Is it illegal to offer a prize for the winning of a contest and not provide it’s winner with the prize?

I recently won a free cruise to the Bahama’s through an ongoing contest this summer. I have been in contact with the business who will not answer my questions or get back to me regarding my prize. I won the contest 2 months ago but have yet to hear anything.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under General Practice, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under federal as well as state law in each state in this country, it is improper for a company to offer a prize for the winning of a contest and not provide the prize to the winner within a reasonable time period assuming the winner qualifies for it.

If you have documentation sent you that you won the prize, I would write the company a letter sending a copy of the confirmation document that you are a winner requesting that you be provided your winning within a set time period. If the time period comes and goes, I would then contact a lawyer who specializes in contract law about the means for you to collect your prize.

Make sure you keep a copy of the letter sent for future need.

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