PCH asks: Do you know the differences between Sweepstakes, Lotteries and Contests?

It’s a well known fact: Publishers Clearing House makes millionaires, and multi-millionaires, too! PCH sweepstakes have the power to forever change the lives of those who win. Have you ever dreamed of winning millions of dollars? Do you enter Publishers Clearing House giveaways? Ever wondered what the differences are between sweepstakes, lotteries and contests? No need to be embarrassed if you don’t know as I ‘m going to explain right now.

1) Sweepstakes:  In the USA, sweepstakes are advertisements or promotional devices by which prizes (items of value) are awarded to participating consumers by chance, with no purchase, consideration or entry fee required to enter or win. The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Giveaway No. 1400 where there’s a chance to win $10 Million is a perfect example. Go to pch.com right now and enter for a chance to win. It’s an outstanding opportunity to become a multi-millionaire!

For our neighbors up north:  Canadian sweepstakes law requires that the third component of chance be removed. Sponsors cannot use pure luck in determining who wins a sweepstakes. There must be at least some level of skill involved. Only those who at least pass a skill testing question, for example, are eligible to win prizes.

2) Lottery:  This is a promotional device containing all three elements – prize, chance and consideration (a purchase or fee). Prizes (items of value) are awarded to members of the public by chance, but require some form of payment or purchase (consideration) to participate. Buying a lottery ticket from the state you reside in (if your state has a lottery) is a good example.

3) Contests:  Skill contests differ from sweepstakes offers because in a skill contest, the winner is determined by – you guessed it – skill, not chance. Plus, an entry fee or purchase may be required. For example, in a skill contest you may have to write an essay or solve a puzzle or simply answer a question correctly. Your skill or knowledge is what wins the contest – not chance.

You can find even more information on info.pch.com – simply click on “Sweepstakes Information,” then click “General Sweepstakes Information” and you’ll find “PCH’s Consumer Guide to Sweepstakes and Lotteries.” There’s a huge amount of valuable information there for you. So after you’ve entered one of the Publishers Clearing House giveaways, take a look around the PCH information center. You’ll learn a lot!

Remember to leave your comments below and visit us on the PCH Fan page on Facebook. We always love hearing from you!


Leslie Jaye

PCH Creative

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  1. I thank you guys for posting this a lot!! I didn’t even know that there was a differ especially in lottery, and sweepstakes, but now I know!! 😀

  2. Thanks for sharing this information. The difference between the three was a question from my professor in my social network media class. We were asked to identify social media promotions that could be classified as lotteries, contests, or sweepstakes. The article really aided in my determining the best promotion and classifying it appropriately!

  3. When I say “I Need to win”, is exactily what I need. A crook about a year ago sold me a car that he said was perfest. I have driven that car about 5 different days. I know that it is my fault for taking his word for the car. I have yet to drive that car this year, and I have to walk everywhere to purchase what I need, I am 71 years old, with a lot of health problems. I am truing to survive on Social Security. All of that is why I NEED to win.

  4. PCH makes its loads of money by dishonestly LURING people into thinking they can WIN money IF they SUBSCRIBE and COMMIT to a bunch of magazines they neither want nor need…all in the hopes that they just ‘might’ win something…(but they WON’T)! It’s all pure hogwash and LIES!
    PCH got BUSTED and fined for its clearly dishonest practices some time ago. Buyer BEWARE!

    1. Hi Robert, you NEVER have to buy anything or subscribe to anything to enter our Sweepstakes! Everyone who enters has an equal chance of winning a prize. Our drawings are completely random and we have had winners in every state. You can view our recent winners in our Winners Circle here: http://www.pch.com/winnerscircle

      – Jussie Wilder at PCH

  5. It’s all a RIPOFF, plain and simple. When will people learn that NOTHING in life is ‘free’, and if it IS ‘free’, it’s likely no good, illegal, wrong, fake or evil. WAKE UP, IDIOTS! What kind of company can afford to ‘give’ (read, THROW AWAY) a million or more dollars? NONE! The gov’t. will take 70% of the winnings anyway; anything over $250,000 gets hit at the 70% taxation level…this despite the gov’t. not having done anything at all to earn or acquire one penny of those ‘free’ winnings. The money should ALL be tax-free.