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Sweepstakes, Contests, Giveaways and Drawings – What Is The Difference?

We have heard this over and over again. The truth is they are all very similar to one another. There is a lot of “Gray” area’s as to how closely they are all related to say the least. This article will have you scratching your head but it is true.

A Giveaway is pretty simple “Give away or Give-it-away”. You can “Giveaway” anything under the sun for free. If it exists, one way or another it has been Given Away at one time or another. Giveaways are often used for marketing purposes to spread the word about products or services. Many times it is used to get you to try their product or services “Market Branding”. Not to say the same can be done and often is with Sweepstakes, Contests and Drawings.

Sweepstakes are prize Giveaways. Winners are chose by luck. Prizes can range from clothing to cars and cash to houses. The sky is the limit. There tends to be a random “Drawing” to “Give-them-away” (Giveaway) The origin of the term. “Sweepstakes,” which first appeared in the “contest” sense in the late 18th century. “The term Sweepstakes originated in horse-racing, where each entrant would put up a stake, and the winner would sweep all stakes.” As a result we now have Sweepstakes.

I know, it sounds a little confusing? Giveaways, Contests, Sweepstakes are very similar and often are referred to as one in the same.

You can include Drawings in that as well. Did I mention the “Lottery? We will get into that farther down the page. Contests are Giveaways. However, “Contests” involve a task, mission, skill or merit. You might have to listen to a radio station for a certain cue to call to win. A photo contest, where you have to submit the best fall picture and it is judged. The winner is then selected. There are several types to choose from to enter to win.

What is the difference between Contests, Sweepstakes, Giveaways and Drawings?

According to the dictionary this is how they are defined:

Contests – is a competition in which each contestant performs without direct contact with or interference from competitors.

Sweepstakes – is any of various lotteries.

Giveaways – is the act of giving something away free.

Drawings – players buy (or are given) chances and prizes are distributed by casting lots.

Now the big difference with any of the above is are they “Free” or cost money to enter?

With Drawings sometimes you have to pay to enter. Lotteries you have to pay to enter. Lotteries are regulated, and are usually only legal if they are run by the government. So with the exception of state and government run lotteries, I would be very leery of entering any Sweepstakes where you have to fork over any money. In fact, in the US it is against the law. When a Sweepstakes charges to enter it, it then becomes a lottery. A cash to enter Drawing for your local high school basketball team trying to raise money for new uniforms. That is a different story.

When it all boils down to it they are all related “Cousins” to each other “Kin”. What really matters is to have fun and win!

All our “Sweepstakes”, “Contests”, “Giveaways” and “Drawings” listed in our Directory are No Purchase Necessary (FREE).

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