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Sweepstakes Terminology

The following sweepstakes definitions are official ones provided by the US Postal Service. These definitions are used by the postal service, the Direct Marketing Association and the National Fraud Information Center.

Sweepstakes
By definition, a sweepstakes is an advertising or promotional device by which items of value (prizes) are awarded to participating consumers by chance, with no purchase or entry fee required to win.

All prize giveaways found in our online Sweepstakes Listing are sweepstakes and require no purchase nor entry fee. The giveaway prizes are usually either a $50 or $100 gift certificate to the sponsor's website.

Skill Contest
Skill contests are different from sweepstakes offers. In a skill contest, the winner is determined by skill - not chance - and an entry fee or purchase may be required. There are many legitimate skill contests. For example, in a skill contest you may write a winning jingle, solve a puzzle, or answer a question correctly. Your skill or knowledge is what wins the contest, not chance. Know how the contest works, what the prizes are, and what the fees are before paying anything to the company.

All prize giveaways found in our online BellaOnline Forums are skill contests, involving trivia questions. We do not charge for any of our forum contests. The giveaway prizes are usually books or DVDs.

Lottery
Unlike a sweepstakes, a lottery is a promotional device by which items of value (prizes) are awarded to members of the public by chance, but which requires some form of payment to participate. Lotteries are illegal, except when conducted by states and certain exempt charitable organizations. If you believe you have received a solicitation in the guise of a sweepstakes which is an illegal lottery you should contact your local Post Office or state Attorney General's consumer protection office.

BellaOnline does not conduct any lotteries.

Premium Offer
Premiums are gifts that companies make available to all recipients who respond according to the company's instructions - for example, a travel bag received with a new magazine subscription. When everyone who responds to the offer receives the same gift item, without any element of chance, the offer is not a sweepstakes.

BellaOnline does not conduct any premium offers.

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