In the USA, can sweepstakes require that users fill out a survey to enter? I understand that users obviously cannot be made to pay to enter but the concept of a mandatory survey seems less clear. Is this considered to be 'consideration'?

According to TargetMarketingMag, special legal advice is necessary when

a survey, questionnaire or repeat visits to a website or location are required to enter the promotion.

Meanwhile, RaffleCopter says that surveys are included in the definition of 'consideration':

When you hear the word consideration, it’s referring to [...] or engaging in activities that require a considerable amount of time (like filling out an in-depth survey for example or making multiple in-store visits).

So are surveys always a form of consideration? What constitutes if a survey is 'in depth' or not?

It seems to me that there are scenarios in which it is legal. For example, in order to enter the Alaska Airlines Sweepstakes, their rules state:

  1. To enter the Sweepstakes, complete the survey at www.alaskalistens.com

Thus, my question is when is it legal to ask for a survey entry that is mandatory?

1 Answer 1


Consideration in a contract is the obligatory giving something of value in return for something of value.

Objectively, the sweepstakes ticket is valuable and so is the data in a survey. If the completion of the survey is required this this makes it a raffle, not a sweepstakes. You can ask someone to complete an optional survey providing they get the ticket either way. You can also collect data that is necessary to give effect to the sweepstake such as contact details even though these have value.

  • 1
    Wouldn't this make the (likely legal) Alaska Airlines 'sweepstakes' I referenced in the updated copy of my question illegal?
    – JosephG
    Nov 24, 2016 at 22:31

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