How To Randomly Generate Winners For Your Giveaway

How To Randomly Generate Winners For Your Giveaway


Ahron Burstin’s Picture

Ahron Burstin

Take a look at all the best ways to randomly pick winners for your giveaway.


When you run luck-based promotional giveaways it's important that you have a reliable and effective system for picking winners ready to go. This can seem like a bit of a challenge at first, especially as you start to rack up more and more entries, but there are a ton of easy ways you can pick random winners for your giveaway.

The method you choose will depend on what type of giveaway you're running and how you're collecting entries. Some of the easiest ways to get users to enter a giveaway are by posting your giveaway on social media and allowing users to enter by interacting with you or your post in various ways. This can include likes, shares, follows, replies, comments, shares, retweets and much more.

To help you start effectively picking winners we're going to take you through all the best ways you can randomly choose winners for any type of giveaway.

We'll Cover:

Random Number Generators

A quick way to pick random winners for social media giveaways is to use random number generators. All you need to do is allocate every entry a number, use a random number generator to select a number, and match that number up with an entry to determine a winner.

For example, if you're running a giveaway where users have to like one of your tweets to enter then you can randomly generate a number between 1 and the total amount of likes. You then count down the list of likes until you reach the randomly generated number.

Twitter Post Likes

If you randomly generate the number 10, then you select the 10th like down as the winner.

This an effective approach for giveaways that users can enter with simple, singular social media actions. This includes:

  • Facebook Page & Post Likes
  • Facebook Comments
  • Instagram Follows, Likes & Comments
  • Twitter Follows, Likes, Replies & Retweets
  • YouTube Comments & Subscriptions

You can determine winning entries with random number generators like the one found on, or you can simply use Google's Random Number Generator.

Google's Random Number Generator

Counting down through all your entries to find the winning number can be a hassle, but unless you have an effective way of automatically recording entries in real time then picking random winners once your giveaway has ended is generally quite time consuming.

Random List Pickers

Another effective approach you can take to randomly generating winners is using an online random list picker, such as those provided by MiniWebtool, Comment Picker, or Gleam's Random Name Picker which allows you to generate random winners by entering all of your entrants names manually or uploading them in a CSV.

You can then draw winners in a fun way that's perfect for private or publicly streamed winner draws.

   Learn More    Use Name Picker

Using online list pickers and random number generators are the best ways you can pick winners for an online giveaway that you're already running, but these approaches still require you to manually count and collect all the entries yourself which is far more effort than is actually necessary. Plus, you'll struggle to get entrants to complete multiple entry actions.

If you run your giveaway with a 3rd party app you will be able to automatically record every entry and instantly generate random winners. Plus, you'll be able to drive a wide range of powerful actions that will help you maximise the value of your giveaway.

Picking Winners For Twitter Giveaways

Running giveaways on Twitter are a great way to engage your fans and effectively grow your audience. When you run a Twitter giveaway you have several options for collecting entries and picking random winners:

Picking Winners From Follows & Likes

An easy way to collecting entries for Twitter giveaways is instructing users to like or reply to one of your tweets, or follow you on Twitter.

If you want users to just complete a single action you will be able to draw winners with random number generators or random list pickers as we outlined above.

Just remember that this approach is inefficient if you want entrants to complete multiple actions such as liking and following. If this is something you want to do you'll need draw a random winner from one action and manually check to see if they have completed all required actions.

Picking Winners From Retweets

Retweets give you a slightly better option for drawing winners as you can use tools like Tweetdraw to draw instant winners from Retweets. All you need to do is enter the URL of your tweet and click go.

Tweetdraw Random Retweet Picker

You can also easily drive retweets and more powerful actions by using a 3rd party app to run your Twitter giveaways.

Picking Winners From Hashtags

Running hashtag contests is a great way to boost engagement and directly interact with users.

You can even use hashtag contests to drive the creation and sharing of highly valuable user-generated content.

When you run a hashtag contest on Twitter there are two ways you can go about randomly picking winners:

Manually Collecting Entries

You can manually look through all hashtagged submissions, record the valid entries and select a winner with a random list picker. However, this is a fairly inconvenient and time consuming approach to take, especially if you receive a lot of submissions, so we recommend that you take the next approach.

Run Hashtag Contests With Gleam

A great way to easily run hashtag contests on Twitter is using Gleam's Competitions app to collect real-time submissions from your designated hashtag and randomly draw winners when your contest is over with this easy template.

   Learn More    Use This Template

Picking Winners From Replies

Another type of Twitter contest you can run to drive audience engagement and interact with your audience is a reply contest were users can reply to a tweet of yours for a chance to win.

This type of contest can be used to ask question, collect testimonials, generate interesting content and more.

When you run this type of contest there are two main approaches you can take to drawing winners:

Manually Collecting Entries

One option is to look through your replies, manually record the valid entries and use a random list picker to find your winner. This is once again a highly inconvenient and impractical option (especially as you start driving more entries), so we recommend you take the second approach.

Automatically Import Replies With Gleam

With Gleam's Competitions app you can easily create giveaways that collect submissions from the replies to your designated tweet in real-time and randomly draw winners when you're ready.

Gleam's Twitter Reply Import Action

Gleam's import actions make tracking, collecting and validating replies incredibly easy. You can even automatically filter submissions by a designated hashtag or word to help ensure that entrants are following your guidelines.

With Gleam, you can run a hashtag or reply contest on its own, or you can drive hashtagged tweets as a part of a wider campaign that will drive all the actions that matter most to you.

Running Opt-In Giveaways On Twitter

The best way to run a giveaway on Twitter is by using a 3rd party app such as Gleam's Competitions App to automatically collect and validate an enormous array of entries and randomly generate winners once your giveaway has closed.

When you run giveaways with Gleam you can easily drive Twitter follows, retweets, hashtag use, and more powerful actions on Twitter and beyond.

If you want to maximise the value of your giveaway and skyrocket participation by driving entries through all your social channels then running opt-in giveaways with our easy templates is the way to go.

   Learn More    Use This Template

Picking Winners For Facebook Giveaways

Running a contest or giveaway from your Facebook page is another effective approach, and there are numerous ways you can collect entries and pick random winners for your Facebook campaigns.

Picking Winners From Likes

If you want to run giveaways where users are tasked with liking your Facebook or a particular Facebook post then you will need to pick winners using random number generators or random list pickers

The downside of this is that it's unneccesarily time consuming, and you'll struggle to drive multiple actions from your entrants.

Picking Winners From Comments

If you're running a giveaway which awards entries to anyone who comments on a Facebook post them randomly picking a winner is a walk in the park with Comment Picker's Facebook tool.

You can even choose whether or not you want to allow users to enter multiple times with multiple comments.

While this approach is quick and convenient it does have several significant limitations including difficulties validating entries.

If you run your comment contests using Gleam's powerful import actions you will be able to easily validate entries, ensure that your guidelines are being followed, and drive even more powerful actions.

Gleam's Facebook Comment Import Action Setup

Running Opt-In Giveaways On Facebook

The most powerful type of Facebook giveaway you can run is an opt-in giveaway which you can drive traffic to through Facebook and an array of other platforms.

With Gleam's Competitions App you can create awesome opt-in giveaways and drive powerful actions including Facebook visits, post views, comments and heaps more actions across all of your social media channels and beyond.

   Learn More    Use This Template

You can even run your Gleam campaigns directly from your Facebook page.

Run a Gleam Giveaway in a Facebook Tab

Picking Winners For Instagram Giveaways

Instagram is a great platform for connecting with your audience, and giveaways are a perfect way to seriously ramp up engagement. Let's take a look at how you can pick random winners for every type of Instagram giveaway.

Picking Winners From Likes & Follows

If you want users to enter your giveaway by liking one of your posts or following you on Instagram you will need to use random number generators or random list pickers to get the job done.

Running Instagram Comment Contests

If you're running an Instagram comment contest and want to save the hassle of manually compiling and picking winners yourself then you should take a look at Gleam's Instagram Comment Picker

   Learn More    Use Comment Picker

   See More Quick Draws.

All you need to do is choose your Instagram post and Gleam's powerful Quick Draw tool will handle the rest.

Running Instagram Photo Contests

One of the most effective types of campaigns you can run on Instagram are photo contests. To run successful photo contests you can instruct users to share their submissions on Instagram and either @mention you in their post, use a designated #hashtag or both.

If you want to pick a random winner for your photo contest then there are two main approaches you can take:

Manually Collecting Entries

One option is to search through submissions, collect and record every valid entry and use a random list picker to choose your winner.

Automatically Collect Entries & Pick Winners

If you run your photo contest with Gleam's Competitions app you can use our powerful, easy to set up templates to collect submissions from Instagram, pick winners, and even showcase entries in stylish galleries.

   Learn More    Use This Template

   See More Instagram Templates.

Running Opt-In Giveaways On Instagram

When you run opt-in giveaways with 3rd party app like Gleam you will be able to cross-pollinate your social followings and drive an array of awesome actions on Instagram, every other social media platform and so much more.

   Learn More    Use This Template

The only downside of this type of giveaway is that users will have to leave Instagram in order to enter, but the value you'll get from them make them well and truly worth it.

Picking Winners For YouTube Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are a great way to help grow your presence on YouTube and beyond. Depending on what kind of YouTube giveaway you're running there are different ways you'll need to go about picking random winners.

Picking Winners From Subscribers

If you want to pick random winners from your subscribers then you will need to employ the use of random number generators or random list pickers to get the job done.

While this approach is fine if you simply want to reward a random subscriber, it will make it challenging to drive any additional actions.

Running YouTube Comment Contests

A good option from running quick YouTube giveaways is getting viewers to comment on the video for a chance to win. You can then draw random winners from the comments with tool such as Comment Picker, YouTube RCP, Sandra Cires YouTube Random Comment Picker.

YouTube Comment Picker Tool

However, these tools have some significant limitations including difficulties preventing spam entries, inability to validate entries, and not allowing you to maintain a record of your entry collection and winner drawing process.

You can overcome these issues by tracking comments and picking random winners with Gleam's import actions. This will allow you to easily prevent spam entries, ensure comments are following any guidelines you have laid out, and even collect comments from across multiple videos.

Gleam's YouTube Comment Import Action

Plus, when it's time to wrap things up you can generate random winners with a single click.

Running Opt-In Giveaways On YouTube

If you want to use a giveaway to drive growth beyond YouTube then you should consider running an opt-in giveaway with Gleam.

This type of giveaway will allow you to drive traffic to your giveaway from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more and incentivise a diverse selection of powerful actions that will help you grow across all of your channels.

   Learn More    Use This Template

Running An Opt-In Giveaway

While all these methods will allow you to randomly generate winners for your giveaway, they generally require more effort than necessary, or put stict limitations on the actions your giveaway can drive.

Collecting entries, drawing winners and driving meaningful actions becomes a lot easier when you run an opt-in giveaway where users enter your campaign directly instead of via social media.

You can do this with a 3rd party tool like Gleam's Competitions app which you an use to quickly and easily create powerful giveaways that will automatically collect, validate and record entries, and generate random winners for you once your campaign has finished.

Jane's Gleam Giveaway Landing Page

You can run your Gleam giveaway on your own website, or on one of our stylish hosted landed pages. All you need to do is maximise participation by driving traffic to your giveaway through your various online channels, and your Gleam campaign will handle the rest.

As well as taking all the manual labour out of drawing random winners, running a giveaway with Gleam also gives you the opportunity to drive a far wider range of meaningful actions. You can even drive multiple actions in the same giveaway and award more entries to users who complete more actions.

With Gleam you can create giveaways ranging from simple sign-up forms:

   Learn More    Use This Template

   See More Simple Contest Templates.

To more powerful campaigns that award entries to users who subscribe to your mailing list, retweet or follow you on Twitter, visit your webpage and other social media profiles, share your giveaway with friends and a whole lot more.

   Learn More    Use This Template

Ready To Run Your Own Giveaway?

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Competition with Gleam or check out the app now!

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Learn More About Running Sweepstakes & Contests