When you consider running a promotion online, you’ll hear three keywords thrown around besides giveaway, sweepstakes, contest, and lottery. At first glance, it’s easy to get these three terms confused with one another, but there are distinct differences between each.
A sweepstakes is defined as ‘a promotional drawing in which prizes are given away at no charge to the participants’. Winners will be selected at random.
Think of a sweepstakes as a game of luck.
A contest is defined as ‘an event in which people try to win by doing something better than others’. Winners will be chosen or judged based on their submission or performance.
Think of a contest as a game of skill.
A lottery is defined as ‘a means of raising money by selling numbered tickets and giving prizes to the holders of numbers drawn at random’. This includes a fundraiser raffle or the powerball lottery. The winner is chosen at random, but you have to pay to play.
Think of a lottery as a game of luck that has an entry fee.