What does "consideration" mean? In sweepstakes terms, consideration is simply payment for a prize. Generally, sweepstakes that award prizes by chance are not allowed to have an element of consideration.
Consideration doesn't have to be money; it can be anything that can profit the sponsor. For example, a company cannot require that entrants purchase a product to participate in sweepstakes (or, if they do, they must provide an alternate method of entry).
There are some grey areas concerning consideration and sweepstakes. For example, some sponsors require that entrants sign up for a newsletter to enter their sweepstakes. Having a larger email list is a benefit to the sponsor, but it might not directly tranlate into profit. Making opting-in to newsletters optional is a good way to ensure that there is no element of consideration in the giveaway.
Some jurisdictions have ruled that requiring entrants to own a computer and internet service is consideration. That is why many online sweepstakes offer a mail-in alternative.