In the interests of full disclosure, I'll admit that I've never purchased a product because the product offered me a chance of winning something...except for perhaps a lottery ticket or two. Maybe it's because I have the attitude that most of us have, which is "I never win anything."

Not that I have anything against those of you who do buy things that promise the chance of winning something you think is pretty cool. Lots of people do it, and I'm guessing that there are actual winners from time to time, so go ahead and have at it.

Just be aware that not everything is as it seems when it comes to contests, promotions, and/or sweepstakes.

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Getty Images

A Current Reese's Promotion Has Packages Of Peanut Butter Cups Imprinted With The Words "You Could Win $25,000", But The Problem Is What Else The Package Says

My first thought was, what could be controversial about the words "You could win $25,000" on the packaging? Are they promising to pay it out at a dollar a year for 25,000 years? I can see where that might honk off some people.

Nope, that's not it. It's the words that come right after the $25,000 part:

"See Details Inside."

It's only after you buy the package of peanut butter cups and tear it open that you see the details inside: "No Purchase Necessary."

But wait...I already bought it. Now you're telling me I didn't have to?

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Getty Images

Why Is Any Of This A Problem? It's Because Sweepstakes Are, For The Most Part, Governed By State Laws, And State Laws (Including Illinois') Say That No Purchase Is Necessary To Participate

If you have to purchase something in order to win, then it's a lottery, not a sweepstakes, and lotteries are governed by a different set of rules.

Edgar Dworsky, the man who runs the Consumer World website and is a former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts first reported on this issue. Mr. Dworsky believes the Reese's packaging in question should be taken off shelves and recalled.

Hershey Co., that Pennsylvania candymaker that owns the Reese’s brand, said late Monday that its website contains full details of the promotion. It also said some packages have QR codes that link consumers to more information.

“As with all of our promotions, we place great care and diligence to ensure they are compliant with all regulations,” Hershey said in a statement. Dworsky noted that Reese's ran a similar promotion earlier this year that ended in April using the same packaging. Some of those packages are still for sale, even though the sweepstakes code has expired, he said.

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