Do you have a question about drawing names online? Check below to find answers to frequently asked questions.


  • I didn't receive any emails, or the messages ended up in my spam/junk folder. What should I do?
    Check your spam filter to see whether the email is there. And be sure that your mailbox isn’t full. Add drawnames@drawnames.co.uk to your contact list or safe senders (for Outlook) to be sure you can receive our emails. Click on this link to retrieve the link to the group page. Your wish list and drawn name can be viewed on the group page.
  • Is it possible to re-send an email that I didn’t receive?
    Group members can retrieve the link to the group page via this link. Wish lists and drawn names can be viewed on the group page. The organiser can also re-send an invitation via the group page. Check to see whether the email address was entered correctly. The organiser can correct an incorrect email address on the group page.
  • How do I change an email address?
    The organiser 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 sent via the group page?
    The group messages are sent to every member who has already joined the group. If someone hasn't joined the group yet, they won't receive any of these messages. All messages can be read on the group page.

Lost link

  • I've lost the link to my wish list
    Go to the group page. On it, you will find the link to your wish list.
  • I've lost the link to my drawn name
    Go to the group page. On it, you will find the link to your drawn name.
  • I've lost the link to my group page
    Use this page to retrieve the group page.

Wish list

  • Can I add my child's wish list to the group?
    You can do that on the group page by clicking on 'Add a children's wish list' under 'Children's wish lists.' Your child's wish list will be linked to your email address. Children can make a wish list without being part of the draw.
  • Can I view my wish list from last year?
    If the group is no longer active, you can’t view the wish list anymore.
  • 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 include a postal address so we can send each other gifts?
    You can fill in your mailing address on the group page or under your wish list. The organizer can choose whether to include mailing addresses when creating the group, or add this feature later via the group page. By default, the postal address can only be viewed by the person who's drawn your name. The organiser can change the visibility for postal addresses on the group page so that everyone can view them.
  • 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 organiser 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 ask a question anonymously
    You can only ask the person whose name you’ve drawn an anonymous question after they've made a wish list.
    Once you've asked that person a question, you can’t ask a second question until the first has been viewed.

The draw

  • I want to draw a different name this year
    If you used Drawnames.co.uk last year to draw names then you can exclude the name you drew previously in this year’s draw. To set exclusions automatically, use last year’s group.
  • When will the names be drawn?
    After the organiser has sent the invitations, each participant can draw a name via the link in the invitation. To make it extra exciting, you can also get together to draw names live via the website.
  • Can I draw names with an odd number of names?
    Yes, no problem. Everyone will receive a drawn name!
  • Is it possible to re-draw 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 draw names even though not everyone has joined the group yet.
    After the organiser has sent the invitations, each participant can individually draw a name via the link in the invitation. The organiser can see who has not yet drawn a name on the group page and get in touch with those participants.
  • Can I draw more than one name per person?
    Yes, the organiser 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 budgets for different names. If you draw two names each, you can set no more than two exclusions per person.
  • 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.

Last year's group

  • I'd like to draw names using an existing group
    This is possible if the names have been drawn and the event date has passed. The organiser first has to delete the existing group from My celebrations. The group will remain available to draw names with again and it's possible to exclude the previous draw. While setting up the group you can edit all the data and add/remove names.
  • Can I reuse the group I created last year?
    In October we send all organisers 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 want to view all the names that have been drawn
    You can view the list of drawn names on the day of the gift exchange. The names cannot be viewed before that has been done.
  • Is it possible to only exchange wishlists?
    Yes, you can easily create a wish list group via email or WhatsApp. Group members can view each other's wish lists and check off gifts. No names will be drawn. You can change your mind later and draw names after all.
  • I want to draw names via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
    The organiser can do this when they’ve set up the group. Group members can then link their own email address or account to the name they’ve drawn and the group.
  • I can’t share the invitation with more than 5 chats in WhatsApp. What now?
    You can share the invitation with a WhatsApp group of all your gift exchange group members. If you don’t chat in a WhatsApp group, you can send the invitation via the group page to 5 group members at a time.
  • I want to draw names with a large group
    A quick way to draw names with a large group is to invite people to join via a link. Participants can then use the link to join and fill in their own name and email address.
    Want to draw names with more than 250 people? You can also send us a file with the names and email addresses of the invitees. Send an email to: help@drawnames.co.uk, and we'll be happy to help you with it.
  • My group is not yet complete. Can I send invitations anyway?
    The invitations can be sent out, even if the group is not yet complete. You can still invite or remove participants after you have made your group.
  • 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 organiser can add new members on the group page. Add a new member first and then remove the member with the wrongly spelled name.
  • As an organiser, I do not want to participate in the draw
    The organiser always participates in the draw. Please set up a group with the email address of someone who will participate in the draw.
  • I am the organiser, 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.
  • I want to add someone to the group.
    You can do that on the group page before or after the draw. Click on ‘Add a name’. The new person can be added to the draw even if the names have already been drawn. We make sure that a group member who has already viewed their drawn name doesn’t receive another name. If all members have already viewed the names they’ve drawn, then the organiser’s drawn name is swapped with the new group member.
  • 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 name drawn for the person you removed will then be given to the group member who drew the person who was 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 names haven’t yet been drawn. 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 members see the exclusions?
    By default, the exclusions are not visible to the group. The organiser can change the visibility of the exclusions on the group page, so that everybody can see all exclusions.
  • How can I delete a group?
    As the group organiser, you can go to My celebrations and delete one by clicking on the rubbish bin icon next to the group name. This can only be done if the organiser is logged in with a password.

Error messages

  • This email address is blocked. What does that mean?
    It's blocked because we couldn't send an email to this address. The most likely reasons are that the provider's spam filter didn't allow the email, the inbox quota has been exceeded, or the email address is incorrect. The group member who has the email address needs to add drawnames@drawnames.co.uk to their contact list, empty their inbox or check the email address given to us. After that they can send an email to help@drawnames.co.uk 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 you can visit another website. Then, check whether the DrawNames.co.uk website is hidden behind the screen containing your email. If the web page states that the link isn’t valid (anymore), ask the organiser who set up your group to invite you again (via the group page).


  • Can I also draw names after Christmas?
    Yes, the website stays online all 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 an upcoming birthday and the group remains active.
  • How long does my group remain active?
    After the gift exchange has taken place, and the group page hasn’t been visited by at least one member for several months, the group is archived. From that moment on, you can use names from the group for a new draw, but the old group page no longer exists.
  • I want to delete my account
    Send an email to help@drawnames.co.uk from the email address of the account you wish to delete.
  • DrawNames.com
    We would invite people from the US to visit www.drawnames.com (Gift Exchange | Secret Santa Generator).
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