The history of the meat raffle

Australia, Learned something new today — By on October 6, 2010 11:13 PM

Learned something new today …

When Stacy and her friend Lawrence told me we were going to a meat raffle last night I said, “Okay – why not – but what exactly is a meat raffle?”

A meat raffle is a tradition of raffling off meat, usually in a bar or pub, originating in Britain during wartime periods in the 20th century when food rationing was common.

At the start of World War II, the United Kingdom imported 20 million tons of food per year (50% of its meat). Hoping to starve the nation into submission, it was a principal strategy of the Axis to use German submarines to sink ships bound to the UK carrying food and military supplies. To deal with extreme food shortages, the government instituted a system of rationing for all civilians.

Meat raffles came about as each family would pool their small ration of meat allowing the winner to take home enough meat to feed their family.

Today meat raffles are common in Australia – meat trays are often raffled to raise money for the local sporting teams associated with the particular pub in which the raffle occurs.

We attended a raffle at the Byron Bay Bowling Club, each of us paying $5 for a raffle ticket containing 25 numbers. I have historically been a very lucky gal and it seems my luck has followed me down under as my number was called twice! I got to choose between different tray option. There was a breakfast tray containing bacon, eggs and sausages – looked tasty; a corn beef tray – not a huge fan; a fruit tray – why bother; and a steak tray – yes please!

We took my beef winnings straight to the barbie where grill master Lawrence prepared for us a delicious dinner of t-bones and veggies. I savored each bite of the a-typical backpacker meal revealing in my good fortune.

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  1. Amy says:

    I think that would be a great experience to attend a meat raffle. Plus you have always been so lucky!

  2. Steve Morin says:

    Now maybe I have heard of everything. How is your trip going?

  3. Don’t believe in luck really myself. Good winings… 🙂

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