Sweepstakes Lingo

In the online Sweepstakes and Contests world there is some lingo that the average person might not be familiar with. Below we will go through some of the more common phrases and words you’ll likely come across when sweeping.

  • 18+ US (48) - This means that in order to enter the sweepstakes and qualify, you must be 18 or over and live in the continental United States. Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii.
  • ARV - This stands for “Approximate Retail Value” or in other words, what you would pay if you were to purchase that prize. For example, if you win a vacation the ARV would include approximate cost of the flights, hotel stay, etc.
  • FMV - This stands for “Fair Market Value” and this value is important for tax purposes. This value is more realistic to what the sponsor actually paid for the prize, which is why there might be a difference between the ARV and the FMV.
  • IW - This stands for Instant Win. This type of sweepstakes is pretty exciting because players find out immediately whether or not they won. These sweeps means no waiting period and makes claiming your prize easier since you know right away.
  • GC - This stands for gift card or gift certificate. This is a prepaid stored-value money card usually issued by a retailer or bank to be used as an alternative to cash for purchases within a particular store or related businesses.  
  • Affidavit - This is a legal document that contains a statement (sworn in writing) that verifies your personal information, like your name, age, and social security number, which ensures the potential winner is legitimate. Affidavits must often be witnessed by someone authorized to verify your information, such as a notary public. You will only need to worry about these if you’ve won a prize.
  • UAOM - This stands for “Under the Age of Majority.” In more simple terms, it is another way to refer to a minor or under aged contestant. If a contestant is a UAOM, he or she will need a signed consent form from the parents or guardian to enter the sweepstakes.
  • Eligibility - This is the criteria the contestant must meet to be allowed to take part in the sweepstakes and win. Rarely, if ever, will there be no limitations to enter a sweepstakes. Usually sweepstakes restrict eligibility by age, location, gender, etc so make sure you read the rules carefully before entering so you don’t waste your time.
  • Bonus Entry - A bonus entry is exactly what it sounds like! There are times where a sponsor will allow someone additional entries in exchange for doing certain tasks, which can better your chances of winning. Examples of tasks can include: answering a survey, “liking” the sponsor on Facebook, following on Twitter, and more.
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