There is a tradition of office sweepstakes (known as office pools in the U.S.), which are usually based on major sporting events such as the Grand National and the World Cup. Entrants pay an equal stake for each horse/team they draw out of the hat before the event. The winner then takes the pot. For horse racing events, the pot may be split between the horses which come first, second and third.

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Sweepstakes must be carefully planned to comply with local laws and curtail forms of entrant fraud and abuse. Before home computers were popular, a common method of entry was a mailed, plain 3" × 5" index card with the entrant's name and address. Massive computer-printed entries resulted in a new requirement that entries must be "hand-printed".[citation needed] Laser printers that can mimic ink pen writing are also a problem for sponsors. In most sweepstakes, entrants and their relatives must not be related to the sponsor or promoter.

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