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Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Raffle

Updated on April 13, 2015

Annual Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Raffle Fundraiser for CAER Food Shelf

Well it is that time of year again, summer is upon us which means that it is time for the annual Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Raffle to raise money for the CAER Food Shelf. Last year, the event was a huge success and we raised over $4300 for CAER.

Our annual event is held the Sunday of the Sherburne County Fair. We hope all of you will purchase a square on the grid and come on out to the Sherburne County Fairgrounds to cheer on the cows and let the chips fall where they may!

This unique fundraiser is also known as a Cow Chip Raffle or Cow Pie Bingo in some parts of the country and what better place to have this event than at a local county fair? It sure was a 'moo'-ving experience and everyone seemed to have a fun time. The good news is that the cows let their chips fall in just 10 minutes.

Our 2009 Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Raffle at the Sherburne County Fair raised $4300 for the CAER Food Shelf!

Purple Star Award

This lens was awarded a purple star on June 12, 2009. The giant squid organizers here at Squidoo award purple stars each week to their favorite lenses created by all-star Giant Squids. To learn more about the Purple Star Program, click here.

What the heck is a Cow-A-Bunga Bingo or Cow Chip Raffle anyway?

Good question!

Game Concept: A grid of 1200 equally sized 2 foot by 2 foot squares will be painted on a field at the Sherburne County Fairgrounds. The field sits at the center of all the fair action so there is plenty of room for spectators. Before and during the fair, numbered raffle tickets to each specific grid square will be sold for $5 each.

On Sunday July 18, 2010; the $1000 grand prize winner will be selected by the random dropping of a cow pie on the grid-covered field. At 4 PM, one or two well fed cows will be led on the field to let the chips fall where they may. If a cow pie has not materialized within 1 hour from the start time, a winner will be determined by a random drawing.

The winner need not be present to win. However, we highly encourage spectators to come cheer on the cows as the chips fall at this event. It will surely bring a smile to your face!

Photo Credits: 2008 Avon Historical Society Cow Chip Raffle

2009 Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Field Grid - 2' x 2' Painted SquaresCAER Food Shelf Tent & Display at the FairgroundsBernick's Pepsi Banner Donations along with Cows/GridSpectators Getting An Interesting Look at the CowsBetsy & Bee: Our Well-Fed CowsCow Handler - Rod Eggink removing cows from field just after the cow chip fellJudges Planting the WINNER FlagCrowd Awaiting The Name of the Official WinnerWinner - Angie Maase & The JudgesThe Maase Family & The Event Judges
Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Field Grid - 2' x 2' Painted Squares
Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Field Grid - 2' x 2' Painted Squares
CAER Food Shelf Tent & Display at the Fairgrounds
CAER Food Shelf Tent & Display at the Fairgrounds
Bernick's Pepsi Banner Donations along with Cows/Grid
Bernick's Pepsi Banner Donations along with Cows/Grid
Spectators Getting An Interesting Look at the Cows
Spectators Getting An Interesting Look at the Cows
Betsy & Bee: Our Well-Fed Cows
Betsy & Bee: Our Well-Fed Cows
Cow Handler - Rod Eggink removing cows from field just after the cow chip fell
Cow Handler - Rod Eggink removing cows from field just after the cow chip fell
Judges Planting the WINNER Flag
Judges Planting the WINNER Flag
Crowd Awaiting The Name of the Official Winner
Crowd Awaiting The Name of the Official Winner
Winner - Angie Maase & The Judges
Winner - Angie Maase & The Judges
The Maase Family & The Event Judges
The Maase Family & The Event Judges

Cow Pie Bingo Video - Just so you can see what all the fuss is about...

The Game Rules

The 1200 raffle tickets (grid squares) will be sold prior to the designated event time, but not after the event begins.

Persons must be 18 or older to purchase a ticket and/or win a prize.

Raffle ticket holder need not be present to win.

A computer randomizer will be used to generate a random numbered grid that will be printed on a large sheet of paper and subsequently placed in an envelope or tube that is sealed and signed by two judges.

At the designated time of 4 PM on Sunday July 18, one or two cows will be led into the grid area by an appropriate handler and let free to roam within the area until a cow pie is placed on a grid or the one hour time allotment has expired. Upon completion of a cow pie or one hour time allotment, the cow will be escorted out of the area by the handler and the independent judges (who are not allowed to participate in the raffle) will determine the results. If there is no cow pie, the winner will be determined by a drawing.

Spectators cannot interfere with the progress of the event on the fenced/roped off gridded field.

The grid containing the biggest volume of cow pie from the 1st dropped cow pie as determined by a panel of 3 independent judges will be the grand prize winner of $1000. ALL decisions by the judges are final.

If a cow pie lands on a grid which is determined to be an "unsold" grid, the winner will be the closest "sold" grid square in proximity (by actual measured distance) to the cow pie.

Winner will be announced via the fair PA system and posted in the raffle tent.

Any disputes or claims must be registered with the judges and may be forwarded to the Minnesota Gambling Control Board.

Fun Cow Themed Gifts on Amazon

CAER Food Shelf Information

CAER is a non-profit, community-based Christian organization, whose mission is to provide emergency food, clothing, furniture/household items, special assistance, and limited financial assistance to individuals and families in need.

CAER was founded in 1979 as a vision of the local ministerial association. Churches, schools, youth groups, civic organizations and businesses have joined hands in a wonderful community effort to help those in need.

CAER personnel and service coordinators are available to reach out and lend a hand, to help with problems until a permanent solution is found, to provide emotional reassurance during stressful times and to provide tangible help without all the 'red tape'.

Monies raised for the Cow-A-Bunga Bingo Raffle will be used to fund the CAER Food Shelf mission and provide tangible help to those families in need around Elk River and surrounding areas.

Planning A Raffle In Your Town?

Here are some of my tips that I learned during the planning process.

Before you even get started, check with your state gambling board to see if cow chip, cow-a-bunga, or cow pie bingo raffles are legal in your state. Some states do not allow this sort of 'alternative' raffle. And in Minnesota where we are conducting our raffle, they have an entire page of rules regarding how the raffle must be conducted (right down to non-transparent envelopes).

If you are an individual trying to raise funds for say a cancer patient, you'll likely need to run the raffle through a non-profit organization in order to be exempt from state gambling rules which prohibit most raffles.

Check with local city and county officials regarding their gambling rules and permit requirements.

Make the grid sized based on the number of tickets you think you can actually sell. In smaller towns and for smaller events, consider having 500 to 750 squares.

Don't get greedy and charge too much for tickets. Price your tickets to sell.

Have a detailed plan for selling tickets. For example if you are part of an organization, 'require' that all your members sell at least 4 tickets. The bottom line is that you need a game plan up front to make sure that all the tickets get sold.

Find someone that has paint equipment specifically for fields (e.g. football fields). The rolling sprayers require special paint, but they are essential in getting straight high-quality lines.

Having a raffle at the fair has its own special requirements and associated 'issues'. You will need liability insurance and fair officials to agree to a large area for your grid. I suggest having a volunteer coordinator who finds and keeps track of the tent/booth ticket selling volunteers, the cow handlers, field painters, judges, etc. Have banners made that go around the entire field that direct people to your tent. Some companies like Pepsi will actually donate large plastic banners (not the inexpensive paper ones that you see as baby shower decorations) to causes that they deem worthy. At our booth, we also had games for kids like a lollipop pull so we had lots of little trinkets like mini cow candles and barnyard themed cheap favors to give away as prizes.

Most of all, try to have fun!

CAER Thanks All The Support It Gets From Squidoo

Check out the CAER says Thank You lens to get the details on how lensmaster jkvkdailey rocked it with her Anti-Pie Thanksgiving Desserts Recipe lens and scored a $1000 Prize for the CAER Food Shelf in the 2009 Thanksgiving Cookoff for Charity.

A Big Thank You To All Those Who Help Fight Hunger!

Share Your Successful Charity Fundraising Tips! - Have you hosted a cow chip raffle - if so - let us know how it went....

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    • KaneshiaKelly profile image

      KaneshiaKelly 3 years ago

      What a great fundraising idea, and lens. Thanks for sharing

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Well now America is a great country isn't it? My college aged son and I had a lot of chuckles about this one. Out to some social bookmarking to spread the word. I am proud of you for what did for this charity. Angel Blessed!

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Great fundraiser idea for rural areas!

    • profile image

      bingobabe 6 years ago

      Wow, that looks so awesome. What a great idea.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 6 years ago

      That's awesome! lol what a creative idea.

    • profile image

      AllyVuitton 6 years ago

      Wowzees, now all I can think of is that dessert at the end!

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

      No way! Hilarious!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This looks like such a fun event! Lensrolling to my Cow Costumes lens, though certainly none of the cows in this lens need a costume!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Wow! I am late to the Cow-a-Bunga Bingo Raffle -- did I win anything? ;) Wow again -- a purple star for Cow-a-Bunga? Wow -- there I go again -- congrats big time!

    • kimmer1491 profile image

      Kim 8 years ago from Big Lake, MN

      We used to do a similar fundraiser when I was in high school - we would play donkey basketball in the gym (teachers vs. students, you must be on your donkey to score, etc). The gym floor was taped off into squares, and each square was sold to the audience members. When a donkey "did the deed" in your square, you won a gift certificate or cash prize. Since there were many donkeys participating in the event, we didn't have just one large winner, each time the chips fell a prize was awarded. It's a fun idea and I hope you raise a lot of money for this worth cause!

    • Darla Dixon profile image

      Darla Dixon 8 years ago

      Brilliant idea, I love this!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Oh. Wow. I love this idea. Love it! I would so be there.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Sounds like a hilarious event! lol Congratulations on your beautiful purple star!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very interesting! What a fun way to earn money for a good cause.

    • profile image

      badmsm 8 years ago

      Great lens! 5 stars & A Squid Angel Blessing for you!