This week, I got this task to randomly generate pairs based on a name list. After googling on the internet, I found a perfect solution to achieve this.

Here are the detailed steps to achieve a **random pair of two**. All the example data and formula can be found in this Google Sheet
Random Pairs
.

## Step 1 - Generate random numbers using `RAND()`

## Step 2 - Copy the random number values to a new column named Value

Excel or Google Sheets will automatic re-generate a new series of random numbers with the `RAND()`

function. An easy solution is to just copy these random values as a new column.

## Step 3 - Create ranking on column Value with `RANK()`

When we use the `RANK()`

function, one thing needs to be careful is to put the `$`

sign to lock the data section that you will use in the `RANK()`

function.

## Step 4 - Pair up people with `CEILING()`

Here we use a formula combination of `TEXTJOIN()`

and `ceiling()`

to create the random pair.

If you need to create a random pair of three, you just need to change the formula to something like `=TEXTJOIN(" ", TRUE, D2, ceiling(D2/3)`

.

Hope it helps.