Lets start off simple here and go through some of the basic rules to the sweepstakes game. Remember, this is a game at the end of the day, but if played right it could also be quite rewarding. After 30 years of experience, here are some basics to get you going. Remember, it’s a numbers game, but if you don’t follow the rules carefully you could be just wasting your time! Here are our top 10 tips to help you win more sweepstakes:
Enter in as many sweepstakes as possible — consistently.
The more you enter, the better your chances, right? If you carve some time out every day for entering sweepstakes, you’ll make sure your name is always in the running for one prize or other. It can be as little as twenty minutes a day. The key is consistency.
If you enter a daily sweepstakes, make sure you enter daily.
Most people who enter daily sweepstakes only enter once or twice. Naturally, people forget, or move on, or lose interest. If you make sure to enter every day, you dramatically improve your chances of winning. Set a daily reminder on your phone to make sure you get your entries in.
Don’t be afraid to share the wealth.
Sometimes, you can be tempted to keep a good sweepstakes to yourself, hoping to increase your chances of winning. But lots of sweepstakes these days give you extra entries for referring others to the sweepstakes. Share the wealth, and watch your chances increase!
Read (and follow!) the rules before you enter.
It would be the worst thing ever if you won a sweepstakes with a great prize, only to find out you can’t receive the prize because you didn’t follow the rules. Some of the rules can be confusing, but you should make sure to read them carefully anyway. For example, One Entry Per Person and One Entry Per Email might sound like they’re the same thing, but one allows you to enter only once, while the other allows you to enter a potentially-infinite number of times. It pays to follow the rules!
Don’t get disqualified.
Did you win a sweepstakes, only to be disqualified because you live in Hawaii? That’s probably because the sweepstakes only allowed entries from people living in the “contiguous” United States, which means the 48 states that share borders with each other. Alaska and Hawaii are excluded from that definition. Make sure to read the fine print, and look up words you don’t know so you don’t end up wasting time you could have used on entering sweepstakes you’re qualified for.
Check your email every day.
So many sponsors communicate solely by email these days. You don’t want to miss out on your prize simply because you went a week without checking your email, right?
Organize your sweepstakes entries.
Keep a running entry on an Excel sheet with the name of the sweepstakes, the date the sweepstakes is over, the number of entries you’re allowed to submit, and the prize. That way, you have an idea of all the sweepstakes you’re entered in, and an easy way to know if and when you need to submit more entries.
Claim your prize quickly.
Many sponsors have a window in which you’re allowed to claim your prize after they notify you, before moving down the list of potential winners. Make sure you respond in time! And if you have to send anything by mail, make sure you request a return receipt so you have proof that you sent it.
Keep a record of your wins.
This is mostly important because, when you have to file your taxes at year’s end, you’re legally required to report your winnings to the IRS. You don’t want to be hit with a hefty fine or worse just because you forgot to report your win!
Don’t get discouraged.
You’ll have dry spells where you won’t win anything – it’s part of the sweepstakes game. That doesn’t mean you should give up, though. You might not win that great prize you had your eye on, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other great prizes out there. Don’t give up, and you WILL win!