Numeral Rules

What is the proper way to say this sentence? “For every 20,000 bottle, one lucky person will win a trip to Las Vegas”
Do I say twenty-thousand, twenty-thousandth, 20,000th?
If there are any numerical rules I should remember, that would be great as well.
Bekka U., Culver City, CA

Answer: Write “20,000th bottle,” but realize that the sentence is confusing. Do you mean that the purchaser of the 20,000th bottle is the winner of the trip at which time the contest starts up again? Or do you mean that after 20,000 bottles are sold, a winner’s name is drawn from contest entries?

There are many rules about using numerals or words, and not all authorities agree. Generally, for numbers over ten or one hundred (depending on your source), use numerals unless you have a large round number. (About ten thousand attended the event.) If a sentence starts with a number, spell it out as a word no matter what the amount.

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