RAFFLE, a special kind of lottery, in which a particular article is put up as the prize, the winner being drawn for by lot out of the number of those who have paid a fixed sum for admission to the drawing; the total amount realized by the sale of the tickets is supposed to approximate to the value of the object raffled for. The word appears in English as early as Chaucer (The Parson's Tale) where it is used in its original sense of a game of dice, the winner being that one who threw three dice all alike, or, next, the highest pair. The Fr. rafle, Med. Lat. raffia, was also used in the sense of a " sweeping-off " of the stakes in a game; it has been connected with Ger. raffen, to carry off.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)