Affidavits for Sweepstakes Winners
What Is the Purpose of Signing an Affidavit? Here's the Scoop
What Is an Affidavit?
An affidavit is a legal document that contains a statement (sworn in writing) that verifies your personal information, like your name, age, and social security number. Affidavits must often be witnessed by someone authorized to verify your information, such as a notary public.
Also Known As:
affadavit, affadavid, affidavid
Why Do Sweepstakes Winners Need Affidavits?
You might assume that when your name is drawn, you have won the sweepstakes.
Usually, however, you still have to jump through a few hoops before you can claim your prize.
Many sweepstakes require a signed and notarized affidavit before confirming a sweepstakes winner. Until the affidavit has been received and checked, you are only a potential winner.
Sweepstakes sponsors use affidavits to ensure that the potential winner is legitimate and that they are not trying to claim a prize fraudulently.
An affidavit verifies that:
- The information you entered on the sweepstakes entry form is true and accurate.
- You entered in compliance with the rules.
- You are eligible to win the prize and are not associated with the sweepstakes' sponsor.
- You agree to the terms and restrictions of claiming the prize if any.
In most cases, the affidavit will ask you to confirm that the information you submitted on your entry form is correct, and to swear that agree to the rules of the sweepstakes. You may be asked to confirm that the sponsors can publish your name as the sweepstakes winner for publicity purposes and that you do not work for the sponsor or the judging agency.
You may also be asked for additional information, such as your social security number for tax purposes. You'll need to give your social security number to claim any legitimate prize worth more than $600, and many sponsors require them for prizes worth less than $600 as well.
Why Do Affidavits Need to Be Notarized?
A notary provides an additional level of security to an affidavit, by acting as an impartial third party who is authorized to double-check that you are who you say you are.
A notary cannot provide any legal advice about the document you are signing, but they can check your identification to make sure your name, address, and other information along those lines are accurate.
Because they meet with you in person and verify your ID, it's harder for anyone to fraudulently try to claim your prizes.
Before You Sign an Affidavit...
When you've just been notified that you're a potential winner and you're flushed with excitement, planning on who to tell first and how to celebrate your prize, you might be tempted to sign any legal document put before you.
But hang on just a second. Before you sign your affidavit, make sure you read through it. Be sure that you understand what you're reading, and that you can agree to any conditions that the sponsor is putting on your prize.
For example, if you can't stand the thought of your picture being published online and in the newspapers as the winner, you don't want to sign an affidavit that requires media appearances.
If you don't understand what's being asked from you, clarify the terms with the sponsor or hire legal counsel to help you.
If there are any conditions that you cannot live with, talk to the sponsor, they may have some leeway to change the requirements.
Otherwise, you will need to decide whether to accept the terms or decline the prize.