• WordNet 3.6
    • n sweepstakes a lottery in which the prize consists of the money paid by the participants
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sweepstakes A race for all the sums staked or prizes offered.
    • Sweepstakes A winning of all the stakes or prizes; a sweepstake.
    • Sweepstakes The whole money or other things staked at a horse race, a given sum being put up for each horse, all of which goes to the winner, or is divided among several, as may be previously agreed.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sweepstakes A gaming transaction, in which a number of persons contribute a certain stake, which becomes the property of one or of several of the contributors under certain conditions. Thus, in horse-racing each of the contributors has a horse assigned to him (usually by lot), and the person to whom the winning horse is assigned takes the whole stakes, or the stakes may be divided between two or three who draw the first two or three horses in the race.
    • sweepstakes A prize in a horse-race or other contest, made up of several stakes.
    • sweepstakes Same as sweepstake, 1.
    • sweepstakes A race for all the stakes contributed, sometimes with money added.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Sweepstakes a method of gambling by which several persons contribute each certain stakes, the whole of which fall to one in case of a certain event happening
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. sw√°pan; Ger. schweifen, Cf. Swoop.


In literature:

Fake sweepstakes, fake charities.
"Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling
There's very few races, and the big sweepstakes keep horses out of the game.
"Three Elephant Power" by Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson
There are four horses to start for a sweepstake, namely, A, B, C, D, and they are supposed to be as equally matched as possible.
"The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims" by Andrew Steinmetz
Regular sweepstakes, by Jove!
"The Pool in the Desert" by Sara Jeanette Duncan
Meanwhile the "Any Age Sweepstakes" handicap from Chicago to New York was on, a race of nine hundred miles.
"Animal Heroes" by Ernest Thompson Seton
He had one great advantage in the sweepstakes of life: he was not handicapped with any burdensome ideals.
"The Guardian Angel" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Won the Brighton Beach overnight sweepstakes in nineteen an' four.
"Garrison's Finish" by W. B. M. Ferguson
Why, he's the jockey of Newmarket; you May win a cup by him, or else a sweepstakes.
"The Hunchback" by James Sheridan Knowles
They cry up Jenings of The Ruby, and Saunders of The Sweepstakes.
"Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1666" by Samuel Pepys
It takes somethin' more'n a slinkin' half-breed like him t' lead a winnin' team in the Sweepstakes.
"Baldy of Nome" by Esther Birdsall Darling
At eight we anchored two leagues from the shore, in 24 fathom, Cape Gregory bearing W. 1/2 N. and Sweepstakes Foreland S.W.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12" by Robert Kerr
They had a sweepstakes, of course, and Macleod drew the favorite.
"Macleod of Dare" by William Black
It had run second for two years in the Alaska Sweepstakes to Macdonald's great Siberian wolf-hounds.
"The Yukon Trail" by William MacLeod Raine
Several of the men and two or three of the girls thought it a capital idea, and a sweepstake was arranged.
"The Hand in the Dark" by Arthur J. Rees
Then there is a sculling sweepstakes, open to all the school.
"Ernest Bracebridge" by William H. G. Kingston
A lottery with 1500 square miles of territory as the sweepstakes and 100,000 people playing its wheel of fortune.
"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl
Sweepstakes' sons had not hurried him away.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
At Stockbridge, in a sweepstakes of 100 sovs.
"The Greville Memoirs" by Charles C. F. Greville
Then he distinguished himself at Pueblo by winning a handicap sweepstakes where the odds were heavy against him.
"Starlight Ranch" by Charles King
Well, the young Sweepstakes and Lady Diana will talk enough about it; that's one comfort.
"The Parent's Assistant" by Maria Edgeworth

In poetry:

You always read about it:
the plumber with the twelve children
who wins the Irish Sweepstakes.
From toilets to riches.
That story.
"Cinderella" by Anne Sexton

In news:

Florence police, deputies, SLED raid sweepstakes parlors.
A bright yellow sign announcing the opening of a Sweepstakes business will have to be moth-balled till the legislature visits the issue.
When the Texas Rangers departed the winter meetings on Thursday, they were viewed as the leaders in the sweepstakes for free-agent right-hander Zack Greinke.
Let the Tom Cruise Wife #4 Sweepstakes begin.
The LeBron James sweepstakes is underway.
The REACTOR Photon Sweepstakes (the "Sweepstakes") is sponsored by WaterSki Magazine, a publication of Bonnier Corporation ("Sponsor").
Radio magazine readers speak up on HD Radio receiver availability, the RIAA's financial tactics, the right way to plan a project and a simple thanks for our Find the Mic Sweepstakes.
Only one (1) entry per household per sweepstakes .
Foster + Partners Wins 425 Park Sweepstakes , Creating New Midtown Landmark for L&L.
NBA free agent sweepstakes begin.
Enter to win our Fall Home Improvement Sweepstakes .
View this Speedway Motors Sweepstakes Photo 2.
Check out how America's Oldest Speed Shop Speedway Motors Announces 60th Anniversary Sweepstakes .

In science:

The neutrino mechanism, legitimately the front-runner in the CCSN mechanism sweepstakes, has engendered much speculation concerning the physical conditions for explosion.
Perspectives on Core-Collapse Supernova Theory