Questions Asked Most Frequently By Winners
WHY AM I CALLED A “POTENTIAL WINNER” IN THE WINNER NOTIFICATION?
If you receive a winner notification from us, it means that your entry was selected as a winner. However, until we can confirm your eligibility, you are considered a “potential winner” or a winner “pending verification of eligibility”. Once we have confirmed your eligibility, you are then considered a “verified winner”.
The verification process is really quite simple:
- In most cases, for prizes valued below $600, we will ask you to verify that you reside within the eligibility area, that you are eligible to participate based on your age, that you are not employed by the sponsor or its affiliated companies, and that no one in your family or anyone who lives in your household is such an employee.
- In most cases, if you are the potential winner of a prize valued at $600 or more, we will ask you to fill out an Affidavit of Eligibility to claim your prize. An affidavit is a legal document that we use to determine your eligibility to participate in the promotion.
- When you sign the affidavit, you are confirming that the information you submitted on your entry form is correct, and that you understand and agree to abide by the terms and conditions set forth in the rules of the promotion.
- You will also be confirming that you understand that the sponsor may publish your name as the sweepstakes winner, and that you understand the income tax consequences of winning the prize.
- Unless otherwise indicated, you will need to sign the affidavit in front of a Notary Public. You can usually find a Notary Public at your local bank.
- You may also be asked for additional information such as your social security number for income tax reporting purposes.
WHY DO YOU NEED MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?
If the fair market value of your prize is $600 or more, we are required by law to report that value to the IRS via Form 1099, which requires your social security number. You should expect to receive a copy of your IRS 1099 by mail in January of the year following the year in which you won the prize, and the amount reported should be properly included in your tax filing.
HOW MUCH WILL I OWE IN TAXES?
Prizes are considered a form of taxable income, whether awarded as cash or as an item such as travel or merchandise. The amount you will owe in taxes is based on the fair market value of the prize and your effective tax rate as established by the IRS (and your home state, if applicable). In all cases, we encourage you to consult with an accountant or tax professional to determine the amount of taxes you may owe as a result of winning a prize, and how to properly include the value of the prize in your tax filing.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?
The security of your personal information is extremely important to us! We adhere to strict privacy standards in the collection and transmittal of all personal information, and we use this information only for required purposes. The promotion sponsor’s use of your information is also governed by the official rules of the promotion and sponsor’s privacy policies. We do not keep your information for our own marketing purposes, and we will never rent, sell or exchange your information with marketing list companies.