You’ve Won! Or have you? Is RaffleWinner#33 Performance Art, Prank, or Fraud?

There’s a puzzling fraud that’s been going on using the Erowid name. Beginning in 2018 and continuing through 2020, several people have emailed Erowid trying to claim a prize they ‘won’ through an alleged Erowid raffle ticket. Yet Erowid hasn’t participated in nor offered a raffle of any sort in more than a decade. These raffle tickets were not issued by Erowid Center and there is no prize to be claimed.

Inside of the fake Erowid raffle ticket card.

So far, we have limited details. What we know…

  • The so-called ‘tickets’ appear to be a collage based on a photocopy of an old (actual) Erowid raffle from the Mind States 2008 conference with the addition of a 2009-era Erowid logo.
  • A couple of people have specified that they received it by (snail)mail. One person said it was left “in a card at their door”. (eek!)
  • In at least one case it was pasted inside a greeting card style card with a cover that had “gefeliciteerd” (Dutch for ‘congratulations’) on it.
Cover of one of the fake Erowid
winning raffle tickets.
  • The cards bear a ‘WinnersCode’, referred to as ‘RaffleWinner#33’.
  • One person claims they won “because of a donation”, and the card itself says “thank you for your generous donation to Erowid”

These tickets are not related in any way to bona fide donations made to Erowid Center. It has been suggested that it might be a research chemical vendor that is sending them out with purchases, but we haven’t been able to verify that (or which vendor). Erowid definitely isn’t involved in whatever transactions happened prior to the arrival of these cards.

We’d love any help in tracking down what’s going on so we can try to reduce confusion!

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