Consumers are often attracted to promotions where the potential benefit obtained is unusually high. Under these promotions, only a few lucky consumers receive the value offered in the promotion. Two types of promotions that offer high value are contests and sweepstakes.
Contests are special promotions awarding value to winners based on skills they demonstrate compared to others. For instance, a baking company may offer free vacations to winners of a baking contest. Contest award winners are often determined by a panel of judges.
Sweepstakes or drawings are not skill based, but rather based on luck. Winners are determined by random selection. In some situations, the chances of winning may be higher for those who make a purchase if entry into the sweepstakes occurs automatically when a purchase is made. But in most cases, anyone is free to enter without the requirement to make a purchase.
A subset of both contests and sweepstakes are games, which come in a variety of formats, such as scratch-off cards and collection of game pieces. Unlike contests and sweepstakes, which may not require purchase, to participate in a game customers may be required to make a purchase. In the United States and other countries, where eligibility is based on purchase, games may be subjected to rigid legal controls and may actually fall under that category of lotteries, which are tightly controlled.