are you talking about charging so many tickets to play the game and then the children are getting their prizes at the games? If that's the case the amount your buddy is wanting to charge is absolutely ridiculous. You can not charge 16 tickets to play a game.......regardless of what the prize they get is. The object is to get the kids to play as many games as possible to cover the cost of prizes, not limit the amount of games they can play to cover the cost.....that defeats the purpose of the carnival.....fun for the kids!! If you are worried about covering the cost my advice would be to do a redemption center instead of prizes at the games. You have an easier and better chance to cover the cost because there you can charge 16 tickets for a certain level prize. To charge that much for 1 game doesn't allow chilldren to be able to play all the games. It is a fundraiser and a big one but you have to keep the concept of kids having fun your priority with a carnival, not how much you make. You can do other things to up the cost of how much you make without limiting child play. Themed baskets from each classroom, silent auctions....so on so on
As far as the little tiny prizes......parents hate them so but you have to remember, esp. if you have that high of a free lunch number, sometimes anything a child gets even the smallest most non important item to an adult can bring that child such happiness, proudness, accomplisment and so forth. I think the way your buddy wants to approach it isn't the best way to go. Carnivals are hard hard HARD work but if you volunteer with it you gotta suck it up and bust your hind end.