Researchers may also choose to incentivize study subjects by utilizing a lottery payment structure, in which subjects’ names are entered in a lottery operated by the study team. If a study’s incentive budget is small, a lottery allows one subject, drawn at random from the pool, to receive the full amount of the incentive amount. Subjects may find the chance to win this somewhat larger amount more attractive than the certainty of receiving a smaller amount.
In most cases, Michigan law requires anyone operating a lottery (also known as raffle) to obtain a raffle license from the state. The law allows an exemption, however, for qualified organizations to operate lotteries without a raffle license.
As a qualified organization, the University of Michigan is authorized to conduct lotteries without a raffle license, as long as the lotteries meet the following criteria for the statutory exception:
- There may be no presale of tickets.
- There may be only one prize drawing per day,
- No more than $100 total in prizes may be awarded in one day (to one winner or multiple winners).
- There may be no second-chance drawings for those who do not win. (In the context of a research lottery, this means that a researcher who wishes to offer multiple prizes must organize subjects in separate pools, to ensure that each subject has only one chance to win.)
Researchers are responsible for knowing the regulatory requirements for lotteries conducted outside Michigan.
When conducting a research lottery, the University of Michigan study team is responsible for
- operating the lottery
- maintaining the pool (or pools) of potential winners
- drawing the winners
- awarding prizes
The State of Michigan Charitable Gaming Division offers guidance on legal requirements for raffles conducted in Michigan.