"the company was withholding information such that the population thought they could win, when in fact they could not.In this way, they encouraged the population to become contestants and to spend money which they otherwise would not have done."
This may be on the right lines. But consider this imaginary case:
A winner is to be picked at random from one million callers. The whittling down is in two stages. Stage one is: half the time the phones are being answered, those entries go straight in the bin. The remaining entries are then entered into a lottery from which the winner is picked.
Is this competition unfair? If the punters know how it generally works, certainly not.
But actually, is it unfair even if the punters don't know how it works? What does it matter how the whittling down is done, as long as it's not done in a way deliberately designed to favour certain previously identifiable contestants?
But if that is so, then, if the telephonists taking the entries that go straight in the bin know they are doing so, does that matter? I don't see how it does, despite the fact that, were they to tell those phoning in they cannot win, those punters wouldn't spend their money.