In short, the term “meat raffle” is exactly that – a raffle competition in which players purchase tickets in order to win a hamper of steaks, sausages, pork shops, or any other type of animal protein you can imagine.
The Homes of the Meat Raffle Tradition
Meat raffle competitions, also known as meat draws in some parts of the world, are most common in Britain, the US, Western Canada, Australia, and South Africa, where the Afrikaners refer to it as a “vleis tombola”.
Bars, Markets, Bazaars and Pubs
These places are where the meat raffle tradition started and they are where you’ll find it still very much alive in the present.
Since, meat raffle competitions are often charity fundraisers, they are often a feature at church markets and bazaars.
Meat Raffle as Charity Fundraiser
As mentioned, charity organisations often use meat raffle competitions as events to raise funds. In these cases, the meat varies greatly in terms of the animal it comes from and the type of cut and is generally donated by a local butcher.
A Major Customer Draw Card in Britain
In the UK, the official charity meat raffle is less popular elsewhere. Although the proceeds still tend to go to charity, the most common type of meat raffle there is one hosted by bars and pubs in order to attract customers.
Tickets for this sort of meat raffle are generally sold for about £1 each and only between 25 and 30 are sold. However, much larger raffles, with much larger meat hampers in the offing, have also been known to take place from time to time.
The player lucky enough to have his or her number drawn in the meat raffle can opt either to choose their cut of meat or receive a gift certificate.
The Meat Tray in Australia and New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand, a meat raffle is often referred to, instead, as a meat tray. Meat raffle competitions in this part of the world generally take place in pubs and tend to feature a combination of sausages, lamb chops, and steaks.
A popular type of meat raffle in this region is known as the breakfast tray and includes bacon, sausages, and even eggs. Seafood trays, meanwhile, award mussels, oysters, and prawns to the lucky meat raffle winner. And the poultry lovers are not forgotten either. Chook trays are chicken meat raffle competitions.
Whatever their content, Australian and New Zealand meat raffle competitions are usually arranged in aid of local sports teams. As most pubs are proud supporters of a particular team, the meat raffle competitions they host will generally be to raise funds for their favourite teams.
Canadian Porchetta Bingo
A more sophisticated approach to the meat raffle is often taken in Canada, where a traditional Italian porchetta – pork roast pastry – is the prize. In this sort of meat raffle, instead of an actual raffle, a card game determines the winner of bingo for money.
A Meat Raffle at the World Darts Championship?
True followers of international darts will already be familiar with the term “meat raffle” and will even know how it works. That’s because the BDO World Darts Championship features an annual meat raffle to raise money for youth darts teams.
This meat raffle has become a much loved BDO tradition just as Australian slots and it takes place during the competition interval.