We regularly run sweepstakes that include daily drawings as well as grand prize drawings. Example rules define it like this:

"Lorem Ipsum Sweepstakes” (the “Sweepstakes”) is a sweepstakes comprised of a grand prize sweepstakes (the “Grand Prize Sweepstakes”) in which one (1) winner will be awarded a $1,000 gift card at the end of the Sweepstakes, and a daily drawing sweepstakes(the “Daily Drawing Sweepstakes”) where three (3) winners per day for twenty-five (25) days during the Sweepstakes will each be awarded a $50 gift card…

As we discuss setting up promotions like these with clients, we find it confusing to talk about the sweepstakes that comprise the larger sweepstakes, because 1) we're using the same word, and 2) the word is in plural form whether or not it describes a plural.

Is there a suitable word to describe a single sweepstakes in a larger superset of sweepstakes that maintains clarity? "Sweepstake" in singular form is not clear enough, as it appears as a typo, or can be easily misheard over the phone. I was thinking "sweep" or "stake," but the former feels like invented language and the latter is a stretch of the meaning, as it's more a gambling term. Is there anything else out there?

Strictly speaking, sweepstakes are neither contests, games, nor lotteries, so these terms are definitely out. We must not conflate these different legal terms with our clients.

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    I think each individual instance would be a draw, but if you're trying to separately reference, say, the daily and weekly sweepstakes (each of which represents a series of "draws") you've probably got a problem along the lines of What do you call a "set of sets"? Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 20:45
  • With a lot of internal discussion previous to and since posting the question, we've decided on drawing.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 20:56
  • That's the name for the set, while an individual instance we're calling selection. At least, I think that's what we'll do.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


In the sweepstakes community, many people say "sweep" as shorthand for a single sweepstakes, and "sweeps" as a shorthand for the plural.

Sandra Grauschopf, About.com Contests

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