How do you run a sweepstake?

Tips and Tricks to Answer The Question

To answer the question:

  • How do you run a sweepstakes

it may first be important to define a sweepstake. The term sweepstakes isn’t used as commonly anymore.

The difference in definition between a contest and sweepstakes is that a contest typically involves a level of skill while a sweepstake is a game solely based on luck or chance.

One of the best examples of the difference is game shows. There are games based on skill in guessing prices (The Price is Right) or trivia (Who Wants to be a Millionaire) and there are sweepstakes-style games based solely on a person entering the contest (such as home makeover shows).

Running sweepstakes is actually easier than hosting a skill-involved contest. Simply follow the rules below and you will have a fair, legal, successful sweepstakes under your belt in no time.

  • Entry to your sweepstakes must be FREE (otherwise, it is considered gambling)
  • You MUST choose your winner at random (otherwise, it is unfair to everyone)
  • Your rules and guidelines must be CLEARLY defined, including how and when someone can enter, how a winner is chosen and how they will be announced
  • Affiliate or sponsors must be clearly acknowledged and, if hosted on social media, TAGGED correctly (NOTE: This includes stating who is NOT affiliated, such as Facebook or Instagram themselves)
  • Sweepstakes rules cannot be changed once the sweepstakes has begun (including extending applicant period)
  • You cannot under any circumstances discriminate against ANYONE for ANY reason and bar them from entry or winning of your sweepstakes

There you have the most basic way to answer the question “how do you run a sweepstakes?” Follow these rules and take a look at the other guidelines and articles about hosting sweepstakes and contest on our site and your sweepstake will be both fair, legal and successful for your brand and your partner brands.