6 Great Resources to Randomly Pick Contest Winners

These Tools Make Picking Your Next Contest Winner Easy and Fair

Image of a Hand Randomly Picking a Contest Winner
5 Helpful Tools to Randomly Pick Your Contest Winners.

Image (c) Materio / Getty Images

Sponsoring giveaways is an effective way to build buzz about products, grow your social media following, and encourage sign-ups to your newsletter. But once your entry period ends, you need to answer an important question: How will you randomly pick your contest winner(s)?

A fair and random winner selection process is vital to ensure your giveaway has the positive effect you planned and to avoid accusations of favoritism or fraud. Here are six resources to help you randomly pick a contest winner fairly and easily.

1. Use Google's Random Number Generator to Pick Winners

Among the many interesting features offered by Google is a random number generator. Using it to pick your winners is easy and free of charge.

To start, assign each of your valid entries a number. One way to do this fairly is to assign a number based on the order in which the entries arrived. So your first entrant would be number one, the second would be number two, and so on.

Then, go to Google.com and search for "random number generator." This will bring up a box that asks you to enter the minimum and maximum numbers to use. The minimum should be the first number you assigned (probably "1") and the maximum should be the number of total valid entries your giveaway received. Once you have entered these numbers, press the "Generate" button.

If you prefer not to use Google, there are many free random number generators available; just do an internet search to find your favorite.

Whichever generator you use, it's a smart idea to take a screenshot of the result along with a timestamp to document how you randomly picked the contest winner.

2. Use a Random Name Picker for Your Winner Selection Process

If you prefer to pick the contest winner's name directly rather than assigning a number to each entry, you can use a random name picker like the one offered by MiniWebTool.com.

To use MiniWebTool's random name picker, enter one name per line into the text field, then click the button to "Pick a Random Name." One name will be drawn at random to be your winner. Again, you can take a screenshot to document the result.

Of course, typing each name into the text field is time-consuming, but if you're recording your entries in a spreadsheet, you can save time by copy-pasting the list into the web form.

3. Use Woobox's "Pick a Winner" Tool to Draw Contest Winners on Social Media

If you're running a contest on your Facebook page's timeline, you can use Woobox's free "Pick a Winner" Tool to randomly choose who'll walk away with a prize.

To use the tool, sign up for a free account with Woobox and connect it to your Facebook account. Then click the "Posts" tab to select the giveaway post.

Next, select whether comments alone or comments and reactions count as entries. Finally, click the "Pick Winner" button. Take a screenshot of the result.

Finally, you can contact the winner yourself or upgrade your Woobox account to a paid account so you can use the tool to let them know they won.

Note that you can also use the Pick a Winner tool to randomly choose winners from YouTube or Instagram comments and hashtags

4. Use YouTube's "Random Comment Picker" to Choose Winners

If you're building your YouTube following by offering giveaways to commenters, the YouTube Comment Picker will make randomly picking your winners easy.

To use it, all you need to do is to put in the URL of your video and click the "Search" button.

Once you've entered the URL, you can choose the winner with a click of a button. In only a few seconds, the Random Comment Picker will give you the winning commenter's name.

5. Use Easypromo's Instagram Sweepstakes App to Pick Winners from Comments and Hashtags

If you're running giveaways on Instagram, it can be difficult to keep track of different entry methods like leaving valid comments, sharing the giveaway with friends, and using hashtags to enter. An app like Easypromos' Instagram Sweepstakes App can help.

This tool not only chooses your winner, but it also generates a winner's list and a certificate of validity to show that the contest was fair.

Your first giveaway made through the Instagram Sweepstakes app is free, giving you the chance to try it out with no risk. You'll need to purchase a subscription for any additional giveaways after the first. 

6 All-in-One Sweepstakes App

Most sweepstakes apps come with a winner selection tool out of the box. Rafflecopter, for example, accepts entries and picks winners at the end of the giveaway.

The advantage of a service like this is that not only is winner selection easy, but there's also no question of bias or favoritism in the winner selection.

Want to Know More?

If you're interested in learning more about random numbers, check out these weird and wacky methods that random number generators use to be as unpredictable as possible.

If you'd like to run a raffle rather than a giveaway, check out these tips for running a legal raffle in the United States or Canada.

If you'd like some more help running your giveaway, check out this article on what sweepstakes administrators are and why companies use them. Good luck!