Welcome to PiratePayout! We have been in the sweepstakes business since 1984 and have given away over $10 million dollars since then! We hope to make your experience fun, exciting and most importantly successful in participating in our group of free sweepstakes. Let’s outline some of the background of a sweepstakes and some information you might enjoy.
A Bit O’ Sweepstakes History….
The term sweepstakes actually dates back to the 1600’s where participants in a game actually put stakes in the ground and the winner who “swept the stakes” won everything. The term sweepstakes has lived on since then. Of course there are other promotional terms, such as contests, but in the United States, a sweepstakes winner is always determined by luck and never skill.
By offering a free prize to potential customers, with no purchase or payment required, companies since the 1950’s found sweepstakes could be a more compelling – and less expensive – form of advertising than traditional media. Who doesn't love love the idea of winning? Fortunately that concept has not changed over the centuries. In print media and now on the internet, a sweepstakes is an effective way to generate buzz about a product or service.
Today, consumers find endless opportunities to win something they want – or sometimes don’t want. Occasionally, winners will sell an item that they have won in order to get the cash. Before entering a sweepstakes, always be aware of any negative ramifications, such as having to pay income taxes on larger prizes. In PiratePayout, ALWAYS talk to a financial advisor beforehand if you win a large cash prize!
Is It Legitimate?
For starters, with PiratePayout, and most legitimate sweepstakes, you will NEVER be asked for a purchase or payment in order to receive your prize. If you are ever contacted by someone asking for payment in order to claim your prize, do not send it! This is a sign of a scam!
Unfortunately, there are many scams and disreputable sweepstakes out there, especially on the internet. Do your homework: read the rules and privacy policies of sweepstakes. Legitimate companies want to protect you and your information as a potential or future customer, so they will respect your wishes. But never pay money or provide bank or credit card information in order to receive a prize!
Payouts: Now or Later?
This is an important question and one that many people fail to think through. There are many sweepstakes that offer a large cash Grand Prize; what could be better than that, right? The Strike It Rich sweepstakes, which is part of the PiratePayout group of sweepstakes, offers a Grand Prize of $1,100,000. The winner can decide to take the lump sum in cash, which amounts to $550,000. Great! However, many people find that having a lump sum payment does not buy the happiness they envision.
An alternative to the lump sum cash award, is for the winner to choose the annuity form of payment. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an annuity is defined as “a fixed amount of money that is paid to someone each year”. In the case of PiratePayout, the Grand Prize winner of the $1,100,000 Strike It Riches sweepstakes can accept payment in the form of $36,666.67 each year for 30 years. That means the winner is guaranteed to receive that amount each and every year for 30 years.
Guaranteed Sweepstakes…What Does it Really Mean?
Some popular sweepstakes offer eye-popping grand prizes, and it can be very fun to daydream about how to spend all that money. But a word of caution: not all sweepstakes prizes are actually guaranteed to be paid at the end of the sweepstakes term. The definition of winning can vary, but a guaranteed sweepstakes ensures that the prize amount offered will be paid to the selected winner (usually chosen at random) on the date specified in the rules. A non-guaranteed sweepstakes can require a matching entry number or other qualifier. If the winning entry number has been drawn at random and was not assigned to a winner, the prize could simply roll over, making a grand prize larger and larger, attracting more and more entries.
Best Bet? Read the Fine Print
Every sweepstakes has a set of Official Rules that are available to anyone. For online sweepstakes, there is frequently a link to the Official Rules; in direct mail, rules can be enclosed or printed on the back of the mail piece. In any case, the Official Rules spell out important details about a sweepstakes or group of sweepstakes. These details include:
- The Official Sponsor of the sweepstakes.
- The start and end dates of the sweepstakes. These dates can also include: the last date and time for entry, the date, time and place of the official drawing and the last date to come forward to claim a prize. That is why it is critical to include accurate information when you enter a sweepstakes. If the sweepstakes administrator who is handling the drawing cannot reach you, you cannot win!
- The description of the prizes. This includes payout information, such as if the prize is money, whether the prize will be awarded as a lump sum or an annuity, or either. It also can include information such as payment of sales taxes, and taking delivery of the prize. (If you win a house in Alaska, can you realistically live there?)
- The method of entry can also be spelled out. In most cases, a sweepstakes available on the internet can also be entered, with no purchase or payment required, via the postal service. In order to make a sweepstakes actually available to anyone to enter, having a computer cannot be a requirement.
- Multiple entries. Sweepstakes can vary in terms of how often one can enter; in some cases it is unlimited. Some, such as the group of sweepstakes in PiratePayout, is once per 24 hours. (Which is different from once per day.)
Entering a sweepstakes that does not require purchase or payment is fun…just make sure you know the rules!