So we're a handful of days away from the end of the name raffle, and for the last couple weeks it's like every day is my birthday. By which I mean I get a lot of letters with money inside. Today when I open the mail I think I'm going to wear a festive hat and eat some cake too. I've been in the mood for cake lately.
Wait, what was I talking about? I'm not used to being up this early in the morning, and I find myself a little confusticated.
Oh, right. The name raffle.
In a nutshell, it's going really well. Paypal continues to be friendly, donations are generous, the names are cool, and I'm having a lot of fun opening the mail.
Admittedly, some mail is more fun than others.
For example, here's a set of notecards that just got sent in with someone's poor-boy entry:
(You can embiggen any of the images by clicking them.)
Thanks so much, Carly. This really made my day.
And you're right. Trowbridge is a great name.... Even if I don't draw it in the raffle, it might end up in the book.
That's actually the case with a lot of the names that have been sent in. I find myself thinking, "Hmmm.... Seth could be a good name for a farmer. Mellisa doesn't quite work, but Melias would make for a good noble surname in Vintas."
Personally, I'm really interested to see what names get drawn....
And now some FAQ:
You said the contest ends on November 15th. Did you know that's a Sunday? I can't mail you anything on a Sunday...
True, but people can still paypal in their donations on a Sunday. If you want to mail in your entry, you should send it earlier in the week.
Pat! I screwed up and forgot to enter my phone number and suggested name into the Paypal form! What should I do?
You should weep bitter tears. Did I not put instructions on the blog? Clearly worded instructions? In red?
Seriously though. Don't worry about it. You're not alone. This happened to a bunch of people.
If you donated online, I have a record of your e-mail address. I'll write that on the card and use it to keep track of your entry. Then, if you win, I'll contact you and get the other information I need.
How much have we raised so far?
Checks and donations are still coming in every day, so I don't have a final tally yet. But right now I think we're at a little more than 16,000 dollars. Which is awesome.
That means if you buy one ticket you've got (roughly) a 1 in 800 chance of winning. If you buy six tickets for 50 bucks, you've got about a 1 in 260 chance of winning.
I'm hoping we can have a strong finish. So how about this? To encourage people to donate and spread the word during the final days of the fundraiser, I'll draw a third name if we hit 20,000. That means the odds will actually get better for everyone if more people donate.
Is this the only Heifer fundraiser you're doing this year?
Oh no. Not at all. This is just a warm-up for the people who are specifically interested in my book.
As I've mentioned before here on the blog, we'll be doing something very similar to last year's fundraiser. Except this year we're going to have even more prizes, and some cool auctions too. Stay tuned for details.
I live far away, and I know my letter won't make it to you in time. Can I just e-mail you the name for my poor-boy entry?
I've had a few of these e-mails from foreign countries or from people in the army.
While I sympathize, I really don't want to change the rules that I laid down at the beginning of the contest. Changing the rules partway through is kinda unfair to all the people who would have liked to e-mail in their free entries, but went online and bought a ticket instead.
Maybe the next time we do this I'll have an online option, but for now, I think the only fair thing is to stick by the original rules.
Once the drawing is over, do we get to know what names you've picked?
I'm going to leave that up to the winners. If they're cool with me mentioning it on the blog, then I might. Otherwise, I'll respect their privacy.
That's all for now, folks.