River sweepstakes are around almost as long as man. The particular name, though, only dates back to around the mid-1400s. Sweepstakes throughout history are some games where the winner took (swept) all of the stakes. People took the concept behind the name and tried to use it in several settings. A significant example of this is often that by the top of the 1400s, sweepstakes became a trendy name for fishing boats. The logic behind this was never documented, but one could easily conclude the captain wanted to comb up all of the fish into their nets before another captain did.
Just like the terms Xerox and Kleenex became generic terms for copiers and facial tissues, the name ‘sweepstakes’ became a generic term also. Through the 17th century, the time river sweepstakes became used for any activity where most of the people came up empty-handed, and just a couple of people came away with all of the products.
The 19th century has brought with it a replacement use for the term ‘sweepstakes.’ It became related to racing, but the meaning still didn’t change much. It even meant that the winner would take all. People would ask wagers made at off-track bars and clubs as river sweepstakes.
In 1930, Irish Hospitals Trust began to run a series of sweepstakes for significant cash prizes. It worked sort of a lottery. The person entering the river sweepstakes would buy a ticket, and therefore the stub was placed during a container with the opposite stubs. They were drawn randomly. The stubs were matched to an inventory of horses running during a race. The person whose stub was matched to the winning horse won the cash.
The 1950s brought within the age of the current river sweepstakes. That’s when advertisers began to see the facility of advertising with sweepstakes. The key to new sweepstakes success was the essential appeal of winning a prize that required no skill or purchase. The consumer’s interest was piqued within the product that was being offered because of the award. The result was higher brand recognition with a comparatively lower cost than was gained through traditional advertisement methods. Another benefit that was discovered was that customers would buy costlier or profitable products to urge an entry into a contest. Honestly, what percentage folks can say that we never upsized to an outsized fry to recommend that Monopoly piece at McDonald’s?
Current American river sweepstakes sponsors work very hard to form sure that they avoid saying or implying that a sale is essential to enter. This can be a drag with federal lottery laws. They even have to make sure that they do not violate any state or local laws also.
The internet changed the river sweepstakes industry. Suddenly, people could enter contests without the value of postage and supplies. They might be bookmarked and returned to as often as necessary. An individual could enter many sweepstakes a day during just a couple of hours. There are even form filler programs that will fill out all of the entrants’ contact information for them with the press of a mouse. Websites were developed with the only purpose of organizing sweepstakes into one central location. Therefore the entrant won’t need to spend the time looking for contests to enter.