Do you have a question about drawing names online? Check below to find answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Lost link
    • I lost the link to my Wish list.
      Go to the group page. On it, you will find the link to your Wish list.
    • I lost the link to my Drawn name.
      Go to the group page. On it, you will find the link to your Drawn name.
    • I lost the link to my group page.
      Use this page to retrieve the group page.
  • Wish list
    • Can I update my wish list?
      Yes. When you are invited to the Group, you will receive an email containing a link to your group page. On this page, you will find a link to your wish list, which you may update at any time. The person who has drawn your name will receive a notification of any update.
    • How can I add my hobbies and interests to my wish list?
      You can add or make changes to hobbies and interests at the end of your wish list. The person who’s drawn your name will automatically receive a notification.
    • Can I add a picture to my wish list?
      Yes, you can do so by clicking the camera icon behind the particular wish.
    • Are the wish lists visible to everyone in the group?
      Yes, once the names have been drawn. You can view all your group’s wish lists on the group page. If you choose a gift, just tick that option in the list. Everyone in the group can see that tick, except for the person who’s asked for the gift. The organizer can also decide not to make the wish lists visible to everyone. Then, a person’s wish lists are only visible to the person who has drawn their name.
    • I'd like to indicate what's already been bought
      Check off the gifts you'd like to give. This way the other group members can see what's still available on the list to buy. The person who created the wish list won't see the check marks.
    • I'm unable to ask my drawn name an anonymous question.
      If you ask the person who's name you've drawn a question, you'll have to wait until this person has read the message before you can ask a new question.
    • I'm unable to ask a question about someone else's drawn name.
      If you can't ask a question about the wish list of someone who's name you haven't drawn, it could be that another member of the group has already asked a question about that wish list. This question will have to be answered before anyone else in the group can ask a new one.
  • Email
    • I didn’t receive emails, or the messages entered my Spam/Junk box. What do I do?
      Most likely your provider's Spam filter didn’t allow the email. Add drawnames@drawnames.ca to your Contact List or place the address on the Hotmail Safe List. Then use this page to retrieve your email.
    • Is it possible to resend an email that I didn’t receive?
      Use this page to retrieve the link to your group page, drawn name or wish list.
      An invitation to your Group can be sent again by the organizer via the group page. Also, incorrect email addresses can be corrected by the organizer. After the names have been drawn, the organizer can resend the drawn name email to a member of the Group via the group page by clicking on “Send drawn name email again."
    • How do I change an email address?
      The organizer can do that on the group page. If you have made a password yourself, you can also change the email address after logging in to ‘My account’.
    • Can several members use the same email address?
      Yes, that’s possible. The name of the member that each email is intended for is stated in the subject of the email.
    • Why didn't all Group members receive the message that I have sent via the Group page?
      The Group messages are sent to every member who has already joined the Group. If you haven't joined the group yet, you will not be notified of the messages. All messages can be read from the Overview page.
  • The Draw
    • When will the names be drawn?
      The names are drawn once everyone has accepted their invitation. On the group page you can see when the draw will take place.
    • We’re only sharing wish lists. Can I still draw names too?
      Yes. Even if the organizer initially selected the option to only exchange wish lists, you can still draw names later on by clicking on ‘Draw names’ on the group page. Do you want to set exclusions too? Then first postpone the draw date by choosing ‘Change the draw date’. Set the exclusions (only possible for groups of at least 4 people) and change the draw date back again.
    • Can I draw names with an odd number of names?
      Yes, no problem. Everyone will receive a drawn name!
    • Can I postpone the draw?
      The organizer can set a draw date on the group page. Once everyone has accepted their invitation, the draw takes place automatically on the chosen date. If the invitations are sent using an app or a link, the organizer draws the names manually on the group page.
    • Is it possible to redraw the names?
      No that's not possible. You will have to make a new group with a new group name. It's also not possible to edit the exclusions once the draw has taken place. You are able to remove someone from the group after the names have been drawn.
    • I would like to join the group on behalf of someone else.
      As an organizer, you can change the person's email address to your own email address on the group page. You will then be invited to join the group.
    • I would like to draw names even though not everyone has joined the group yet.
      This is not possible. See the question above to speed up the process.
    • Can I draw more than one name per person?
      Yes, the organizer can set the number of draws to two in a group of at least 4 people. In that case, everyone draws two different names, e.g. for a larger and a smaller gift. It is not yet possible to set different amounts to spend.
    • Is the process of drawing names really random?
      Yes. It's just like drawing names from a hat, only you'll never draw your own name. All draws are possible; so there is a chance that the draw consists only of pairs or that it's divided into small groups. It also doesn't matter in which order the participants are added to the group. If you have drawn names with us for several years in a row, you have a bigger chance of drawing a name you haven’t drawn before. You can never draw a name that is set as an exclusion, but there are always several possibilities left. If you like, you can test it by clicking How to Draw Names.
  • Last year's group
    • Can I reuse the Group I created last year?
      In October, we will send all organizers an email that links to last year's groups. You will be able to reuse all names and email addresses, in addition to last year's draw. Lost this email? You can retrieve it here or sign in.
    • I'd like to redraw names with an existing group
      This is possible if the names have been drawn and the event date has passed. The organizer first has to delete the existing group from My groups. The group will remain available to redraw names with and it's possible to exclude the previous draw. While setting up the group you can edit all the data and add/remove names.
  • Organizer
    • I have already drawn names myself. Can I only exchange wish lists?
      Yes, you can set up a group for exchanging wish lists. Set up a Wish list group and select "Don't draw names (only exchange wish lists)".
    • What's the maximum number of people I can draw names with?
      The group may contain up to 250 members.
    • My group is not yet complete. Can I send invitations anyway?
      Yes, you can add participants as long as the draw hasn’t yet taken place. If you sent out the group invitations by email, you can select a date for the draw on the group page. That way you can postpone the draw. Once everyone has accepted the invitation, the draw will automatically take place on the date you selected.
    • Can I change the group name?
      No, it's not possible to change the group name.
    • Can I change the name of a member?
      No, that's not possible. As long as the names aren't drawn yet, the organizer can add new members on the group page. Add a new member first and then remove the member with the wrongly spelled name.
    • I am the organizer, how can I change my email address?
      You can change your email address when you're signed in to your account. You can easily create an account.
    • As an organizer, I do not want to participate in the drawing.
      The organizer always participates in the drawing. Please set up a group with the email address of someone who will participate in the drawing.
    • I want to add someone to the group.
      You can do that on the group page as long as the names haven’t yet been drawn. Click on ‘Add a member’ or ‘Share the invitation link’.
    • Can I remove someone from the group?
      You can remove someone via the Group page if the group contains at least 4 members, even if the draw has already taken place. The drawn name of the person that got removed will then be given to the group member that drew the name of the person that got removed.
    • I want to specify that certain people cannot draw certain names (set exclusions).
      You can set exclusions for a group of at least 4 people after you’ve added all the names to the group. You can also do that on the group page as long as the draw hasn’t yet taken place. If you’ve invited your group using an app or a link, you can only set the exclusions just before you draw the names. Make sure that if you want to exclude partners, you set that for both names.
    • How many draw combinations can I exclude?
      It depends on the group size. The number of exclusions increases when you enter more names. After choosing the first exclusion, a second selection box will appear.
    • I have set some exclusions. Can other Group members see the exclusions?
      By default, the exclusions are not visible to the Group. The organizer can change the visibility of the exclusions on the group page, so everybody can see all exclusions.
    • Who can see who has drawn which name?
      Members of the group can only see the name they have drawn themselves. From the date of the gift exchange, the organizer can view a list on the group page of who has drawn which name.
    • How do I delete a group?
      As organizer you can delete a group by going to My groups and clicking on the cross behind the particular group name. You can do this as long as the draw hasn't taken place yet or after the event date, if the draw has taken place. In the second case the group will remain available in My groups to redraw names with.
  • Error messages
    • This email address is blocked. What should I do?
      It's blocked because we couldn't send this email to you. The most likely reasons are that your provider's Spam filter didn't allow the email, your inbox has been over the allowed quota, or the email address is incorrect. Please add drawnames@drawnames.ca to your Contact List, empty your inbox and check the address. After that please send an email to help@drawnames.ca and ask us to remove the block.
    • The link in my email doesn’t work. What do I do?
      First, check your internet connection by seeing whether another website works. Then, check whether the Drawnames.ca website is hidden behind the screen containing your email. If the web page states that the link isn’t valid (anymore), ask the organizer who set up your Group to invite you again (via the group page).
  • Other
    • New this year!
      We’ve listened to all your suggestion and have once again added some new features that lots of people asked for! You are now able to:
      • Always add your hobbies and interests
      • Get gift ideas for the name you’ve drawn
    • Can I also draw names after Christmas?
      Yes, the website stays online the whole year.
    • I would like to draw names for Birthdays
      That's possible throughout the year. We recommend you keep changing the event date so it matches the upcoming Birthday, this way the group remains active.
    • DrawNames.ca/fr
      Visiteurs du Canada français, visitez-nous www.drawnames.ca/fr (Echange de cadeaux | Générateur de Secret Santa | Tirage au sort).
    • DrawNames.com
      Visitors from the USA please visit www.drawnames.com (Gift Exchange | Secret Santa Generator).
    • Drawnames.com.au
      Visitors from Australia please visit www.drawnames.com.au (Gift Exchange | Secret Santa Generator).
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