When you play games like bingo or slots, the prizes are pretty straightforward, and you know what to expect (and what to shout) when you land that winning line! But while everyone loves to win, sometimes, when taking part in a game show, or any other kind of competition, the prizes turn out to be… well, unusual.
In this list, we share some of the craziest prizes that people have ever won in a competition or raffle before. From the random to the more mundane, there are many which you might never have expected to hear about!
8 of the craziest prizes ever won
Of course, it’s all about context, but when it comes to raffle prizes, you would probably never expect to take a live animal home when you win!
That is, unless you were a contestant on the US game show Let’s Make a Deal, which apparently routinely gave out live goats as prizes, otherwise known as “Zonks”. With an audience that dressed up in costumes to watch the show, it might not have seemed out of place in that carnivalesque setting, but you won’t catch us offering any animals as prizes for any of our online raffles!
The game show Runway was a hit in the UK in the 1980s. One of the main tasks in the game was to guess the year that other contestants were born in, based on clues that they were given from the front page of the newspaper from the day the contestant in question was born. The winner of the game was awarded a holiday, but the loser took home the “booby prize”: a copy of their own birthday newspaper, which seems a bit odd, and a major letdown!
When it comes to raffle competitions we can’t imagine many people getting excited about getting an old newspaper as a consolation prize!
3: A very expensive fishbowl
Televised game shows seem to have a reputation for sometimes giving out awkward prizes, and unfortunately, High Rollers – which had a run in the US in the 1970s – was no different. After rolling around two oversized dice and then having to remove the specific numbers they rolled from a game board, contestants could look forward to taking home prizes, including a fishbowl worth $10,000!
We’re not sure how an empty fish bowl could be worth that much, especially with nothing in it – not even water! For anyone who regularly buys online raffle tickets, we’re sure you’ve seen much more useful items up for grabs.
4: Cat-themed pinball machine
Pinball machines were very popular at one stage, but in the early 1990s, all that most people wanted to get their hands on was a gaming console like the Nintendo Super Entertainment System. For this reason, the UK show The Price is Right probably missed the mark when it offered a cat-themed pinball game as a top prize in one of its 1993 episodes.
As any raffle site will advise, it’s a good idea to make sure your prize is something that your audience would want to win and aligns with the times! Of course, one of the top-selling and successful pinball games of that era, such as The Addams Family or Twilight Zone, might have been better received at the time (though the prizewinner doubtless had heaps of fun with it, anyway).
5:Wheel of cheese
Cheese is often a delightful addition to a gift basket and is quite a common prize in a raffle draw, but in some competitions, cheese is the main event!
This is the case in the annual cheese-rolling event that has historically taken place in Gloucestershire, where a complete wheel of cheese is rolled down a hill and contestants chase after it (with many taking a tumble for most of the descent!). The wheel has been replaced by a foam replica in recent times for safety reasons, but the large amount of Double Gloucester that it symbolises has been the coveted, if unusual, prize for the first person past the finish line for many years!
6: A pig named in your honour
Literary folk may be an enthusiastic bunch, but apart from Shakespeare enthusiasts, or those who visit Père Lachaise (a garden cemetery in Paris), some like to honour famous authors with competitions and prizes that pay tribute to famous authors and their stories (as well as animal characters).
What’s more, there is often a bit of humour involved, not only in the entries but also in the award, particularly with the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. In the UK’s first competition for comic fiction, the winning novelist gets to have the honour of naming a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig after their novel, in tribute to some of the main characters in PG Wodehouse’s novels.
7: Micronesian island resort
Instead of selling their island resort in Micronesia the usual way, a couple let go of their piece of paradise by placing it on a raffle website in 2016: they wanted to head back home to Australia and decided to give their home to an average Joe instead of a millionaire.
Apparently, the competition sold about 53,000 tickets, and a lucky man from the Aussie state of New South Wales landed the winning ticket! We can’t imagine what it must be like to win an entire resort, but we’re sure that the winner wasn’t complaining about spending some time at the Kosrae Nautilus, which includes 16 hotel rooms, a seven-seater restaurant, two boats, eight rental cars and a four-bedroom house for the manager.
8: Day with a famous footballer
For any raffle winners who have taken home arbitrary homeware items, you might be pleased to know that some of the most outrageous prizes on record include a day spent with a famous footballer.
In particular, one of the craziest prizes that have ever been won is a day spent with the mega-famous forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, which was part of a fundraising initiative run by a non-profit organisation called Artists for Peace and Justice in 2015. The winner got to go to Spain to hang out with Ronaldo before a Real Madrid vs Barcelona match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid and spent three nights in a four-star hotel.
What’s more, the foundation raised enough money to build a football programme in Haiti, which we think makes this one very successful raffle!
Win some crazily fun prizes when you play at Mecca Bingo
OK, so we might not be handing out goats, fishbowls, or days spent with one of the most well-known footballers in history, but at Mecca Bingo, we do know how to share some fun giveaways!
Whether you like to play bingo or you’re more of an online slots fan, you can take home a variety of prizes when you enter our raffle prize draw. All you need to do is buy a ticket to enter! Ticket prices vary per offer online, and you can also enter free of charge via post.
Some of the wins you can look forward to include cash, gaming bundles, as well as weekends away and electronic devices (T’s and C’s apply).
Also, if you were disappointed not to see spider catchers, plastic lobsters, and inflatable fleas on this list, get yourself to one of our Bonkers Bingo events – if these are your cup of tea – as we regularly give out weird and wonderful prizes there!