The Winner Selection Process for a Sweepstakes
This week’s post comes from Josephine Angiuli, one of Marden-Kane’s Vice Presidents.
Pick me! Pick me! Most of us dream of being a big prize winner one day and many of us might even have some lucky rituals that we put into high gear when we really want good fortune to smile our way. A kiss for luck can certainly make someone feel like they’re a winner already – if only that were always true.
Here in the world of sweepstakes administration, the selection process for a sweepstakes winner is much more pragmatic and based only upon random selection. In fact, that’s what distinguishes winners of a sweepstakes from winners in a contest. Sweepstakes winners are selected randomly while contest winners who enter a skill-based competition are selected based on judging criteria outlined in the official rules.
The official rules of a sweepstakes will determine the promotional time period, who is eligible to enter, where and how an entry should be submitted, the limit on how many entries each person can submit, how many prize winners will be selected, and when the random drawing will take place. When it comes time to conduct the random drawing, which is done by electronic random numbering programs, all of these items will come into play.
Exactly which entries become ineligible varies by sweepstakes. For the most part:
- Any entries that are not submitted within the proper start and end dates and times, will not be eligible.
- Any entrants who are not of the proper age or who do not fall within the geographic location outlined in the respective official rules will be eliminated from the drawing, as will any other specifically-excluded parties such as employees and/or family members of the designated sweepstakes sponsor.
- Any entries that have been submitted by a method other than the one described in the rules (i.e. they’ve been submitted to a postal address when only online entries were allowed) and any entries that contain incomplete information will not be eligible.
- Any entrant who has exceeded the entry limit, including those that have been found to use any automated software that allows repeated electronic entering, will not be eligible.
Once any non-eligible entries have been removed from possible winner contention, a random drawing of all eligible entries can then take place as outlined in the official rules. Some sweepstakes have only one prize winner that wins it all, while other sweepstakes may have multiple winners (either all receiving the same prize or some receiving different prizes). In order to maintain a sweepstakes’ integrity and to protect sponsors from any claims of favoritism in the selection process, programming for the proper electronic, random selection of winners is typically done by an independent Sweepstakes Administrator, such as Marden-Kane, Inc.
As you’ve probably read many times before, the odds of winning any prize are dependent on the number of eligible entries received. If there are more prizes to be awarded than there are eligible entries, some prizes may need to go unawarded, no matter how badly someone wanted to win. But hey, a kiss for luck never hurts!
If you need more information or assistance in setting up your winner selection process, contact us.
- Setting the Bar: Quality vs. Quantity of User Generated Content (UGC) Contests
- 7 Restrictions to Include in Your Next Contest
- The Next Ice Bucket Challenge
- International Sweepstakes & Contest Laws That May Cause You Problems
- Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter Changes You May Have Missed