Because of their potential for abuse, sweepstakes are heavily regulated in many countries. The US, Canada, and individual US states all have laws covering sweepstakes, so there are special rules depending on where the entrant lives. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission exercises some authority over sweepstakes promotion and sweepstakes scams in the United States. Notably, sweepstakes in Canada, Australia, and several European countries require entrants to solve an elementary-school-level mathematical puzzle or answer a fairly simple knowledge question or solve a trivial fill-in-the-blanks guessing competition, making it (in theory, at least) a contest of skill in order to overcome requirements that would classify sweepstakes as a form of gambling under their country's legal definition. There are similar laws in Brazil, usually requiring an answer to an easy "giveaway" question. 

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Among the most popularly known sweepstakes in the United States were the American Family Publishers Sweepstakes (now defunct), Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, and Reader's Digest Sweepstakes, each of which strongly persuaded entrants to purchase magazine subscriptions by placing stickers on contest entry cardstock while promising multimillion-dollar (annuity) winners who will be "announced on TV". The American Family Publishers sweepstakes used paid advertisements during NBC's The Tonight Show to announce its grand prize winners (for many years, its celebrity spokesman was Ed McMahon). All three companies eventually paid fines and penalties to a variety of states who initiated legal actions against them. Of those three companies, only Publishers Clearing House continues to use sweepstakes as a promotional device and as recently as 2010 paid $3.5 million to settle charges that it had violated the terms of a 2001 multi-state agreement for which it was fined $34 million.[14][15]

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Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 5:00 p.m. ET on August 13, 2018. For full official rules and to enter, visit www.hgtv.com/sailaway or www.travelchannel.com/sailaway. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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Except where prohibited by law, participation in the Sweepstakes shall constitute permission by each entrant for Sponsors, their parent and affiliated companies, or their agents, to use winners’ names, prizes won, hometowns, likenesses and any video/photo footage taken for purposes of advertising, Sweepstakes, and publicity (including but not limited to online posting) in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification or permission.

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HGTV Smart Home 2019 Sweepstakes: Open to legal residents of the U.S., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes starts at 9 a.m. ET on 4/24/19 and ends at 5 p.m. ET on 6/14/19. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. For full official rules, prize disclosures, and to enter, visit www.HGTV.com. Main Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC d/b/a Home & Garden Television.

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