Geeky Ways To Pick a Random Name From a List

May 14, 2008 – 9:27 pm

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.

pick-a-random-name-from-a-list

 

The Hat

“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.

the-hat-pick-a-random-name

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.

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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!

random-org-list-randomizer

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!

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  1. 6 Responses to “Geeky Ways To Pick a Random Name From a List”

  2. Nice man. I would also say just get a book of names and open to any page and point your finger!

    By Aseem Kishore on May 15, 2008

  3. Random.org is the most popular I think, I have heard it lots of times, but never heard of others..

    By Pavan Kumar on May 15, 2008

  4. @Aseem: Lol!
    @Pavan: Random.org is one of the best services. You can even toss a coin for head or tails, online!

    By Syahid A. on May 15, 2008

  5. Syahid, what made you write this post by the way? Something must have happened to write about random names!

    By Aseem Kishore on May 15, 2008

  6. @Aseem: I’ve seen a friend of mine choose a winner by using Random.org! :D

    By Syahid A. on May 15, 2008

  7. I like the hat from my school

    By larissa shuttleworth on Mar 17, 2009

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