"Amidakuji, or "Ghost Leg," is a lottery party game from Japan. At the top of a sheet there are a number of spaces for people to write their names. At the bottom there are prizes. There are an equal number of each. Between them is a map obscured behind a sheet. The map is made of straight vertical lines connecting the names and prizes. Connecting those lines at random intervals are horizontal lines. When it's time to pick winners, the sheet is removed and players can follow the lines to find their prize. You follow the line from your name down until you encounter any horizontal line, which you must follow, then continue down, continuing to follow all horizontal lines you encounter, until you reach your prize. No two horizontal lines can touch."I'm attracted to the fact that 1) it's simple , using just paper and some kind of writing utensil, 2) it randomizes, 3) it does so in an engaging way-- with participants required to watch as the outcome is revealed. Not sure how I might use it in game, but an interesting tool to keep on the shelf.
Bonus geekery: this is where the old arcade game Amidar came from.