The Winning Lifestyle - What is the difference between sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways?

Apr 12, 2021


The word giveaway is a blanket term for contests / sweepstakes / lotteries - where all of them give a person a chance to win, and while you'll often hear them used interchangeable, there is a difference between the two words in how they play out practically!


  • You must pay to play
  • Usually cash prizes
  • Luck of the draw


  • No entry fee (or free alternate method of entry offered if main method of entry is a purchase).
  • Game of luck, but, usually sweepstakes offer additional entries for performing different activities like sharing posts on social media, referring friends, visiting a specific website or watching a promotional video that could give one a better chance at winning.
  • Winner is usually chosen at random.



  • Competition or "game of skill" - usually an action is required to enter (think photo contest, caption contest, video, etc).
  • Winner is chosen based on a set of judging criteria OR random draw.


Hope this was helpful to you!!  Looking for the best places to find sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests?  Inside the Sweepstakes Masterclass I give you all my favorite sweepstakes sites to find them!

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