Contest and Sweepstakes Secrets

Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new contest or sweepstakes. Money and prizes galore are just waiting to be won. Are you one of the people who says things like "I never win anything" or "Those contests are all rigged"? Well, you're WRONG. You CAN win, if you follow the secrets of multiple contest and sweepstakes winners.

There are two major secrets to winning sweepstakes and contests. They may seem obvious, but too many people overlook them. Here they are:

  1. Follow the rules EXACTLY, and

  2. Enter many times.

That's about all there is to it. But, I'll go into them in more detail, so you can see how these two secrets will effect your chances.

Read and reread the rules before you enter a contest.

Too many people enter a contest and lose, not because they gave wrong answers or had the wrong numbers, but for stupid reasons, like the wrong size envelope, or they wrote their name in cursive, instead of printing it. You MUST follow each and every rule exactly.

These rules are there to keep things fair. It's been estimated that almost 20% of all winning entries in major contests and sweepstakes get disqualified for minor differences from requirements.

Don't let this happen to you! By following the rules, you will put yourself automatically ahead of all those who just send in an entry, not caring whether it's wrong or right.

Important rules to follow:

  1. Entry Blanks. If the rules say "Official Entry Blank Only," don't send in a handwritten entry. It will only be a waste of a stamp, and could disqualify your other, official entries.

    Also, pay attention to the number of entries allowed. If it says "One entry per household," don't send in more! Most contest and sweepstakes judging organizations use computers to track entries. A duplicate entry from you WILL show up and WILL disqualify you.

    If handwritten entries are allowed, pay attention to the paper that must be used and what should be on the entry. If it says to use a 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 unlined piece of paper, don't send your entry on a 3 x 5 lined postcard.

    It may seem obvious, but people do it everyday, and it's an automatic disqualification.

    Write any phrases that are necessary EXACTLY as stated in the rules. Write your name and address EXACTLY as states in the rules. If the rules say "Full Name" then you'd better write your middle name, just to be safe. Don't try to be fancy and draw little pictures or write cute things on your entry. Give them exactly what they want and no more.

    Also, write legibly, so they can read it. Scrawling something unreadable will get your winning entry thrown in the trash.

  2. Qualifiers. Sometimes you will be asked to include either some part of the packaging from the sweepstakes sponsor's products, or, instead, a handwritten phrase. Follow this rule exactly. If it's unclear from the rules exactly what they need, there is usually an address or phone number given for questions. Use it.

  3. Envelopes. Don't send a postcard unless it's asked for. Hand address your envelope and use the exact size that's listed. Contrary to what many people think, colored or odd sized envelopes will NOT increase your chances of winning.

  4. Deadline. Observe the deadline. A major disqualification reason is late entry. Get your entries out at least a week before the closing date, to be safe.

Now comes the second secret:

Enter often.

Look at the type of prizes available and use that information to decide the number of entries you will send in.

A sweepstakes where the main prize is $100 obviously wouldn't need as many entries as the multimillion dollar national ones.

Just remember that each entry you send in increase your odds in relation to the total number of entries received. In other words, if 100 entries are received, yours included, you have a 1 in 100 chance of your entry being picked. If you send in two entries, you now have a 2 in 101 chance of winning. Send in 50 entries and you'll have a 50 in 149 chance of winning, almost one-third! But make sure you'll still be ahead if you win. There's no sense in spending $200 to enter a contest for $100.

These are the methods that frequent winners use. Use these secrets intensively when you enter contests and sweepstakes, and you may soon be hearing the words "Congratulations! You have just won..."

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