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How To Find Local Sweepstakes To Enter Online

Updated on February 28, 2009

Seasoned sweepstakers know that your best odds of winning are with local sweepstakes campaigns. Locally held sweepstakes tend to get less publicity and prizes are geared towards those that live in the area.

The dilema with local sweepstakes is trying to find them before they are over.

It takes more work to find local sweepstakes. Without the assistance of the major sweepstaking sites, you'll have to use your own investigative skills and spend some time looking. Odd's are though, it might just pay off.

In The Grocery Store

The trick to finding the best local sweepstakes in the grocery store, is finding the tear pads with entry forms for local brands. Remember though, not all sweepstakes are promoted with tear pads. Many times the sweepstakes rules are printed on the package itself. Bring a pen and paper so that you can write down the information requested for the sweepstakes and the address.

  • The Wine Section

browse through the local wines for hang tags. Also known as wine tags, these can be a great source of state and regional sweepstakes. Prizes vary but can include a weekend vacation with a tour of the winery itself.

  • The Bread Row

The big name local breads could be a source of great wins. Check packages for stickers and look for those hang tag tear pads.

  • Front Of Store

The grocery store itself may be having a sweepstakes or could be promoting one up front for all to see. Look over at the sale tables and displays.

* Don't forget to pick up the tear pad entry forms for the big name brands as well. Sometimes these are marketed for specific areas and can also have better odds then the national sweepstake campaigns.

Local Fairs and Street Markets

How many times when walking through the local fair or street market have you seen offers to win something? Mostly you will find "drawing" and "contest" boxes at these sorts of establishments. These are not the same as sweepstakes but can still offer up some wins. These types are held by small independent vendors selling their own product or imported goods.

A true sweepstakes is federally regulated and must adhere to strict rules. These "drawings" and "contest" do not have such rules and are pretty much a toss up as to whether the individual or group is fair in choosing a winner. Enter as you please but keep on the look out for the big name vendors. A sweepstakes can not be called a sweepstakes unless it follows the rules, so be on the look out for this. Look for entry forms with sweepstakes rules.

Find these are you can bet it's a local sweepstakes campaign and you may have fair odds of having your name pulled!

Remember that those vendors are holding their own drawings for a reason. Be prepared for sales calls and newsletters.

Online Sources

Visit some of these web pages to find some locally held sweepstakes

  • City Chamber of Commerce
  • Local radio stations
  • Local television stations
  • Local company websites
  • Local attraction websites
  • Concert venue websites
  • Movie theaters

Imagine all the big things that tourist want to visit and see when they come to your area. These are GREAT places to find local sweepstakes.

Internet Search For Local Sweeps

Finding local sweepstakes on the Internet is easy. Finding the local sweepstakes may be a bit harder. I've found the best way to find local sweepstakes is to focus on the big attractions in your area. The popular vacation spots, the big cities, the major concert venues, etc.

Use these as part of your search. I am in Washington. When I want to win tickets to say the Gorge I first go to the Gorge's website. If nothing is being held by them directly, or by any of their sponsors then I start doing broad searches.

On Google I would try any combination or the location I'm looking for and something from the rules. Such as:

"The Gorge" and "official sweepstakes rules"


"The Gorge" and "No purchase necessary"


"The Gorge" and "How to Enter"

Test and try out what works for you. Some things are going to be seasonal. Outdoor concert venues are probably not going to be holding sweepstakes in the winter.

You are going to find both local and national sweepstakes. By finding sweepstakes that are meant for certain local locations, you can increase you chances in the national sweepstakes because less people are avaiable for these. Especially those without transportation or a place to spend the night.

In one summer I won tickets from an Austrailian wine company to the Gorge to see Dave Matthews Band, and I won a Glamour Magazine sweepstakes to see PINK at Key Arena in Seattle. Awesome concerts by the way and both won because the sweepstakes was for tickets only and no transportation or hotel.

The WIN A CAR Booths In The Mall

That car in the mall surrounded by entry form booths, don't enter it. First, have you ever heard of anyone actually winning that car? I never have and I've been doing sweepstakes for over 8 years. To be a legitimate sweepstakes, the prize must be awarded, but look at the sweepstakes end date. These "win a car" set-ups have very long running sweepstakes time periods.

This means that the odds over the year or so have become so diluted, you basically have no chance and the hassle that comes from entering these is NOT worth it.

The purpose of advertising to win a car in shopping malls, local fairs, and other areas of high foot traffic is to gather information. That's it. They want your info. They want to SELL your info! Some are to later try to sell you new windows or house sidings. The majority are for the common timeshare calls.


Amazing isn't it. After entering to win just 1 car, now everyone seems to be excited you entered.

"Miss Dow, you entered to win a car recently at your local mall"

"yes, I remember that"

"well, I just want to say congratulations, your name was pulled" *notice, I was not told I WON anything, only that my name was pulled*

"really, that's awesome"

"ya, and we want to send you on a vacation, we just need to come by our offices for a short time to take care of the paperwork"

"oh, you mean you want me to come down and listen to your time share speell"

This is the common call and you'll get more then one. The good news is, if your interested in the vacation, you'll actually get it if you can sit through the sales pitch for the timeshare and still say no. They are pesky persistent sales pushers but so long as you don't crush under pressure, it's a free vacation for very little work.

I can't vouch for how great the vacation set up really is. But if you have the free time you could check it out.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great article and very accurate....I use a few online sites as well.... one is

    • profile image


      7 years ago from downtown miami

      If you are going to search for a local sweep, I think the internet is the best place to look. Your search will turn up blogs from your city that are hosting giveaways and sweepstakes. For example if you search for local sweeps in Delray Beach, Florida, Google will direct you to my blog, On this site, are of course many national sweeps, but every two months I put a giveaway on there in which you could win a $25 gift card to walmart. I sponsor it, so I call it a local sweep

    • sunstreeks profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Western Washington

      I play with them when they start calling. "wow I won again how cool is that, i just won a trip last week too from you guys. that's amazing" :)

    • LiamBean profile image


      11 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

      Soooo that's the deal with the "win a car!" I wondered about that. I just figured I was one of the many loser who didn't win.

      Yes, I filled one of those forms out once. Got sales calls for weeks. Grrr!


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