Sweepstakes and contests are a tried-and-true method for companies to engage with their audience and promote their products. While cash, vacations, and cars are among the most common prizes, some companies have taken a more unconventional route. Let’s journey through some of the most bizarre sweepstakes prizes ever offered.

1. An Island of Your Own

Yes, you read that right. A private island! In 2016, Snickers held a sweepstakes where the main prize was an actual private island located in the Caribbean or a cash alternative. The island was valued at a whopping $50,000. One wonders about the challenges of island ownership, but the allure of an escape was undeniable.

2. A Life-size Edible Version of Yourself

To promote their 3D printing technology, Dylan’s Candy Bar, in partnership with Katjes Magic Candy, launched a contest where the winner would get a life-sized replica of themselves made entirely out of gummy candy. Sweet success, indeed!

3. A Night Inside the Iconic Blimp

Goodyear’s iconic blimp is instantly recognizable in the sky. In 2016, Goodyear ran a sweepstakes where winners could spend a night inside the gondola of the blimp. While it remained grounded, it’s not every day you get to sleep in an airship!

4. A Melted Snowman

Yes, it was just water. In a quirky promotional stunt, a company once offered the “remains” of a melted snowman as a sweepstakes prize. The winner received a vial of water, perhaps making it the most understated prize in sweepstakes history.

5. A Trip to ‘Mars’

Amid the buzz of potential Mars missions, Bud Light ran a sweepstakes in 2016 where the winner would get a trip to “Mars.” The catch? This ‘Mars’ was a tiny town in Pennsylvania, not the Red Planet. A clever twist on expectations!

You can watch their promotion video here:


6. Your Weight in…Coal?

In a cheeky nod to the Christmas tradition where naughty children receive coal, a company once ran a holiday sweepstakes where the winner would receive their weight in coal. While not as delightful as other prizes, it sure was memorable!

7. A Forever Nap

In perhaps one of the most macabre sweepstakes ever, a Serbian funeral company offered a free burial service as a prize. Participants had to submit a humorous obituary for themselves. Dark humor for the win!

8. A Potato Portrait

In 2017, the game company Cards Against Humanity ran a peculiar Black Friday promotion. Winners received a portrait of themselves painted on a potato. As for the reason? It’s as bizarre as the prize itself.

9. Rent Paid with Coins

A sweepstakes by Dr. Pepper promised to pay a year’s worth of rent for the winner. However, the twist was that the rent would be paid entirely in coins. The winner reportedly received over 1.3 million coins, weighing about 7 tons!

10. Gorilla Named After You

A UK-based charity offered a truly unique prize to raise awareness for endangered gorillas. The winner got the honor of having a baby gorilla named after them. A charming way to create a lasting legacy!

11. Lifetime Supply of Mustard

French’s once ran a sweepstakes offering a lifetime supply of mustard to the winner. While mustard enthusiasts might relish the idea, one can’t help but wonder how much mustard a person can consume in their lifetime.

12. Bacon-Scented Alarm Clock

To promote its bacon products, Oscar Mayer launched a sweepstakes where winners received an iPhone attachment that emitted the smell of bacon as an alarm. For bacon lovers, it was a dream come true, waking up to the aroma of their favorite treat.

13. Become a Virtual Game Character

Video game sweepstakes sometimes offer the opportunity to become a character in the game. For avid gamers, this can be a thrilling prospect – living on forever in a digital realm.

14. Cheese Sculpture of Yourself

In one of the oddest uses of dairy, Cheetos once offered a contest where the prize was a sculpture of the winner, made entirely out of Cheetos cheese. A cheesy way to immortalize oneself, indeed!

15. A Haunting Experience

A radio station once ran a sweepstakes where winners got the chance to stay overnight in one of the most haunted places in the US, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Not for the faint of heart!

From sweet delights to eerie nights, the realm of sweepstakes prizes knows no bounds. Companies have unleashed their creative prowess to conceive prizes that are not only attention-grabbing but sometimes downright odd. These bizarre prizes remind us that sweepstakes are not just about the allure of winning; they’re about the experience, the story, and sometimes, the sheer weirdness of it all.