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.com 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 resend 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 organizer can also re-send an invitation via the group page. Check to see whether the email address was entered correctly. The organizer can correct an incorrect email address on the group page.
  • How do I change an email address?
    The organizer 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, they can. 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 you haven't joined the group yet, you will not be notified of the messages. All messages can be read from the overview page.

Lost link

  • I lost the link to my wish list
    Go to the group page. On it, you will find the link to your wish list.
  • I lost the link to my drawn name
    Go to the group page. On it, you will find the link to your drawn name.
  • I lost the link to my group page
    Use this link 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 still see my wish list from last year?
    Sorry, you can’t access last year’s wish list if the group is no longer active.
  • Can I add my own text to my wish list?
    Yes, you can. Just click on the pen icon and type in your desired gifts, or paste in a link. You can also add a picture.
  • 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 bottom of your wish list. The person who’s drawn your name will automatically receive a notification.
  • Can I include a mailing address so we can send each other gifts?
    You can fill in your postal address on the group page or under your wish list. The organiser can choose whether to include postal addresses when creating the group, or add this feature later via the group page. By default, the mailing address can only be viewed by the person who's drawn your name. The organizer can change the visibility of the mailing addresses on the group page so that everyone can view them.
  • Can I add a picture to my wish list?
    Yes, you can. First click on the pen icon. Then click on the camera icon next to the wish you entered.
  • 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 check it off on the list. Everyone in the group can see that check mark, except for the person who’s asked for the gift. The organizer 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 indicate what's already been bought
    Check off the gifts you'd like to give. This way the other group members can see what's still available on the list to buy. The person who created the wish list won't see the check marks.
  • I’d like to ask a question anonymously
    You can only ask an anonymous question to the person whose name you’ve drawn after a wish list has been made.
    After you have asked a question of the person whose name you’ve drawn, you can’t ask a second question until the first has been viewed.

The Draw

  • I don’t want to draw the same name as I did last year
    If you carried out a draw via DrawNames.com last year, you can set an exclusion on a particular name this year. To automatically set exclusions, use last year’s group.
  • Who can see the names that have been drawn?
    The group members can only see the name of the person they drew themselves. A list of the draw will be available to the organizer by the date of the event.
  • When will the names be drawn?
    After the organizer 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 redraw 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. But you are able to remove someone from the group after the names have been drawn.
  • I would like to carry out the draw before everyone has confirmed
    After the organizer has sent the invitations, each participant can individually draw a name via the link in the invitation. The organizer 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 organizer 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 are drawing 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. 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

  • Can I reuse the group I created last year?
    In October, we send all organizers an email that links to last year's groups. You can reuse all the names and email addresses, and see the results of last year's draw. Can't find this email? You can retrieve it here or sign in.
  • I'd like to redraw names with an existing group
    After the names have been drawn and the event date has passed, you can redraw names with the same group. The organizer first has to delete the existing group from My celebrations. The group will remain available to redraw names with and it's possible to exclude the previous draw. You can edit any data and add/remove names when you set up the new group.


  • 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 would like to draw names using WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
    An organizer can select this option after filling in the group members’ names. Afterwards, group members can link their email address or account to the name they drew 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.com, and we'll be happy to assist you.
  • My group isn’t complete yet. Can I still send out invitations?
    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, you can't. But if you've entered a name wrong, you can add the right name as a new member on the group page - as long as the names haven't been drawn yet. Then you can remove the member with the wrongly spelled name.
  • I am the organizer, 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.
  • As an organizer, I do not want to participate in the drawing
    The organizer always participates in the drawing. If you don't want to participate, you can set up a group with the email address of someone who will participate in the drawing.
  • I would like to add someone to my group
    You can do this on the group page, before or after the drawing, by clicking on “Add someone”. The new person can still be included even if the names have already been drawn. We’ll make sure that any group member who has already viewed their drawn name, will keep that name. If all group members have already viewed their drawn names, the group organizer will exchange names with the new 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 drawn name of the person who was removed will then be given to the group member that drew the name of 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 draw hasn’t yet taken place. 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 group members see the exclusions?
    By default, the exclusions are not visible to the group. The organizer can change the visibility of the exclusions on the group page, so everybody can see all exclusions.
  • How can I delete a group?
    As group organizer, you can delete a group by clicking on the trash can icon next to the group name in My celebrations. This can only be done if the organizer is logged in with a password.

Error messages

  • This email address is blocked. What should I do?
    It's blocked because we couldn't send this email to you. The most likely reasons are that your provider's spam filter blocked the email, your inbox is full, or the email address is incorrect. Please add drawnames@drawnames.com to your contact list, empty your inbox and check the address. Then please send an email to help@drawnames.com and ask us to remove the block.
  • The link in my email doesn’t work. What do I do?
    First, check your Internet connection - can you access other websites? Then, check whether the DrawNames.com website is hidden behind the screen containing your email. If the web page states that the link isn’t valid (anymore), ask the organizer 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 the whole year.
  • I would like to draw names for birthdays
    You can draw names throughout the year. We recommend you keep changing the event date so it matches the upcoming birthday, this way the group remains active.
  • How long will my group page remain active?
    The group page will be made inactive and be archived if the date of the gift exchange has passed, and the group page hasn’t been visited by any member for a few months. If that happens, you can still use the group names to create a new draw, but the old group page will no longer be active.
  • I would like to delete my account
    If you would like to delete your account, send an email to help@drawnames.com from the email address you used to create the account.
  • DrawNames.co.uk
    Visitors from the UK please visit www.drawnames.co.uk (Gift Exchange | Secret Santa Generator).
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