The terms Sweepstakes and Contest often cause confusion, even though they have distinct differences. Lotteries are well-understood as games where people purchase tickets and await the results, but the differences between sweepstakes and contests are less clear. This article examines those differences in more detail.
What is a Sweepstake (Competition)?
A sweepstake is a type of contest that does not require participants to make any effort or submit anything to display their skills. It is a promotional tool used by companies to attract people, who receive awards or prizes just by being entrants in a sweepstake. Winning is purely by chance, and participants do not have to make any purchases or perform any actions to boost their odds of winning. Unlike a lottery, there is no need to purchase a ticket and await the outcome of a sweepstake. In countries outside the US, sweepstakes are known as competitions.
What is a Contest?
A contest is a competition that requires the winner to have better skills or knowledge than other contestants. Contests may involve participants submitting a picture, joke, essay, or anything else to prove their superiority over others. Contests can have an entry fee or be free for everyone. In a contest, participants must make an effort to win, although they have control over the outcome. Popular sporting events such as Wimbledon and the Olympics involve contests between participants. The differences between Sweepstakes and Contests are summarized below.
- Sweepstakes are based on chance, whereas contests require effort and skill.
- Sweepstakes are always free, while contests may or may not have an entry fee.
- Winners are selected randomly in sweepstakes, but participants must demonstrate their skills in contests.