Age of Majority and Eligibility to Sweepstakes Contests
Joining sweepstakes contests is an incredible opportunity to win amazing prizes against impossible odds. With millions of players purchasing tickets for draws nationwide, it’s important to consider which demographic is actually participating in these games. While sweepstakes generally don’t have restrictions on participants, some policies limit eligible player bases. This includes the standard Age of Majority of a certain state.
Noting the Potential Restrictions of Sweepstakes
Legitimate sweepstakes generally don’t have extremely limiting requirements for any participant to purchase an entry ticket. Generally, rules and regulations are stricter towards organizers than players themselves. This is because certain promotion privileges and other industry properties need to comply with state and federal legislation.
The most common restriction people may experience for sweepstakes entries is a prescribed limit on purchasing a certain amount of tickets. Another typical limitation on smaller draws is a restriction to certain local residents or community groups. Besides these two optional rulings, the only mandatory requirement for sweepstakes participants is to be of legal age. This is defined by the Age of Majority regarding the state or country a person is in.
Discussing the “Majority” in Age of Majority
The Age of Majority is a benchmark age that makes a person a legal adult from being a minor. This makes them responsible for certain consequences, like criminal liabilities, and certain privileges, like entering contracts.
If you’re not among the Age of Majority Group, you’re still considered a “minor,” which makes you liable for the minority of your actions. This is why minors need approval from legal guardians or parents to perform certain actions or apply for specific services.
The term “majority” encapsulates the liability of adults to be responsible for the majority of their actions. For this reason, a person entering the Age of Majority is legally old enough to face the consequences of certain acts, whether legal or otherwise.
The Effect of Age of Majority When Participating in Sweepstakes
Generally, entering the sweepstakes contains a fine print similar to the following:
“To enter, you must be a resident of the United States above the age of majority.”
This prevents people who haven’t reached the Age of Majority in their country from participating in sweepstakes. It’s an important stipulation to protect the sweepstakes organizers from potential breaches in the contract.
Like any contest, sweepstakes have guidelines and rulings to let people enter them properly and effectively. Some competitions even have specific rules against breaches of contract through cheating and other similar offenses. The problem comes when a person not in the Age of Majority attempts to join the contest.
Minors are legally unable to enter into contracts, no matter how well they understand rules and policies in contests. For this reason, they’re not bound by legal consequences if they violate these rules. Additionally, regulations under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) restrict advertisers from certain content targeted to children. If caught utilizing sweepstakes and/or ads to target minors, these organizations can be heavily penalized with serious legal consequences.
In the US, the general Age of Majority is 18. However, other states grant the Age of Majority at a lesser age or after reaching a particular educational background. While the Age of Majority rule may seem like a restriction for players, it’s also beneficial to protect players and organizers alike.
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