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Wakatipu High School supporters have chosen the money over the bag, raising $95,000 at an event held in a hardware store.
More than 300 people sporting a ''back to school'' dress code filled the Placemakers drive-through in Glenda Dr on Saturday night for a fundraiser modelled on the long-running radio and television game show It's in the Bag.
Wakatipu High School Foundation general manager Jane Todd said the ''It's in the (school) bag!'' event exceeded financial expectations.
The foundation, which was formed last October, is establishing a multimillion-dollar endowment fund aimed at turning the school into one of the country's best.
Mrs Todd said the format - the idea of MC Brendan Quill who played the Selwyn Toogood role - had helped make the event a ''fantastic'' success, and ideas were already being considered for next year's fundraiser.