Giving awards to Patrons and California lottery laws

I know that lotteries are prohibited in Patreon due to California law, but how about awards? I am thinking of having a “best failure” competition where I give out awards to the best stories about failure sent in from my patrons. They would have some kind of physical award statue signed by me that we give to the best stories.

Is this allowable under California law?

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eeeeh, quick question! how lottery relates to awards?

bcuz lottery is a game of chance, and awards are, the best of the best [this case the worst :stuck_out_tongue: ]

by the award idea , sounds good! i would preffer a 3d model printed [of course our departments creators wise are different but well, is the same base idea] but yeah, is something that is really, really good~

for the law or rules, i cant seem to find something against it.
by my side i need to do more search, cuz i also want to do it at some point too :3

cheers and good luck~~!

That sounds more like a “contest” than a “lottery” because there is some element of skill required. The “skill” being writing and having an experience about failure. Since you aren’t randomly selecting a winner, there’s no element of chance and so it is not a lottery.

This is how I’ve had to do my give aways.
Since you are not randomly choosing a winner, it’s not classified as a lottery.
You are also not asking for money in exchange for a possibility of winning a prize. You are asking for entries requiring skill (or lack of), which is not an exchange of money for a random chance at winning something.
There is no exchange of money here.
A talent contest is not the same as a lottery. Not by a long shot. You should be fine.

I am not a lawyer, but I did my best to research options since it is pretty clear a random giveaway contest would not be allowed.

What I do is I have a monthly trivia contest. Only 5 questions, and everyone who completes it gets a small prize (vs a random winner getting a big prize). It has been working well so far! I just send it out via patreon mail. After the first few I even allowed google - since research is a skill!

For your contest, there’s no random aspect so it sounds like it is ok to me!

Hey Mattias!

Thanks for checking in about this, that sounds like an awesome idea.

I’m the Head of Legal at Patreon and happy to help with this, although as a quick disclaimer this isn’t legal advice.

The TLDR is that as long as your “best failure” competition is open to all of your fans, and not just your patrons, then that’s totally cool with Patreon. We just don’t want any competition limited to your patrons only as that implies they have to pay to enter.

That’s our policy, but you should also be aware of your own laws as they may or may not match our policies.

I answered a question about this more broadly here if you want some more context: Raffle Replacement

Happy to answer any other questions about this as well!