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All in the Name of Charity

Pappy Van Winkle is a name that needs no introduction. The most coveted brand of bourbon on the planet is released every autumn in painfully limited allocations. Bourbon fanatics go crazy for its smooth-yet-assertive profile, the result of meticulous maturation and a mashbill marked by the presence of sweet wheat. But it’s the distinctive recipe of high demand and short supply that’s most responsible for the whiskey’s notoriously inflated pricing.

Thankfully, another venerated name is here to help you score a full suite of Pappy bourbons on the cheap—and it’s benefiting a great cause. On September 28, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana is raffling off the five bottle lineup, ranging from 10 to 23 years in age, in a live drawing in Louisville. But you needn’t be in Kentucky that day to win. You simply have to be holding a $100 raffle ticket. They went on sale here at the beginning of the month.

“These five coveted bottles offered as a group directly support sick children and their families,” says Hal Hedley, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana. “It’s a win-win for everyone.” 

All of the proceeds from the fundraiser benefit families who must travel to the region to receive urgent medical treatment for their children. Held since 2019, the annual event has become known locally as the “Pappy Raffle,” and has raised over $1.2 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities during that time. 

This year, the organisers have sweetened the pot by getting the brand’s legendary founder (and third generation Kentucky bourbon-maker) Julian Van Winkle III to sign all the bottles. The winner also gets a curated basket of bourbon-barrel-aged sundries including maple syrup and pepper sauce. But let’s be real: It’s the whiskey you really want. And countless families in Kentucky and Indiana are quite thankful you do.

Indeed, even if you’re not from this part of the country—encompassing two prolific whiskey-making states on either side of the Ohio River—Hedley and crew will still ship the winner their boozy prize anywhere in the U.S. that’s legally allowed, of course.

So the maths is pretty straightforward: Put your hundred in the pile, help out families in need, and potentially win a cache of bourbon valued at over $6,000 on the secondary market. There is one catch, however…

“We’ve chosen to only sell 1,984 tickets,” adds Hedley. “It commemorates the year 1984, when Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana first opened its doors to families.”

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