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Anything offered as a reward for a contest. It is distinguished from a bet or wager in that it is known before the event who is to give either the premium or the prize, and there is but one operation until the accomplishment of the act, thing, or purpose for which it is offered. In time of war, an enemy vessel or a ship captured at sea by a belligerent power.
The fair market value of a prize or award is generally includible in gross income. Certain exceptions are provided where the prize or award is made in recognition of religious, charitable, scientific, educational, artistic, literary, or civic achievement providing certain other requirements are met.
prizeproperty lawfully appropriated in war.
COURT, PRIZE. One of the branches of the English admiralty, is called a prize court. Vide Prize Court.
PRIZE, mar. law, war. The apprehension and detention at sea, of a ship or
other vessel, by authority of a belligerent power, either with the design of
appropriating it, with the goods and effects it contains, or with that of
becoming master of the whole or a part of its cargo. 1 Rob. Adm. R. 228. The
vessel or goods thus taken are also called a prize. Goods taken on land from
a public enemy, are called booty, (q.v.) and the distinction between a prize
and booty consists in this, that the former is taken at sea and the latter
2. In order to vest the title of the prize in the captors, it must be brought with due care into some convenient port for adjudication by a competent court. The condemnation must be pronounced by a prize court of the government of the captor sitting in the country of the captor, or his ally; the prize court of an ally cannot condemn. Strictly speaking, as between the belligerent parties the title passes, and is vested when the capture is complete; and that was formerly held to be complete and perfect when the battle was over, and the spes recuperandi was gone. 1 Kent, Com. 100; Abbott on Ship. Index, h.t.; 13 Vin. Ab. 51; 8 Com. Dig. 885; 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 444; Harr. Dig. Ship. and Shipping, X; Merl. Repert. h.t.; Bouv. Inst. Index. h.t. Vide Infra praesidia.
PRIZE, contracts. A reward which is offered to one of several persons who
shall accomplish a certain condition; as, if an editor should offer a silver
cup to the individual who shall write the best essay in favor of peace.
2. In this case there is a contract subsisting between the editor and each person who may write such essay that he will pay the prize to the writer of the best essay. Wolff, Dr. de la Nat. Sec. 675.
3. By prize is also meant a thing which is won by putting into a lottery.