A meat raffle is a tradition of raffling off meat, often in pubs and bars, common in Britain, Australia, in the USA in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in Western Canada. In most parts of Britain and Canada a meat raffle is known as a meat draw.
In some cases the raffle is operated by a designated charity, though in Britain most of the proceeds are spent on prizes and the raffle is run as a social occasion and a method of enticing customers into a local pub. The meat ranges in animal and cut and often comes from local butchers.
A typical meat raffle would have approximately 25-30 tickets sold at $1 each, though there is considerable variation and some raffles are much larger. Depending on the specific raffle, when a winning number is called the winner can either pick their cut of meat or opt for a gift certificate. All proceeds typically go to a charity.
Also simply known as a meat tray, the tradition is well known in Australian and New Zealand pubs. The trays of meat raffled vary in content: a barbecue style mix of steaks, lamb chops, sausages etc. is the most common, however "breakfast trays" (bacon, eggs, sausages) and "seafood trays" (prawns, oysters, mussels) are also common. Meat trays are usually raffled to raise money for local sporting teams, often those associated with the particular pub the raffle occurs in. The proceeds often help fund the team's end of season trip. Care must be taken with seafood trays given the propensity for the contents to spoil in the heat as the lucky winner continues drinking; often a friendly publican will store the tray in the fridge until the winner is sufficiently refreshed and ready to head home.
An Australian variant of the meat raffle is the chook raffle, where a chicken is raffled off. A Canadian variant popular primarily in the Sudbury area is "Porketta Bingo", in which a traditional Italian porchetta is given as a prize in a card game as a fundraiser for local minor hockey leagues.
Part of the interval at the BDO World Darts Championship includes a meat raffle to raise funds for youth teams.
A meat raffle is also a party in a small space with a lot of people packed closely together.