People always try to bend the rules. Perhaps it is human nature. Others deliberately break them to obtain an unfair advantage. In the world of competitions and sweepstakes, this is bad news.
Not only do genuine sweepstake entrants like us want to know we are on an even playing field, the law often requires that promoters attempt to ensure competitors comply with the sweepstake rules.
Here are the best ways a promoter can make their sweepstakes fair for everyone that enters:
1. Not allowing email entries, but instead using a web based entry form as part of the sweepstake entry process.
2. Collecting IP addresses so they can check where entries are coming from. This is particularly helpful if entrants are entering multiple times (and exceeding the entry limit).
3. Using drop down menus so that auto form-filling software is useless.
4. Limiting entries in the sweepstake to one per person, or even one entry per household. This negates (to a large extent) the benefit of using auto form filling software.
5. Disqualifying entrants who make multiple entries to win.
6. Programing the online entry form to disallow multiple entries from the same person, or the same IP address.
7. Prohibiting the use of automated software as a method of entry.
8. Choosing a winner at random.
9. Making it is a term of the sweepstake that winners will be contacted by email. This ensures that winners do not make up bogus names or email addresses to put in extra entries.
10. Asking winners to complete an affidavit of eligibility (or to produce identification) to ensure they have not made multiple entries with fake details.
11. Prohibiting entries by third parties. This means, for example, entries made by wives on behalf of husbands, or parents in the name of their children.
12. Qualifying sweepstake entrants by having them answer a random prize question, or playing an online game. This requires entrants to genuinely participate in the sweepstake. Using random sweepstake questions also prevent answers being posted on forums.
So next time you see something on a sweepstake entry form that might look a bit painful or annoying, it might just be there for your and other genuine sweepers benefit.