In most states, lotteries are illegal, unless run by the state itself. Yet organizations frequently raise money or boost attendance by using raffles, sweepstakes, or other such contests. Here's how they can do that. States generally prohibit games or contests that contain three elements: consideration, chance, and a prize. To be illegal, the game or contest must contain all three elements. Eliminate any one, and the activity usually is acceptable. That's really all there is to ...

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