Ever wonder why a company runs a free sweepstakes/lottery? I was looking at ilotto.com the other day and it took a while to wander through their site to get a handle on it. Ilotto.com is a daily lottery with a bigger draw once a week. At first glance it is free, but as I dug deeper, I realized that this was not the case. Let me explain.
Ilotto.com offers a daily and weekly lottery. Both are simple in a format with players choosing six numbers or opting for the quick pick. In the daily lottery, players win points and consumer goods like iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads. Points are converted to quick pick lottery tickets for their weekly draw. The weekly draw has a jackpot of USD 1 million (6 of 6 numbers correct), 50” LCD TV (5 of 6) and iLotto T-shirt (4 of 6). There are no other prizes.
Premier versus Regular Play
Signing up to play ilotto.com is free. It’s not until you get into the small print that you find out you have to log on daily to enter for each draw. You also have to manually convert any points you’ve won to the weekly draw. They offer a Premier Membership for USD 19.99 (£9.99 for players in the UK) which automatically enters players into all draws for the month and converts any points won into tickets for the weekly draw.
Who Can Play at ilotto.com
Americans (not Florida, New York, Guam Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and US territories), Canada (not Quebec) and UK residents can all play ilotto.com. Ilotto.com employees and affiliates can also not play. Member accounts are limited to one per person, family, household address, email address, telephone number and shared computer. Okay – what gives?
The iLotto Catch
Combining the fact that play is limited to Americans, Canadians and UK residents and per family or household, it’s easy to figure that these guys are collecting email and house addresses to send spam and other advertising. They do add an interesting twist to get people to buy the Premier Membership, but that means you are paying them to receive spam and other stuff.
Complaints at ilotto.com
I was surprised that there wasn’t a heap of complaints given what this lottery does. Then again, maybe that simply means there aren’t a lot of people that have gone for this sweepstakes. I personally found it amusing that they don’t list a heap of winners especially as part of your agreeing to play allows them to use your name.
iLotto Customer Service
Don’t try and get an immediate response if you do have questions. The only way to get in touch with these folks is through an auto-link to your email. There is no online form, live chat, phone number though they do provide a snail mail address. UK residents can actually send their entry to the sweepstakes by snail mail.
Who are They?
These guys look like they are based in the UK and I think they are marketers. There is no ‘about us’ page and no real information on them anywhere.
The Bottom Line at iLotto
We don’t know who they really are but you’re going to share your personal details with them – not! It’s in the registration process that they say “tell us where to send your prizes”. That means your home address & telephone number, and birth date.
It’s Free – Well Sorta
If you have the patience to probably put up with a heap of spam and click on every day to enter the daily lottery then you definitely need to get a life. If you pay for the monthly Premier Membership, then good luck to you. I think I’ll stick to playing lotteries like US Powerball and go for the real money.