As many of you know, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West sells raffle tickets for a different car each year. We get questions all the time about the car, and the raffle. While there are many ways to “skin a cat” this is the gist of how we do it.
Each year we find a car that we think people will love. We typically select muscle cars; although we have had other cars (see the list at the bottom of this post). The car is then purchased and brought to Cody, where some of our staff takes photos for marketing, test drives the car to make sure all is well.
Sometimes repairs have to be made, so the car takes a trip to the repair shop. Once it is determined that the car is in working order, we drain the gas tank, and move the car to its new home—the entrance of the museum where it will sit until the end of September when the winning ticket is drawn!
When the ticket sales come in via the online page, we are able to capture the name, phone number, email address and mailing address for the person buying the raffle tickets—we print that information out, and then go to a locked cabinet and pull out the specific number of tickets we need for that order and log it in a log book making sure the ticket numbers all match up.
Someone then fills out the tickets by hand, and then emails the purchaser their ticket numbers. Due to USPS regulations, we are not allowed to mail ticket stubs to the purchaser. We do keep all ticket stubs for purchases made online for 7 years as pursuant to our document retention policy. Once you have been emailed your ticket numbers, we put the tickets in the raffle drum that is housed by my desk. I usually spin the raffle drum a few times a day to make sure everything gets mixed up regularly.
The drawing typically happens in mid-late September, but in 2022 we plan to move the drawing to mid-October to allow our later season visitors a chance to enter. The winning ticketholder gets a phone call from us, which historically has resulted in us getting hung up on. Another call back with a voicemail and an e-mail (if available) will happen, giving the winner contact information. On years when the drawing is late at night during our Patrons Ball, we always feel bad about calling so late at night, but also hope that if someone is winning a car, they would want to know as soon as possible! Once we connect with the winner, usually the Monday after the drawing, we talk about the exciting things like taxes and delivery of the car. The winner has 30 days to pay the taxes and take collection of the car.
Here are some answers to other questions you might have:
Why do you drain the gas tank? Gas fumes damage our collections, it also is a fire hazard and we want to do all we can to protect our museum.
Why don’t you just use labels for the printed raffle tickets? The labels end up peeling off and sticking multiple raffle tickets together. We want to make sure each ticket is separated and can be pulled out individually when the winning ticket is drawn!
Where does it say that raffle ticket stubs can’t be mailed? Click here to read why from the USPS
How much are the taxes? Since winning the car is considered reportable gambling winnings, we have to collect federal taxes before we can release the car. The actual dollar amount is based off of fair market value of the car. Click here to find out more from the IRS
What cars have you had in the past? Check out this list of cars!
|2001||2001 Ford T-Bird|
|2002||2002 Tahoe & 4-Wheeler|
|2003||2003 Hummer H2|
|2005||1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Club Coupe|
|2006||1966 Ford Mustang|
|2007||1965 Shelby Cobra Replica|
|2008||1957 Chevrolet Bel Air|
|2009||1952 British MG TD|
|2010||1977 Chevrolet Corvette|
|2011||1978 Pontiac Trans Am “Smokey & the Bandit”|
|2012||1965 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe|
|2013||1970 Chevelle SS|
|2014||1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1|
|2015||1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS|
|2016||1972 Chevrolet Chevelle with SS Options|
|2018||1966 Pontiac GTO|
|2019||1964 Corvette Convertible (hard top included)|
|2020||1967 GTO (Gran Tourismo Omologato)|
|2021||1959 Corvette Convertible|