Often you may want to randomly select a winner from some list of names in Excel.

Fortunately this is easy to do by using the following formula:

=INDEX(A2:A13,RANDBETWEEN(1,ROWS(A2:A13)),1)

This particular formula selects a random winner from the list of names in the range **A2:A13**.

To select a random winner from a different range, simply change **A2:A13** to whichever range contains the list of names.

The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.

**Example: How to Select a Random Winner in Excel**

Suppose we have the following list of names in Excel:

Now suppose we would like to randomly select one of the names from this list to be the winner of a prize.

To do so, we can type the following formula into cell **C2**:

=INDEX(A2:A13,RANDBETWEEN(1,ROWS(A2:A13)),1)

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

The formula returns the name of **Eric**, which is the winner randomly selected by the formula.

Note that we can run the formula again and pick a winner at random by double clicking on cell **C2** and pressing **Enter**:

This time the formula returns the name of **John** as the random winner from the list.

Each time we run this formula, each name in the list has an equal chance of randomly being selected as the winner.

**How This Formula Works**

Recall the formula that we used to pick a random winner from the list:

=INDEX(A2:A13,RANDBETWEEN(1,ROWS(A2:A13)),1)

Here is how this formula works:

First, the **ROWS** function returns the total number of rows in the range **A2:A13**, which is **12**.

Next, the **RANDBETWEEN** function returns a random integer between **1** and **12**.

Lastly, the **INDEX** function returns the name in the range **A2:A13** that corresponds to the row number returned by the **RANDBETWEEN** function.

The end result is that we’re able to randomly select a name from the list of names in the range **A2:A13**.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

Excel: Generate Random Number Between Range

Excel: How to Randomly Select Cells Based on Criteria

Excel: How to Select a Random Sample