The History of Sweepstakes and Contests

Consumer marketing promotions like Sweepstakes and Contests have been around for a very long time and this dates back to the early 1930’s. When you come to the UK the popularity of the term sweepstakes was probably derived from the Irish Sweepstakes. This was something which was very popular from the year 1930 through to the 1980’s. Since time they were introduced they have been used as a form of marketing tool to entice or attract consumers to patronize certain products. It would interest you to know that there are several prizes given to winners. The value of these prizes would range from even less than $1 to more than $1million. Some even offer electronics, homes and cars among others. Since the time sweepstakes and contests started companies around the world and especially in the United have gradually disassociated themselves from the suggestion consumers pay to enter and win. This is because it would bring them into conflict with the federal laws. Therefore it is packaged to be a form of attraction and enticement to participate. There is indeed no monetary cost for the entrant even though some may require that you subscribe before entering.

Sweepstakes to enter
sweepstakes and contests

When these games started they were mostly done at one location like a store or in the premises of the company. As it developed there was the introduction of the mailing system. Here as you enter you would be notified of your participation and subsequent winning or not through the snail mail system. However over the years these contests and sweepstakes have evolved and are now being organized entirely on the internet. This has completely revolutionized the system such that it is very easy to take part anywhere you are in the world. The fact that one can take part anywhere you are means that there is a lot of regulation attached to it. For instance the United States and Canada states all have laws that cover contests and sweepstakes since they started. This therefore leads to some special rules that depend on where the entrant resides. In some European countries and in Canada entrants may be required to some solve a mathematic puzzle and as such makes it a contest of skill so that it is not associated with gambling. Over the years some of the popular sweepstakes and contests would include the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes, Publishers Clearing House and the American Family Publishers Sweepstakes among others.

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    • Diane Davis
    • September 30, 2014

    I am entry to win the sweepstakes

    • sharon white
    • February 21, 2014


    • Rita Felts
    • October 18, 2013

    I woke up today….my reason to smile and will everyday that I wake up!!!!Have a nice day and remember to smile it goes a long way!!!!

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