still remember him, no?

A few years ago, I attended a very memorable party. Everyone who attended had to register and put their raffle entry into the fishbowl. As the party progressed, they kept doing raffles in between presentations, 5 at a time, picking from the fishbowl. It went on until almost everybody got a prize except me. By that time, I was so sad, thinking that I was so unlucky. And then they got to the 1st Prize, and the fishbowl was almost empty. I thought maybe I didn’t put my raffle entry in, or it got lost. And then they called my name. I was so shocked! I had won first prize! I was flabbergasted!

I also realized that this reverse raffle method was so cool! Everybody went home happy, and I, who was feeling like the unluckiest person in the world, suddenly felt so lucky! Everyone who had an entry in the fishbowl won something. I still have positive feelings about this company even now.

Another bad party raffle that I remember was the one where the prize was ONE MILLION PESOS. I can’t remember if this was a Christmas party, it probably was. Of course, everybody wanted to win the one million, but nobody really expected to win it out of about 1,000 guests (BPO company employees). To me, it felt really off. You have about 1,000 people in varying degrees of making ends meet, and you’re dangling P1,000,000 TO ONE PERSON in a raffle, luck of the draw. Even I was thinking that they should just divide it and give everyone something like a Christmas basket instead. I don’t know, the disparity just felt too big. I didn’t know what they were thinking here. Yes, one person gets P1 Million (not really, because taxes), but the rest of us 999 schmucks were left feeling like we just lost P1 Million. Not really the Christmas feeling I wanted out of a Christmas party. I don’t mean that everyone was crying sad – just a bit disappointed that they didn’t win the P1 Million.

Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough. I also don’t like those party contests where the one with the most Instagram likes wins. But that’s for next time 🙂

Please leave your comments and share your party raffle stories below!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!

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5 thoughts on “POLL: One Big Time Winner vs. Everybody Happy Party?

  1. Neri Ann

    Ay pasok sa banga! I prefer makakuha ng Christmas Basket kesa ipa-raffle pa nila! Ipabasa ko nga to sa kumpanya ko! Ha Ha Ha

    And on the blogging events, before ok na ko sa may pagkain but now ibang usapan na lalo at ang layo ng pinanggagalingan ko at nanghihinayang ako sa sinayang kong oras na sana mas importante pa na kasama ko na lang ang mga anak ko. Andame kong ganun, so mapili na din ako pagdating sa mga events. (hello sa mga PR ng *toot*) who you na kayo sa kin! Ha Ha Ha

    1. Karen MNL Post author

      Thank you for the comment, Neri Ann! 🙂 Matagal ko ng complaint yan, even nung time na ako pa taga organize ng events sa BPO work ko dati. Pag event ko talaga, masaya lagi mga tao… kahit mag uuwi sila ng tig-isang na cupcake lang basta meron. Nagpapa egg tart ako (Lord Stow’s) or Sonja’s cupcake ata, di ko na maalala haha.

      Pag bigger corporate events may lagi akong nakakabangga kasi gusto niya lagi raffle big time (iphone). Ako gusto ko maraming smaller prizes para mas maraming masaya. Pag siya nag order parang ang ordinary ng pagkain – generic cupcake. Pag ako nag order ng pagkain, siguradong masarap! Hahaha. I try to get yung mga hindi pa nakakain ng karamihan ng agents, kaya even days later, pag nagkakasalubong kami ng ibang agents, sasabihin talaga nila na ang sarap nung egg tart (eto nung time na masarap pa sa Lord Stow’s). Marami sa kanila first time makatikim nun. Nagpa Jamaican patties din ata ako one time. E yung cupcake na inorder lang nya sa Multiply, kebs mga tao hahaha.

      Also, yung mga nagvovolunteer sa committee, I try to allot budget din for them. Oo, volunteer sila, they don’t expect anything. Di naman sila binabayaran ng extra. Ang ginagawa ko nalang either kumain kami sa masarap na resto (charge to budget, syempre); and pag may mga sobrang food binibigay ko sa kanila. I always order extra around 10% – mas okay nang may sobra kesa may magagalit kasi kulang food. Di naman nasasayang yung extra because binibigay ko sa mga volunteers and dun sa mga agents na laging tumutulong, sa guards, sa janitors on duty kasi extra clean up for them, etc… Di man siya cash or OT pay, it’s a small thank you for helping. Kabangga ko na naman si ate girl kasi gusto niya mas malaki yung budget magpa raffle ng iphone 😀

    2. Karen MNL Post author

      RE: mga blogging events na hindi worth it. Haaay, wag mo ng pagsayangan ng oras mga yun. Better spend that time with your kids or catch up on sleep 🙂 I agree, be more picky. Kung lugi ka sa oras, effort at pamasahe sa pagpunta dun sa event tapos hindi mo naman talaga siya interest, huwag nalang 🙂 You’re not missing out naman, di ka pa lugi. You can always create your own content, di mo sila kailangan to blog. Alagaan mo nalang yung mga PR na maalaga din sayo 🙂 Sila yung worth it.


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