The Difference Between a Sweepstakes and a Contest

Sep 28, 2023


When it comes to running promotions and giveaways, it's important to understand the key distinctions between various types of promotions. This article aims to provide a comprehensive explanation of the difference between a sweepstakes and a contest. SweepsAdvantage, a leading online platform in the Department Stores, Shopping, and Fashion categories, is here to help you differentiate these two promotional methods.

What is a Sweepstakes?

A sweepstakes is a promotional event where participants have the opportunity to win prizes based purely on chance. Unlike contests, sweepstakes do not require any specific skill or ability. Participants are typically selected randomly from a pool of entries. The main point to remember is that no purchase or consideration is required to enter or win a sweepstakes.

At SweepsAdvantage, we have curated an extensive collection of sweepstakes from various reputable brands. From cash prizes to exotic vacations, our sweepstakes listings cover a wide range of exciting opportunities for our users.

What is a Contest?

A contest, on the other hand, is a promotional event where participants demonstrate a particular skill or talent to compete for a prize. Unlike sweepstakes, contests require some form of skill, knowledge, or talent to determine the winner. Participants in contests are typically judged based on predefined criteria, such as creativity, originality, or proficiency.

Within the Department Stores, Shopping, and Fashion sectors, contests often involve activities like design competitions, photography contests, or modeling challenges. SweepsAdvantage offers a comprehensive platform for both participants looking to showcase their abilities and brands seeking to organize engaging contests.

The Key Differences

Now that we understand the basic definitions of sweepstakes and contests, let's explore their key differences in more detail:

1. Participation:

In a sweepstakes, anyone meeting the entry criteria can participate without needing to showcase any particular skill. However, in a contest, participants must possess the required skills or talents specified by the organizers.

2. Winner Selection:

For sweepstakes, winners are usually randomly selected from all eligible entries. In contrast, contests rely on judges or a panel to assess the entries and select the winner(s) based on predefined criteria.

3. Judging Criteria:

While sweepstakes are purely chance-based, contests involve judging criteria such as creativity, talent, ability, or adherence to specific guidelines. This ensures that contests are won by those who display impressive skills.

4. No Purchase Necessary:

One important characteristic of sweepstakes is the requirement of no purchase or consideration to participate or win. Contests, however, may sometimes require an entry fee or ask participants to purchase a product or service to be eligible.


Understanding the difference between a sweepstakes and a contest is crucial when planning any promotional campaign or deciding which type of activity to participate in. SweepsAdvantage, as a trusted platform in the Department Stores, Shopping, and Fashion categories, provides a vast array of exciting sweepstakes and contests for its users to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a chance-based draw or a skill-based challenge, SweepsAdvantage has got you covered!

explain the difference between a sweepstakes and a contest
Abdi Roble
Very informative!
Nov 9, 2023
Warren Burns
Informative and helpful!
Nov 8, 2023
Eric Hays
Great breakdown! 👏 Thanks for clearing up the confusion between sweepstakes and contests.
Oct 31, 2023
Juan Villegas
Very helpful! 🙌
Oct 26, 2023
Trina-Leshay Johnson
Informative read! 👍 Clear distinction between sweepstakes and contests. Very helpful for beginners.
Oct 17, 2023
John Busick
Great breakdown! 🙌 Thanks for the clarification!
Oct 7, 2023
Constantine Kosarzecki
Super helpful! 👍
Oct 3, 2023