US President Barack Obama is taking drastic action to drum up re-election campaign cash - by holding a raffle for a place at his 51st birthday party.
First Lady Michelle Obama has written to supporters offering them a chance to enter the raffle in return for a donation of $3.
"We’d like to give grassroots supporters the opportunity to join in the fun," she writes. "You guys deserve it and I know Barack would personally love to see you there."
The "little celebration" for the president’s birthday will take place at the family’s home in Chicago on August 3.
The Obama campaign has become increasingly concerned that it will be out-spent by rival Mitt Romney ahead of November’s presidential election.
Romney’s campaign raised $106m in June compared to the $71m raised by Obama’s team.
The president's re-election campaign has warned supporters that they risk seeing the election lost unless they up their game.
The raffle is the latest gimmick to bring in cash - last month Obama's campaign launched a wedding registry, asking couples to request campaign donations in lieu of wedding gifts.
The television advertising battle between Obama and Romney has already reached a fever pitch with accusations from both that the other is lying over Romney’s business record.
The negative campaigning in this year’s race is likely to increase with the presence of so-called Super PACS, outside groups now permitted by law to spend unlimited amounts in support of a candidate.
In her letter to supporters, the First Lady writes: "Barack's birthday is one of the last opportunities he'll get for a little downtime before the final weeks of the election.
"That won’t stop me from teasing him about all those new grey hairs he has - though I think it is fair to say he’s earned every one."