Luck is still in your hands: How raffles can survive the contactless world

Clarisse Inao

Regardless of cultural and spiritual backgrounds, most people are fond of the idea of luck. Paired with the belief that the fortune comes out of good intentions, it’s no surprise that holding games of chance still exists even during the current global situation.

In the book by the French Institute for Demographic Studies Director Emeritus Daniel Courgeau, he mentioned that the notion of chance has always been present in human culture since the time of earliest antiquity. History is witness to how games of chance had been held for a variety of reasons. 

How the old world played

Scholars might disagree on who started raffles and lotteries but there are many instances in Biblical events  of rulers using them to maintain their political stronghold and to raise money for their campaigns.

One of the more popular versions is the raffle, which is believed to have existed since the beginning of human civilization. The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were believed to love playing it using dice or bones. Since then, in 100 B.C, the game called Keno was popularized in China. In 1446, the widow of the Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck held a raffle to dispose of his remaining paintings.

The rise of ‘tambiolo’

Originating from Southern Italy, ‘Tombola’ is a lottery-style board game documented in 1880. It is mostly played at Christmas time and usually, with prizes that are only symbolic. In the United Kingdom, it is done typically using numbered raffle tickets, with prizes allocated to all those ending in a particular digit; similar to the United States. 

In the Philippines, the popular term is ‘tambiolo’. The game is done by drawing winners from a fishbowl or barrel-shaped container where entries are placed. Tambiolo can be made out of wire, glass, or clear plastic which often has a handle. The handle, when rotated, mixes up the entries as the anticipating participants watch and wait for luck


Will raffles survive the ‘new normal’?

Raffles thrived from centuries-old traditions of believing that luck is in our hands. Yet, as the current world scrambles to protect every inch of human skin from a pandemic, how will the game of chances survive?

Luckily, (no pun intended), there are chatbots and SMS promos. Digital is becoming the preferred norm for human transactions and interactions. Now more than ever, chatbots and SMS have roles to play in continuing the endless possibilities of playing for luck.

For many, the prospect of getting something valuable for free will always be worth the time. Paired with an assurance that exposure to the feared virus is eliminated, people have taken to the digital raffle. Best of all, chatbot technology and SMS promos allow automated notifications and management of entries.

In the Philippines, Megamobile Inc. is one of the leading providers of digital raffle technologies, including Chatbots. It provides worry-free end-to-end raffle processing from raffle mechanics development, DTI or FDA permit processing to electronic raffling and prize delivery.

To get you started on your Digital Raffling campaign using chatbot technology visit or send us a message at [email protected]