Lottery game

Generating many creative and fresh ideas

Practical Information

What is this tool?

An fun ideation exercise that encourages to think out-of-the box and to come up with as many ideas as possible. There is no judgement or criticism in this process - every idea is valid.

Why do we use it?

By creating a large amount of ideas, you boost the creative and ideation mindset of your team. Even though the ideas might not be feasible, the exercise emphasises out-of-the-box thinking that can trigger new ways of looking at the social issue you are trying to solve.

Design phase:



Pen and paper, Post its


30 minutes - 1 hour

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A step-by-step guide

1. Write down a few (2-4) topics or themes that are related to your project. 

2. For each topic, write down a few 1) stakeholders  2) locations and 3) actions or activities. 

For example: A topic you wrote down was ‘information campaign’. On the first pieces of paper, write down stakeholders for the campaign (e.g., farmers, families, journalist).  On the second piece of paper write down locations for the campaign (e.g. online, on the street, on the radio). On the last piece of paper, write down the actions or activities of the campaign (e.g. creating a message, informing communities, change perceptions).

3. Now you randomly choose one word from each category (one stakeholder, one location and one action/activity). Combine these three words to come up with as many new ideas to solve your design challenge using these 3 words. Record these new idea combinations in the form of a short sentence, 1 idea per post it.. 

4. Repeat the exercise at least three times with new combinations of ideas from the 3 categories.

Practical tip: If you do this exercise with people who can’t read due to illiteracy or visual impairments, assign one note taker, who narrates the activity, reads out the ideas and notes them down. You can also use illustration instead of words as shown in the photo.

How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

The ideas that were generated with this tool are the starting point to come up with a creative solution for your design challenge. You need to select the ones that are the most promising or take out elements that can be used.

Related tools

Creating a schematic overview of all the topics related to your solution idea
Use the ideas and associations that surfaced during the Mindmap activity as examples for the 3 categories in the Lottery game
Bright stars
Categorising all your ideas to identify the ones to develop further
Categorize the ideas that you came up with during the Lottery Game on a matrix to see which ideas could have the most impact and are most feasible.
User journey
Making your idea come to live by describing it from a users perspective
If this exercise has generated enough concrete ideas, use the user journey to describe how our user is going to interact with these ideas

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