Winner Notification / Winner Verification
After Promotion Activators selects the winners whether in a random drawing or using expert judges, we must ensure the proper number of winners are notified and we verify the winners to ensure that they complied with the promotion rules eligibility requirements.
You might be thinking, ‘you just pick the winner and then ship them their prize, right?’ In some cases, this may be true but it depends on the prize. If you are awarding low-value items like hats or t-shirts, you could simply mail the winners their prizes with a letter of congratulations enclosed (assuming you captured their mailing address at time of entry). However, if the prize is potentially dangerous and/or has a value that necessitates tax reporting (i.e. $600+), we issue winners affidavits of eligibility and liability/publicity releases.
If you forgo this step, you may not have the information required for tax reporting. Additionally, you may put yourself at risk should the winner suffer an injury or even death related to their prize. For example, if you are awarding a prize trip and the winner suffers an accident, a release of liability protects you from potential legal consequences. Or, if the prize is a pair of roller blades and the winner is injured while using them, the release of liability protects you.
It is also the responsibility of the sponsor – or Promotion Activators, if we are acting as the independent judging agency – to ensure that the winner has complied with the rules of their promotion. If the rules state that the entrant must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or the District of Columbia, we can verify this information by having the winner execute the requisite forms and provide identification. This helps avoid a situation where it is determined after the prize has been awarded that the winner was under the legal age or even an employee of the sponsor company.
The publicity release is important (where permitted by law) particularly if the sponsor wishes to use the entrant’s information for advertising and marketing purposes.