New Wall of Wine: 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

99 Bottles of Beer

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall: A Game of Big Donations

You’ve heard the song: “Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety-nine bottles of beer… Take one down, pass it around, ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall!” Anyone who’s ever been on a long trip knows the tune—and now you can use it as a fun game to drive big donations at your auction. The best part about this game? Everyone wins something, but some prizes are bigger than others!

How’s it work?

Note: Many states have specific rules that govern auction games. Make sure to check your state’s raffle licensing laws as well as your organization’s bylaws. Also, check on alcohol sales rules and permits, as well as firearms, if those will be available at your event or in the auction.
  1. Get 99 bottles of beer you can use as props for the game. (Try to get them as an in-kind donation, if you can!) If you have to buy them, choose a beverage relative to the price you plan to charge for each bottle/chance to win.
  2. Make 99 paper bottle caps to represent each bottle, then tape them down in front of each bottle. That way, as bottle caps are removed, guests can see how many chances to win are left.
  3. Create a “prize key” for the volunteers to check each time a guest purchases a bottle. When a guest picks a bottle, a volunteer removes the paper bottle cap and checks the key to see what the guest has won. (Alternately, you can write the prize on the underside of each paper cap.)
  4. Pick a good price point at which guests can purchase a single bottle, which is a chance to win. The right price point is relative to your event, of course, and could range anywhere from $10/each to $100/each. $20 might be a good spot for a school PTA event. Setting the price at $99/each is cute, and keeps with the game’s theme.

(Think about it like this: 99 sales at $20/each? $1980 in total sales. At $100/each? A total of $9900!)

Some Tips

  • Put a table between guests and your bottle stand, so nothing gets tipped over or moved, and only volunteers have access to the bottles and paper caps.
  • Make inexpensive prizes for most of your bottles, with one (or a couple) chances to win something much bigger and more valuable.
  • And best of all, if you use bottles with real beverages in them, every purchase is a prize!

Selling Your Bottles

With Greater Giving’s Storefront, it’s easier than ever to sell tickets—or, in this case, bottles.

Simply charge each purchase to the guest’s bidder number. This way, no cash or credit cards are ever exchanged. Volunteers can key in the sale on a computer or iPad, which is then added to the bidder’s account, and appears on their receipt at check-out.

Here are some fabulous photos of an event we attended where organizers set up a “99 Bottles of Beer” game and made a ton of money! In these slides, you can see how the group used Greater Giving Storefront to sell tickets as multi-sale packages:


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