RANDOM.ORG is a true random number service that generates
randomness via atmospheric noise. This page describes the Third-Party Draw Service, which allows you to use
RANDOM.ORG to hold independently certified random drawings for
When you want to hold a drawing, you log in to the service and
upload a text file containing entrant identifiers. There must be
one identifier for each entrant. If you want the same entrant to have multiple chances, the identifier for that entrant can occur multiple times.
In either case, each identifier must be on a separate line. You can also paste the
identifiers into a web form if you prefer.
The service validates the entrant list to ensure there
are no blank lines and also warns you about duplicate identifiers. If the list passes validation,
you get the chance to review it one final time to ensure that you
are happy with it.
The service selects one or more winning entrants randomly.
The selection is done using true randomness generated via
atmospheric noise as documented on the RANDOM.ORG web site. The
numbers from the service have been analysed
extensively and have passed the most stringent industry tests
for randomness. In this fashion, RANDOM.ORG guarantees that (a)
it is impossible for anyone to influence the drawing; (b) it is
impossible for anyone to predict who will win; and (c) each
entrant identifier you provide has exactly the same chance of winning. In other words,
the drawing will be performed in accordance with the highest technical
and ethical standards.
A permanent record is placed on the RANDOM.ORG site,
documenting the drawing. The record includes your company name as
owner of the drawing, the exact time (UTC)
at which the drawing was held, the identifiers of all entrants, and of
course the winning entrants. Once the drawing has been completed,
the permanent record cannot be modified or deleted. This record
will persist on the RANDOM.ORG site for at least five
When you hold a drawing, you can choose to make
the permanent record private, public or
entrant-accessible. Private drawings are
only visible to someone who holds the username and password
associated with the owner account. This is useful if you expect
your drawing to be audited but do not necessarily
want everybody to be able to view the details. Public drawings have records where the full details are visible
to anyone who visits the RANDOM.ORG web site. This is useful if
you want anyone to be able to verify that the drawing was conducted as you promised, but you need to be aware that the
entrant identifiers will be displayed publicly and that there may be
privacy concerns. Entrant-accessible drawings have
records in which the full details of entrants and winners are only
visible to the owner, but where entrants who know their identifiers
can query the record to see if they were entered and whether they
were picked as winners.
For the purposes of holding drawings, the Third-Party Draw Service has a number of
important advantages over the other RANDOM.ORG services (e.g., the
Sequence Generator). Most importantly,
the presence of the records allows a business holding random drawings to easily refute any accusations of tampering
and also allows the drawings to be audited by an
external auditor at any stage. While the Sequence Generator is fine for small-scale
giveaways with little or no monetary value, or where there is
considerable trust between the parties, the Third-Party Draw Service is by far the best
choice for professional use of random drawings.
For corporate/institutional subscribers, a written and signed
statement can be provided to confirm that RANDOM.ORG is conducting
your drawings. This can be adapted to your
company's needs. An example is available: rdo-statement-2009-11.pdf (1
page, 35 Kb)
You may mention RANDOM.ORG in connection
with any promotional material that refers to the ways in which your
drawings are conducted. RANDOM.ORG is a world class product with a
world class reputation. (Type "random" into Google and see what
you get.) A list of user
testimonials is available, as are statistical analyses of the numbers.
If your company receives queries about the quality of the
randomness or the drawing procedure, you can refer them to RANDOM.ORG who will answer them at no additional cost.