Sweepstakes Tips

Ahh sweepstakes, we know that the chance of one of us winning something is small, but still some of us love to enter them.  Whether it be cash, a car, the newest, latest electronics or just a $10 gift card to Walmart or your neighborhood grocer, there is something about getting something for free that puts a smile on our faces.  Below are some tips to help you succeed in the world of sweepstaking:

1.  I know the act of entering sweepstakes can take up a lot of time. Is there a way I can save any time?

Yes you can definitely save time when you enter a sweepstakes.  There are many programs that you can download that will auto fill in all of your correct information on the sweepstakes form.  The number one form filling program that most sweepers seem to love is RoboForm.  After you switch from manually entering your information into the sweepstaekes form to an auto fill program, you will be wondering why you ever entered your information manually in the first place.  Like I said before, these forms will save you a tremendous amount of time.

To also cut down on the amount of time that you spend entering sweepstakes, you might want to think about inputting the name of each sweepstakes and entry eligibility (daily or single entry) into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, so that you do not mistakenly enter a (single entry) sweepstakes twice and get disqualified.

2.  There are so many who already enter sweepstakes.  How can I increase my chance of winning?

Yes there are many people who are entering the same sweepstakes that you are, but you can dramatically increase your chances of winning a prize by entering local giveaways or giveaways that blogs host.  Your chances increase because the number of entrants in a giveaway are much less than that of a sweepstakes.  A giveaway might have a couple hundred or a few thousand entrants whereas a sweepstakes (especially cash, cars, and trips) might have a few million entrants.

If you do not feel like spending your time to enter a local giveaway, you can increase your chances of winning a prize by finding sweepstakes in which each person can enter once daily.

It is important to note that purchasing something or paying a fee to the sponsor will not increase your chance of winning.  In fact, sponsors of legitimate sweepstakes will never ask you to pay a fee or purchase anything to enter their sweepstakes.

3.  Read the rules very, very carefully

The official rules of each sweepstakes are posted so that companies can protect themselves in the event of a lawsuit, but if read carefully, they can also prevent you from making a mistake.  The official rules post eligibility requirements, entry frequency (i.e. single or daily entry) and the end date.  You do not want to be halfway into filling out a sweepstakes form and find out that the sweepstakes only allows entrants twenty one years of age and older, while you are eighteen.  Similarly, you do not want to be disqualified from a sweepstakes for entering twice when the rules clearly state that you can only enter once.

Many sweepstakes that are open to the legal residents of the fifty states and DC, are also open to legal residents of Canada.  If you are a legal resident of Canada, and are not sure if a particular sweepstakes is open to you, perhaps you would like to check out these Canadian sweepstakes

4.  Use each method of entry that is allowed

Some sweepstakes only allow you to enter through their website.  However, some sweepstakes offer a variety of methods for entry other than online entry such as liking their companies page on Facebook or another social media channel.  Still, others even allow you to get bonus entries by perhaps sharing the sweepstakes on your personal Facebook page or by tweeting about the sweepstakes.

By utilizing each entry method and by obtaining bonus entries, your chances of winning a prize have become much higher.  Definitely take advantage of these entries.

5.  Use a separate email address

If you are like me, you probably belong to a lot of different groups.  I belong to some networking associations, my college alumni and I subscribe to a few online stock market websites.  They all send me emails, and to be honest, a good portion of them are junk.  As soon as I know it though, my email inbox is cluttered up from all the junk, and I have to search for the emails that I actually want to read.

Why would you want to use the same email address that people send junk mail to as an email address to be entered into a sweepstakes?  I highly suggest that you make an all new email address just for entering sweepstakes.  Do you really want to sift through a bunch of junk emails just to find an email from a sponsoring company saying that you have won a prize?  Oh, and do not forget to unclick the box that says about getting promotional offers from the sponsor, so that your sweepstakes email remains uncluttered.

6.  Enter sweepstakes in which first, second and third place win prizes

Most people obviously want to win something when they enter a sweepstakes, so why would you enter a sweepstakes in which the sponsor is giving away only one prize?  There is an extremely small chance of winning the grand prize with millions upon millions of other entries.  In order to increase your chances of winning, it only makes sense to enter sweepstakes with first, second and third place prize winners.

7.  Recognize scammers

Let’s face it, there’s many people in this world who will try and screw other people over in order to make a buck.  Some of these people will try and convince others that they are sponsoring a sweepstakes, but to enter, you have to purchase something from them.  Some others will call you or email you out of the blue and tell you that you’ve won something, but to receive the prize, you have to send money to them.  These two scenarios that I have just wrote about are total scams.  Recognize them and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and maybe even some money.

8.  Review, Review, Review

You might not think so, but there are many people who accidentally enter some wrong information.  Either they are going too fast, and slip up on one of their phone number digits, or perhaps they are not paying careful enough attention and slip up on the email.  Like I said, this happens to an enormous amount of people, so always review your information before you hit that submit button.

9.  Enter sweepstakes with prizes that you want to win first

There is an endless amount of sweepstakes out there.  There is also an endless amount of prizes to be won.  Prizes range from cars to cash and from gift cards to jewelry.  In fact, there are so many prizes to be won out there that you might be wondering which sweepstakes to enter first.  Well, it is a common rule of thumb to start with sweepstakes that have the prizes that you are desperate to win.  For example, if at the top of your wish list is to win $5 or even $10,000 dollars, then enter some cash sweepstakes.  Similarly, if at the top of your wish list is to win a new 2019 car of truck, enter some car sweepstakes.

10.  Have a good attitude

When entering a sweepstakes, you should know that the chances of winning any kind of prize is very slim.  In fact, you might win just a couple sweepstakes out of a few hundred.  This should not discourage you.  You should always have a good attitude and never set high expectations (like winning half of all the sweepstakes that you enter) because if you do and you never reach them, your mood most definitely will sour, and you’ll be put off from entering any more sweepstakes.

11.  Join a newsletter

12.  Report your winning to the IRS

It is important to know that you must report all your sweepstakes earnings to the IRS.  No matter how big or small the dollar value amount of the prize is, the IRS always wants their cut.  If the dollar value amount of a prize(s) is/are not reported on your tax return and the IRS finds out about your winnings, they always have the ability to penalize you.  So remember, always report your winnings.