In An Ever-Changing World I'm Grateful For The Reassuring Familiarity of Raffle-Ticket Technology

Raffle tickets
Raffle tickets

There's not much more to this thought, I guess, but the other day my friend Ben and I were entered into a raffle to win a movie poster, and the mechanics were exactly the same as they had been the last time I participated in a raffle, which was probably sometime in high school: Somebody tears off a flimsy little cardboard ticket from a big wheel of tickets, and you read the typed row of numbers along the top to see if it matches the number the raffle-caller reads out loud at the front of the room, at which point you exchange your ticket for your Lost Highway movie poster, or little toy, or gift certificate, and that's the end of it. (Full disclosure: my friend Ben was the first to win the Lost Highway poster, which was very exciting, even though it turned out to be a strangely inert close-up of Bill Pullman and Laura Dern's chins and nothing else.)

That's pretty much it! I don't mean to say I dislike change, although I do miss DVDs and a handful of other old technologies that in retrospect worked pretty well. It's just nice that raffle ticket technology has resisted planned obsolescence and the lure of innovation.

I think once in England I got to go to a meat raffle, but I can't remember if I won anything or not. Apparently they're also popular in some parts of Minnesota. I can't speak to that, of course, and I don't know who's out there running the meat raffle – butchers, I would think.

“What’s not to like?” said Tina Nelson, a regular at the Knight Cap, a northeast Minneapolis tavern that holds meat raffles twice a week. “It’s free meat!”

And there you pretty much have it.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]