Picking a Random Contest or Survey Winner in SurveyGizmo

I saw a great thread in our survey forum this morning and thought I’d share a couple ideas brought out by our users “Leibiniz” and “donna d.” Donna wanted an anonymous survey to collect data but with a free offer contest to increase the submission rate.

Obviously you need to keep the survey results anonymous, but still collect the personal info to be able to send the winner of the contest their prize. She used a tried and true method of redirecting users who want to enter the contest to separate non-anonymous survey after they complete the first anonymous survey. You can send everyone via a redirect or you could use a question to ask if they’d like to continue on to the second survey. With a little logic thrown in on the respondents who wish to be redirected will. But then she had a problem… how to randomly pick the winner.

That’s when user Leibiniz suggested using www.random.org/integers to get a random number. What a nice simple little site. You get to set the number of random numbers you want (1 or more winners) and the range of possible values (number of entrants).

Leibiniz and Donna were discussing using a query string variable, but I think a simpler way is to just export your survey data when your survey is complete. Take the number of rows in your survey spreadsheet (minus 1 for the header row) and use this as the maximum value at the Random.org site. Voila! a random user selected by row number.

If you have more questions about surveys, survey contests, or random winners feel free to post here or the forums! Happy surveying.

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  • http://www.surveygizmo.com Christian Vanek

    One other suggestion. I just saw a blog post about a gentleman who spammed a contest and won it.

    If you are running a contest you should use our “vote protection” feature to make sure this doesn’t happen. You can also use the “de-dupe” feature in reporting to weed out spammers people after-the-fact if you forget to turn it on before launching your contest.

    Remember, remove duplicated before choosing that winner!


  • http://www.google.com KrisBelucci

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

  • Sunny

    I think Random.org is not free when you need to pick winners with a proof of the draw, it is $4,95. There is also http://www.RandomResult.com which is totally free.

  • http://www.hs.iastate.edu/odeet/ Karla Embleton

    I use Excel’s “RANDBETWEEN” function to randomly select a number between 1 and X, where X is number of entries I have received. Since I download survey responses into Excel, its convenient to add the function to an empty cell and then have everything saved in a single file.