The difference between puzzle contests and sweepstakes
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CONTESTS vs SWEEPSTAKES
The Contest Center
59 DeGarmo Hills Road
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
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       Many people are confused about the difference between contests and sweepstakes. The basic difference is that contests are games of skill, while sweepstakes are games of chance.
       Drawings and raffles are sweepstakes. Checkers, baseball and darts are contests.
SKILL
       In a contest the winner is determined entirely based on skill. You can improve your chances by becoming more skillful, by practicing, and by working carefully.
LUCK
       In a sweepstakes the winner is determined strictly by luck. There is absolutely nothing you can do to improve your chances, other than following the rules.
BETTER ODDS
       The odds of winning a sweepstakes are extremely small. In big sweepstakes the odds can be less than 1 in 100,000,000. It is rarely even worth a postage stamp to enter. In our contests we usually have less than 100 entries. Your chance of winning is typically around 1 in 4. That is more than a million times better than many sweepstakes.
ENTRY FEES
       Since sweepstakes are games of chance, it is illegal to charge an entry fee. That would be gambling. Gambling by mail or by phone is illegal.
       Contests usually charge an entry fee. It is worth the fee because the odds are so much better.
TRICKERY
       Sweepstakes often deliberately try to trick people. They make it look like your chance of winning is very high, when it is really very low. So sweepstakes have a very bad reputation.
CONFUSION
       Some sweepstakes try to appear legitimate by calling themselves contests. This is very confusing to people. They cannot tell real contests, like the ones at The Contest Center, from sweepstakes. That is exactly what sweepstakes promoters want. Don't be fooled.
       Many people believe that it is illegal for contests to charge entry fees. This is because so many sweepstakes call themselves contests. Sweepstakes are not contests.
OUR ADVICE
       Our advice is this: if you enjoy sweepstakes, enter as many as you like on the Internet, where they cost nothing. You can click here for listings of some of the best. Never enter sweepstakes through the mails. They are not worth the cost of the stamp.
       If you want good winning odds, however, stick to genuine puzzle contests, and skip the sweepstakes. Puzzle contests are worth the entry fee because your chances of winning are vastly better.
 


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