Client Corner: Setting Up A Lottery for Ticket Buyers

Hill Farmstead Brewery Logo
Hill Farmstead Brewery Logo

In this edition of our Client Corner series, I wanted to commend Hill Farmstead Brewery and talk about how they found a way to make buying tickets for their annual Festival of Ales as “fair” as possible.

Hill Farmstead Brewery is a craft beer brewer in Greensboro, VT. According to their website “The brewery is the revival and continuation of 220 years of Hill heritage and hand crafted history in North Greensboro, Vermont.”

We’ve worked with Bob and Shawn on several of their events and the problem is that their events are a) very small and b) very popular!

In the past, some of their events have literally sold out in seconds. If your clock or watch is 5 seconds behind the next person’s when the tickets go on sale, you could be shut out. Plus, they have visitors from all over the country so while a 10 a.m. on sale might work for their East coast fans, it sucks for a West coast one.

Add in all the other factors of a busy on sale and it’s impossible to make everyone happy.

Making The Onsale Fair

For their annual Festival of Ales, there are only 200 tickets available and they wanted to make the buying process as “fair” as possible. We suggested an online lottery that allowed a window of time to “register” your intent to buy a ticket. 50 random winners would be drawn from the pool of entries who would then be given a window of time to buy their tickets. After that, additional “winners” were chosen until all the tickets were gone.

“We’ve struggled for some time with the challenges of selling our event tickets in the fairest, sanest manner. We collaborated with Ticket Alternative on a lottery system that served two purposes: providing ample opportunity for the most interested people and reducing everyone’s stress levels. Ticket Alternative implemented and executed an excellent, personalized and customized system that made this happen. The result: less stress, far fewer problems and overwhelmingly positive feedback from our patrons.”
Bob M. Montgomery
Hill Farmstead Brewery

The online lottery opened on Thursday June 13th at 8 a.m.  Prospective buyers entered their contact information via an online form hosted on The registration period ended at 8 p.m. on Sunday June 16th. It was great because there was no rush and it didn’t matter if you registered at 8:01 a.m. on 6/13 or 7:59 p.m. on June 16th because everyone stood an equal chance of being selected. The rules were simple: one entry per person, one entry per I.P. address. Over 1000 people registered for the chance to buy tickets.

Around lunchtime on 6/17 we drew the names of the #Lucky50  – they were each emailed a unique code that allowed them to purchase a maximum of 2 (two) tickets. Again, there was no rush. Once they received their unique code, they had until 6/23 to complete their purchase.

The purchase process was simple, click on a link in the email that takes you to a page to enter your code and then complete the purchase.

In addition to contacting everyone buy email, we contacted the stragglers by phone, just in case the email got stuck in your spam folder!


Leave A Comment!