Sweepstakes School: Sweepstakes vs. Contests

Sweepstakes School

You wouldn't be entering sweepstakes if you didn't want to win. With so many different opportunities to get free stuff, win big and get a cash win-fall we can understand why it can all be confusing.

You also might be wondering if people really do win or if it is all just scam to get your information. Sweepstakes School is in session.

Sweepstakes Advantage wants to help you max out your sweepstakes opportunities and hopefully increase your chances of winning as many sweepstakes as possible.  So let's get started!

Sweepstakes vs. Contests- Is there really a difference?

The words “promotion,” “sweepstakes,” “contest” and “giveaways” are sometimes used interchangeably. The truth is there are a few very distinct differences between them. This can lead to confusion when you enter a number of sweepstakes each day or even each week.

To begin with, the word “promotion” can be used to describe many, many different marketing tactics which include and are not limited to Sweepstakes, Contests, Instant Win Games, and Loyalty Programs. Two of the most common promotions you will see a business offer are Sweepstakes (games of chance) and Contests (games of skill).

Key take away: The major difference between these two is that contest winners are selected by judges using a set of criteria whereas sweepstakes winners are randomly selected.

Entering Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes are generally used to generate awareness or to grow a businesses client database. They are really simple offers and should be really easy for the general consumer to enter.

Typically online sweepstakes will ask a person to enter some personal information like their name, address and an email address in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Sometimes they will also include things like allowing the person to enter that they are eligible to enter the sweepstakes (for instance that you are 18 year old or older) or that you reside in a specific state. Some will also have a check box so you can note that you have read and agree to the promotion’s official rules.

Many companies also include an opt-in for consent to email you with company news.

Key take away: Winners are chosen by random.

Entering Contests

Contests are used to engage you with their product or services.  Simple contests will ask you to select something, make a choice or give an opinion to be selected as a winner. Sometimes they may ask you to submit a photo, essay, video, poem, or an answer to a question.

Then each entry that is submitted is scored and judged against a set of criteria that is outlined in the official rules. This ensures the judging process will be fair for all entries.

Key Take Away: Contest winners are selected by judges.

Now that you know the basics, you are probably wondering which one to enter.  That all depends on what your goals are.  It's easy to enter sweepstakes because you do no more than just enter you information in and hit enter.  With contests you may have to invest more time, create something or give permission for the sponsoring company to use an what you submit to promote their company.

So which one you should enter all depends on you. If you just want to have a chance at winning then sweepstakes are for you. If you like to invest time and be creative or you like participating in questions, surveys and quizes- then contents are for you. Keep coming back to see more Sweepstakes School Articles.


Missed a Sweepstakes School lesson? Catch up here now!

Facebook Comments


  1. Monica Sykes July 31, 2015
  2. Jenee Day August 4, 2015
  3. Ginny Fairchild-Wallgren August 16, 2015
  4. Leona Olson September 18, 2015
  5. cologirl October 23, 2017
  6. djwith2 January 6, 2018
  7. ritazbrown June 3, 2018
  8. still dreaming November 12, 2018
  9. ehudsonlimber December 14, 2018
  10. mydoghappy February 12, 2019
  11. layla2016 March 29, 2019

Leave a Reply