A Chinese auction is when participants buy tickets and place them in prize containers that they wish to win. The tickets are then picked at random to determine the winners of each prize basket. These types of auctions are very popular for fundraisers.
In order to run a Chinese auction, one must make sure they have enough prizes. The prizes then should have a container in front of each one. This way, participants that have bought their tickets can place as many tickets as they want into whatever containers corresponding to the prizes they wish to win. Many Chinese actions use raffle tickets because they are small, cheap and all have a list of numbers on them so ticket holders can easily find out if they won a prize. Each prize basket usually has a net worth of around $20.
Once participants have placed their tickets into the containers, an objective party takes one ticket from each container. Whoever has the ticket that is picked wins all the prizes corresponding to that container. Chinese auctions are a simple way to raise money and attract people to come to an event. The word "Chinese auction" doesn't have an official etymology. There are some synonymous names, however, such as a penny social, pick-a-prize and tricky tray.