The Secret to Creating NUMBERED Raffle Tickets in Word

Struggling to get Word to put numbers on raffle tickets? I’ve got your back. Follow these 7 simple steps to raffle ticket awesomeness.

How do I create numbered raffle tickets in Word?

First, create your ticket layout in Word. Then use Excel to make a list of ticket numbers. Use the Mail Merge function to pull these numbers into your Word ticket template. The clever bit: use the <<NextRecord>> tag to get a different number on each ticket. Then run your merge and print.

Read on for more detail!

Note: this takes quite a while. If you want a shorter way to do this, I recommend Raffle Ticket Creator. This website lets you design a ticket online and then download a PDF with all your numbered raffle tickets, ready to print at home. Try it now:

Step 1 - Create one basic ticket template

Create a new document in Word and type in the basic information that you need on your raffle tickets. The event you are raising money for, the price of the ticket, the date of the draw and the prizes that are on offer. Depending on your local laws, you might also need to include a licence number and contact name on each ticket.

Just use tabs and spaces to lay everything out, rather than tables. This will make it easier later on.

You might end up with something like this:

Step 2: Make your template prettier

Next, maybe add a logo and a border to brighten it up a bit. Remember to leave some space for the ticket numbers to go (we'll add them in a moment).

Step 3: Create four tickets per page

Next, copy and paste the whole ticket so you have four tickets on a page. You might need to tinker with your layout a bit to get them all to fit neatly:

So, now you have a template ready with four raffle tickets per page. You just need to add numbers to each one.

Need help getting started? Here is the template I used in the screenshots above, feel free to download it and use it yourself:

Download Raffle Ticket Template for Word 2016 (A4 Paper)

Download Raffle Ticket Template for Word 2016 (US Letter Paper)

Step 4: Use Excel to generate your ticket numbers

Use Excel to generate your list of numbers, which you will then automagically pull into your Word raffle ticket template.

Open Excel and create a new workbook. In the top left cell (cell A1), type "Ticket Number" (without quotes), and in the cell below that type "1" (again, without quotes). Your sheet should look like this:

In the next row down, type "=A2+1" (without quotes) and hit enter / return:

That will put a "2" in that cell, like this:

Now, pay attention to this bit if you are not a regular Excel user. Select the cell with the 2 in it, then carefully click the tiny square at the bottom right of that cell. Click that square and drag the mouse down the screen:

 Keep dragging down and let the sheet scroll up until you get to, say, row 501. That will give you consecutive numbers up to 500. Go as far as you need for the number of raffle tickets you need, like this:

(If you prefer using the keyboard, rather than the mouse, then do this instead of dragging down: select cell A3, hit CTRL+C (or cmd+C on a Mac) to copy, then select cell A4 and use SHIFT+fn+down arrow to select all the way down to row 501. Then hit CTRL+V (or cmd+V on a Mac) to paste.) 

Now save your spreadsheet somewhere that you can find it again, and close Excel.

Step 5: Pull your ticket numbers into your Word template

Go back to your raffle ticket template in Word 2016 and go to Mailings > Select Recipients > Use Existing List:

Navigate to the Excel spreadsheet which you created earlier with your raffle ticket numbers. Click 'OK' to the next two questions (and "Allow" if you also get some security questions):

Now place your cursor where you want the ticket number to appear. Then in the menu ribbon, go to Mailings and click "Insert Merge Field". Select "Ticket_Number" (which should be the only option which appears):

That will insert a placeholder where your ticket number will appear:

(If that's not in the correct place, just delete the placeholder, put your cursor in the correct spot, then hit "Insert Merge Field" again.)

Repeat this for each place where you need the ticket number to appear on your raffle ticket template. Most likely, you'll need it on each counterfoil and each main ticket, so eight in total, like this:

Step 6: Tell Word to put a new number on each ticket

Now for the tricky bit. Pay attention, Bond. A Mail Merge normally has just one "recipient" per page. So Word won't move on to the next number in your list until it gets on to the next page. But you need a new number for each ticket.

To tell Word to change the number for each ticket in your template, you need to insert a special "Next Record" marker on each ticket.

Put your cursor just after the second Ticket Number placeholder on the first ticket:

Then in the Mailings section of the ribbon click the little question mark button and select "Next Record":

That will insert another placeholder called "Next Record". You'll see it like this:

Repeat this for the second and third tickets on your template, but not for the last ticket on the page (because Word will move to the next number at the start of the next page anyway):

Nearly there now!

Step 7: Run the merge to create one printable document with all your raffle tickets

Now you can run your mail merge to generate one big document of tickets and every ticket will have a unique number.

Click on 'Finish & Merge':

Then click 'Edit individual documents':

Word will whirr away and create a new document, with all your raffle tickets in it and each one will have a unique number:

That's it! Print this document and you are done. Give yourself a big pat on the back!

Numbers not in the right place? Fear not.

You might find your numbers don't quite appear in the correct place in your finished document:

Easy to fix. Close the new document which Word just created (don't bother to save it). Go back to your main template document and just move the placeholder further to the right. It'll look odd, because the placeholders take up more space than the real numbers, so the layout looks messed up. Something like this:

Then click "Preview Results" in the Mailings Ribbon and check where your number is now. Adjust the spacing again if necessary until your number appears in the right place:

Then complete your merge as before (Finish & Merge > Edit Individual Documents) and print it out.


Not got half a day to spend fiddling around with Word 2016 to print raffle tickets? Try Raffle Ticket Creator instead: just enter the details of your event into a web page and Raffle Ticket Creator will generate a PDF for you with all your tickets in it ready to print!


  1. EXCELENT!!!!!! TKS A LOT!!!!!

  2. I get this error :(
    You cannot include DATA, NEXT, NEXTIF, or SKIPIF fields in comments, headers, footers, footnotes or endnotes.
    Any idea what I am doing wrong? :(

    1. Johari - you must have accidentally put the "Next Record" code (in step 6) into the header or footer of the page, I think. You don't need a header / footer for a raffle ticket document, so try removing the header and footer completely to avoid accidentally putting things there.

    2. I get the same error and my "Next Record" isn't in a header or footer.

    3. I'm curious about this - if you want to email your Word file to bruce at raffleticketcreator dot com, I'll take a look at it for you!

    4. Did you work this out? I am getting the same error. I am using grouped text boxes. Could this be the cause of my issues?

    5. I have looked into this now. You can't use that NEXT field in a text box. I guess that's because Word can't really be sure what counts as the "next" text box on the page.

      So that error message ought to read "You cannot include DATA, NEXT, NEXTIF, or SKIPIF fields in comments, headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes or text boxes"!

      I don't think there is a way around that, other than to avoid using text boxes and just lay out your tickets the old-fashioned way with lines, line breaks, tabs, paragraphs, etc.

  3. Ugh...I want to use an online raffle ticket template to print on Avery 8371 perforated paper but cannot for the life of me figure out how to continue the numbering beyond what is provided in the Word document. The mail merge does not seem to work. Any suggestions/directions?

  4. Is the error caused because of the Word version? The instructions are being done from a Mac which can produce slightly different results. Is this the case?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. It misses every 5th one i.e. page 1 is 1-4 page 2 is 6-9 page 3 11-14 etc...?

    1. Hi Jason. I think you might have included the NextRecord tag on the final ticket. You don't need it on the final ticket at the end of the page, because Word automatically moves to the next record when it reaches the end of the page. Look carefully at the final instruction and screenshot in step 6 above - have you definitely done exactly what step 6 describes?

  7. Thanks, Bruce, for this! I learned how to create raffle tickets for my mom's senior community :). I also inserted a table which kept the ticket numbers in place and played around with text direction to create a space for the name as my mom wanted an additional stub for food. God bless you for sharing this!

  8. That's great! Glad it was helpful.

  9. I haven't been able to figure out why the numbers are merging on the first area requiring the number (the stub part) those are all the same numbers for each page but the ticket no on the raffle ticket merges correctly?

    1. That does sound odd. Have you definitely got the <> placeholder on the stub?

    2. (pointy brackets got stripped out in first reply)

      That does sound odd. Have you definitely got the 'Ticket_Number' placeholder on the stub?

  10. Thank you! A relatively easy solution to our old costly way of having a printer print them. Bless you for sharing this online.

  11. Thank you it works for me. It cannot be placed inside a textbox, it has to be in a standard text position. The image I just placed em behind the text. The numbering cannot be rotated.

    1. Great, glad to hear that it worked for you

  12. This is the best set of instructions regarding numbering tickets that I reviewed.

  13. That was really fun, thank you!

  14. This was very helpful. Easy to follow instructions that provided great results. Much appreicated.