Do you need a simple random name generator in Excel to quickly select winners offline? Here is a guide on how to do it yourself. It can be used as a lucky draw generator, raffle generator and you can randomize any items, not only select winners.

A simple guide on how to make the random name generator using Excel


Type or copy your list, each name comes into a separate row.

Put the following formula into a cell in the second column (B):

=INDEX($A:$A;RANDBETWEEN(1;COUNTA($A:$A));1)

This screenshot clarifies everything:

Random name generator in Excel

What does the formula do? Let’s split it into several parts to explain how the randomizer works:

  • COUNTA($A:$A) – this part counts the number of your participants or entries in the first column (and excludes empty cells)
  • RANDBETWEEN(…) – generates a random number between 1 and the count of your entries (calculated in the previous step)
  • INDEX(…) – returns the value of the randomly selected item from the first column.


Every time you do some action, Excel recalculates all formulas and you will get a new winner. You can also do the recalculation manually – just press F9.

Download the excel template with the formula: Excel-Randomizer.xlsx

You can read more about excel RandBetween formula here.

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