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Sweepstakes Law & Rules

Every sweepstakes is different and something else that is different about contests and the prizes with them are what the rules, regulations, and laws are from each country. Even in the United States, the laws are different from state to state so you have to pay close attention.

Here are some of the most popular rules from the The Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act took effect on April 12, 2000.

"A sweepstakes is a game of chance one plays voluntarily and for which one is not required to pay anything to enter in order to win a prize.

Sweepstakes mailings must disclose:

That a purchase is not necessary to enter, and will not improve the chances of winning. These disclosures must appear in the mailing, in the rules and on the entry form and be very easy to find, read and understand;

A name and business address where the sponsor can be contacted;

The estimated odds of winning each prize. If the odds depend upon the number of entries, the stated odds should be based on an estimate of the number of entries;

The quantity, estimated retail value and nature of every prize; and

A clear statement of the payment schedule of any prize. For example, if a $1 million prize is to be awarded in equal payments over 20 years, the disclosure should indicate that the $1 million shall be paid in equal amounts of $50,000 per year for 20 years starting in 2000.

Mailings are prohibited that:

Say or suggest that if a person doesn't buy a product or service he or she may not receive future sweepstakes mailings;

Require that an entry be accompanied by an order or payment for something previously ordered;

Say that an individual has won a prize when, in fact, that individual hasn't won. (Sponsors of sweepstakes should not confuse premiums, which are given to all entrants, with prizes, which are won by only some entrants. Premiums should not be held out as prizes.); and

Say anything to contradict or limit the rules of the sweepstakes or disclosures required by this law." - Source: Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act

These are only a few laws about sweepstakes and you should always be careful to read the full rules of the sweepstakes you are entering for in your locality.

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