My 12 year old son has taken upon himself to raise $1,000 to help victims of the tsunamis. To do so he has arranged a raffle, he has gotten prizes donated, created raffle tickets on his computer, had them printed, and has enlisted friends to go door-to-door to help sell them. And so to assist him in reaching his goal, I am helping him sell tickets. Raffle tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5, first prize is a MP3 player and 2nd prize is a Gameboy Advanced SP, the drawing is on March 1st, and if you’d like to buy tickets you can use my PayPal account and I’ll give him the money. All proceeds will be sent to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund.


18 thoughts

  1. This is completely illegal unless your 12 year old son has a charity license which I sincerely doubt. While it may be well intended, it will be most unfortunate if your son is convicted of a felony for running an illegal lottery style game.
    Please halt these activities immediately and contact your local authority to discuss the local lottery/gaming laws and how best to raise money for charity. I am sure your local town hall will be able to assist.
    Sorry for the bad news, just trying to help!

  2. Wow, I did not know that to arrange a simple raffle in the us you need such permissions. I personally find hillarious and absurd your system sometimes. Gaming laws for a very good intended 12 year old kid raffle ?? give me a break…

  3. Marina,
    Cut the man some slack and stop threatening with prosecution and the SWAT teams swarming a 12-year old boy’s house for doing what we all should be doing.
    What’s the big deal? How is this more illegal than the local firehouse running a raffle to help buy new uniforms? How is this different than a girl selling lemonade with the proceeds going to the tsunami; or for curing a sick younger brother?
    Are you going to go after the lemonade-selling girl at the corner? Probably you already did, that’s why nobody in your neighborhood likes you.

  4. And to think a group of guys started a revolution over a 1/2 cent tax on tea. Imagine what they would do if one of their kids were told he/she had to have a license to help victims of misfortune.

  5. Seriously what a thorn (or what a thorn does, rhymes with lick) –
    Anyway Ben happy to throw $10 your sons way, great thing for him to do.

  6. breakin’ the law
    breakin’ the law
    breakin’ the law
    breakin’ the law
    i can hear it now… great song!
    good work ben’s son and good luck getting your goal! valiant effort. good karma.
    here’s 10 for ya!

  7. Marina,
    Give me a break. Those are the most ridiculous comments I’ve ever heard. Something is really really wrong in this country when a 12 year old "child" does a fabulous gesture, and the first comment is accusatory and negative.
    I commend ben’s boy for being proactive and helping a public cause. He will be noticed by people of "importance" and get somewhere in life. I’m quite certain we can trust Ben since he is a public figure and has lots to lose if he does illegal activities.

  8. At least he will be convicted as a minor 🙂 On a serious note I think this is great and some people are a little bit height strung.

  9. It’s been a while since I had my business law class for my MBA, but I believe the test for a lottery is:
    1. There has to be an element of chance
    2. You have to give consideration for the chance
    3. There has to be something the winner receives.
    Since this raffle meets all three tests, it is considered a lottery as Marina correctly stated. Did you ever notice in advertised prize games (BK, MCD etc) you can enter for free? That free element of chance prevents it from being considered a lottery. There is no such free entry option (yet) to participate in this lottery.
    I seriously doubt anyone would go after your son Ben; however, I’m 99% sure this is not strictly legal as it is setup currently.
    Tom Nunamaker

  10. I think this speaks volumes for Ben’s son (and Ben, I guess) that at 12 he would even think of something like this, much less do the legwork to gather the prizes.
    I think this does violate the letter of the law, however I do not feel it violates the spirit of the law. One of the reasons laws governing raffles/lotteries exist is to protect consumers from fraud.
    I don’t think the Fortas are out to defraud anyone in the name of the tsunami victims.
    Here’s $20.00.

  11. The laws aren’t there to protect the consumer. They are to protect the state monopoly on gambling….to make sure they get a piece of the action.
    There are several ways to get away from the question of a raffle:
    – Sell something with a huge mark-up. Sell a $1 item for $10 and say the extra $9 goes to Tsunami relief
    – Don’t promise any prize. Someone once put an ad in a newspaper that said "Send me $1" with an address. MANY people did and tried to sue him for not giving them anything. He won in court because he never promised them anything.
    – Just ask for donations.
    I already gave to another charity for tsunami relief, however, I wish your son luck in raising money for this worthwhile charitable effort.

  12. ben.
    whats up with this effort? how’s it going?
    just wondering…
    take it easy 🙂

  13. Tony, thanks for asking. He is over half way to reaching his goal, and has 4 weeks to go. Several very generous readers here helped out too, thanks! 🙂

  14. Raffle was drawn this evening. The Gameboy was won by Mr. Kasle (a neighbor of ours), and the MP3 player was won by achaney of Tela Dynamics (who bought a ticket via this blog post). Checks to the American Red Cross go out in the mail tomorrow.

  15. Thanks for the MP3 prize! Please sanitize it as I do not want your terrible cold!
    Get well,

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