During my schooldays years ago, my teacher always asked for a volunteer to answer some questions or contribute for a school project. The problem is that none of us were cooperative enough to volunteer! To solve this problem, what she did was to pick a name randomly using methods such as picking a name from a hat / box full of names. Because it was randomly picked, nobody in the class would dare to object (or prepare to feel her wrath!)! In this post, I will show teachers or whoever that wanted to make a random choice, two ways to pick a random name from a list using a computer.
“The Hat” is a free app by Harmony Hollow Software that you can use to pick random names one by one from a list; just like the one that teacher did previously. You can enter your own names manually or import them from a text file. To pick a name, press the “Shuffle” button and “Stop” to randomize the list. To pick out a name from the hat, click on the “Pick Individual Names” menu option.
Additionally, you can also use “Pick Pairs of Names” option which is useful to pick and create random, two-people-in-a-group list. Once you are done randomizing, you can save the results or print them to show off the results. What I love about “The Hat” is that the name picking process comes with dramatic sounds and windows shaking animation effect, which makes the whole process much more livelier. Download “The Hat” here.
Random.org List Randomizer
If you don’t want to waste your time downloading “The Hat”, open your browser and go to Random.org. From the “Fun and Free” section, click on List Randomizer. You can enter up to 10,000 names, emails or numbers inside the list but you can’t import them directly from a text file (but you can cut and paste!). Once you are done, click on the “Randomize” button to let the computers create a random list for you. As easy as pie. And yeah, if you want to make a coin-flip decision, Random.org provides an electronic version of coin-flip too! Lol!
There you are, two geeky ways to pick a random name from a list. With both of them in your pocket, nobody can disapprove your ultimate, randomly made decision. Rejoice!