Sweepstakes Administration And The Rules

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If you’re in charge of sweepstakes administration, and new at it, you may be wondering where to start. There are a few very important things to know before your giveaway goes live. The first most important thing to do is lay down what you’re giveaway is about in the sweepstakes rules.

The rules is a legal document that is binding to both sweepstakes administration and the entrant. Sweepstakes rules can be as simple or complicated as you please. The most basic rules should state what prize or prizes are being awarded, who is qualified to enter it according to age, location and other critiera, including gender. The beginning and ending dates are laid down in the rules.

If you prefer you could give more specific information in the rules, including “cover your butt” stuff that absolves you from blame in any and all circumstances. You could include multiple disclaimers such as the winner is responsible for all taxes, the sponsor (you) has the option of changing the rules of the sweepstakes at will, extending the sweepstakes, etc.

Creating a set of rules is not that complicated, but some people may not want to go through the trouble. Skipping this essential step has consequences. Here’s what happens when there are no rules.

  • Entrants don’t know when the sweepstakes ends, and may skip it thinking it’s over
  • Your sweepstakes looks scammy without rules. When people see rules they feel more confidence
  • Most sweepstakes sites may not want to list your sweepstakes without rules

Sweepstakes rules and entrants

Everything you need to know about a sweepstakes should be in the rules if you’re entering. Some language in sweepstakes rules can be confusing, as they’re often written in legalese. Here’s a clarification of some terms that may have been confusing:

Continental vs. Contiguous USA

Sweepstakes limited to the continential and continguous United States are open to 48, not including Hawaii and Alaska. Sans “continental” or “continguous,” the sweepstakes would be open to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Your Name in Lights

This means you could become part of a promotional on the sponsors’ behalf if you accept the prize. You’d be ask to appear in pictures and/or a video accepting the prize and your name would be published. It may be possible to opt out if you request.

Prizes May Be Substituted

This means exactly what it sounds like: If the prize you won is not available, the sponsor has the option of awarding you an alternative prize. You could possibly receive cash as an alternative prize.

Entrants May Be Disqualified

They can disqualify an entrant if he or she is suspected of cheating or tampering with the contest. The sponsor can disqualify without warning.¬† This is pretty much boilerplate sweepstakes rules language, and I’m not certain how often it’s applied. Not very often, I’m guessing.

If you have questions about the sweepstakes that are not covered in the rules, don’t hesitate to contact the sweepstakes administration for an explanation. Most likely, all the answers will be in the rules.

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