There are some points of difference between sweepstakes and contests that you will need to be aware of before picking one or the other option. Sweepstakes are all about being lucky whereas contests are all about being more skillful than your competitors. Sweepstakes are as close to random as you can get: winning one really is “the luck of the draw”. Whereas contests require at least a small amount of skill or thought.
However, sweepstakes are actually radically different to contests because there are no special skills required in order to win a sweepstakes. Contrast this to entering into a contest where only those with special skills are able to win while the rest will be left ruing their lack of skills.
There are many reasons why a person can become confused between sweepstakes and contests. This is because some sweepstakes are devised with a view to conning people into thinking that the sweepstakes are really contests and not games of chance or luck. Such claims can easily confuse you because often the packaging is so clever that it becomes very hard to distinguish between contests and sweepstakes.
Contests on the other hand are played out without needing to practice any deception to entice people to try and win the contest. In fact, at the start of the contest, every participant will have an equal chance of winning. Also, there is often an entry fee that participants in a contest have to pay in order to get a chance to compete.
In the case of sweepstakes there is no entry fee because charging fees would turn the sweepstakes into a gambling activity which is prohibited in many countries.
The bottom line is that the sweepstakes are not contests and nor are contests sweepstakes. So, be careful about which option you end up choosing. The main attraction of sweepstakes is that you can play them for free but if you find one that is charging money then it is better not to waste your money on it; it makes more sense to play the free online sweepstakes where you don’t risk anything and so it is less risky.