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How to Win Sweepstakes: Tips to Improve Your Chances

Updated on March 26, 2014
Start entering sweepstakes and you may never need to purchase a gift for someone ever again!
Start entering sweepstakes and you may never need to purchase a gift for someone ever again! | Source

Become a Winner

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

- Michael Jordan

Sweepstakes have always been an effective way for businesses to promote their products in a way that benefits potential customers. With the growth of the internet, sweepstakes have become even more prevalent. Large corporations are not the only ones running sweepstakes anymore. Bloggers, authors, and ma & pop shops are all giving things away as well. Why not take advantage of these great opportunities?!

Winning something is always fun - even if it is something small and insignificant. When it's something worth several hundred, or even thousands of dollars, it's fantastic! Imagine getting an extra $1000 to spend on whatever you want, suddenly receiving a free vacation, or winning a new ride. A bad day can be quickly turned around with a little bit of sweepstakes luck.

While it is impossible to guarantee a sweepstakes win, it is possible to increase ones chances of winning more by using some common sense and entering frequently. Here are the basic laws about sweepstakes followed by some great tips to get you started.

The Requirements to Enter a Sweepstakes

There are certain laws that every sweepstakes must follow. Knowing these will help you know what sweepstakes you legally enter - preventing you from accidentally being selected as the winner of a sweepstakes that you cannot win.

Sweepstakes Legal Requirements:

  • Sweepstakes always have minimum age restrictions: The common minimum ages in the US are 18 for most, 21 for the majority of the rest, and then several where 25 is the youngest you can be when entering.
  • Sweepstakes are usually regional regional: If a sweepstakes is only for residence of California, and you live in New York, you cannot enter. Most are national, but some do restrict certain states. Don't waste your time trying to enter sweepstakes that you are not eligible to win.
  • It is illegal to be required to make a purchase to enter: Although some companies (like Reader's Digest) attempt to get you to purchase something before allowing you to enter. Contestants must be able to enter without making any purchase in order for it to be legal.
  • The company has the legal right to make it a one time entry, a daily, weekly, etc, entry. Therefore, some sweepstakes you can only enter once, others you can enter unlimited times.

Keep these basic legal requirements in mind while looking for what sweepstakes to enter. It is certainly annoying to fill out most of a sweepstakes application only to realize that you must be a resident of Australia in order to win.

A Secret to Increasing Your Odds

Being someone who loves trying out new ways to make money, save money, and help others do the same, I decided to try something crazy. While I enjoyed the $1000 worth of prizes I had won with about 20 hours of entering sweepstakes, I felt like typing out my information time and time again was completely ridiculous.

So what did I do? I created an account on Odesk and posted a job saying that I would pay $20 to someone who would enter 500 sweepstakes for me. I had several dozen people apply for the position and eventually hired someone. She had the 500 sweepstakes entered in one week and I paid her.

I immediately won a $10 gift card and am still waiting to see if I win anything else. Although there's no guarantee - I figured the 10+ hours I would have spent entering sweepstakes could be spent elsewhere. Additionally, I was providing someone with a job!

If you would like to try hiring your own outsourcer to enter sweepstakes for as little as $5 (start small because there is no guarantee of winning), visit Odesk.com.

Tips to Increase Your Odds of Winning

Because sweepstakes are won purely by luck, the key to winning is to increase your odds. The better your odds, the more likely you are to win. There are a variety of ways that you can improve your odds.

3 Tips to Win More Frequently

  • Enter frequently: The more times you enter a sweepstakes, the more likely you will be to win.
  • Enter many sweepstakes: The more sweepstakes you enter, the better your odds are.
  • Focus on low-entry sweepstakes: Because your odds of winning are better when less people have entered, focus on entering sweepstakes that have fewer entries.

Many people see sweepstakes for a new car, $10,000 cash, or a European vacation and enter those. They are then disappointed because they do not win. The problem is that they have only entered three sweepstakes and they are sweepstakes that hundreds of thousands of people have entered.

I have won about $1000 worth of sweepstakes in the last year. While I did win one bigger, $700 vacation, the majority of the prizes have been smaller $10-$50 items. I won these because there were few people competing. When my odds of winning are 1 out of 100, I have a much better chance of winning then when my odds are 1 out of 100,000.

Smell the sweet scent of success. How would you respond if you won a sweepstakes?
Smell the sweet scent of success. How would you respond if you won a sweepstakes? | Source

Where to Find Sweepstakes to Enter

If you are interested in finding sweepstakes to enter, here are some resources to help you get started:

Start with the above resources, and you will have no trouble finding great venues to keep you busy entering sweepstakes for a long time!

Have you ever won a sweepstakes?

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Have Fun - Even if You Don't Win

I have spent an hour entering sweepstakes and won 2-3 prizes. Other times I have spent 3-4 hours and not won anything. The key is to enter sweepstakes as an entertaining way of potentially winning something great - don't expect to replace your day job.

While watching TV or when stuck in line somewhere, consider using this time to enter a few sweepstakes - you aren't losing time and you could potentially win something awesome! Spend a few minutes here and there to enter a sweepstakes and you may end up winning your next vacation.

I would love to learn of your experiences and thoughts below. Additionally, if you have won a sweepstakes or contest yourself, share your story to inspire the rest of us!

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    • krsharp05 profile image

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      As always, your work keeps me interested and laughing. How fantastic that you've actually won and turned around to create an opportunity for someone to make money from your next potential big win! I've always marveled at your "pay it forward" mentality. You are undoubtedly a great person to know. Awesome, Funny & UP -K

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Robert, Great suggestions. That was also a really good idea to pay to have someone enter 500 contests for you. I never would have thought to do that. I hope you win more for your "efforts." Good article.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      Thank you both. It certainly is fun to try to win sweepstakes. It's even more fun when someone else does the monotonous work! lol. But the world is a great place when we try to help each other out.

    • John Brooks222 profile image

      John Brooks222 2 years ago

      This article is very informative! My husband and i love playing gold fusion games. I hope there are places nearby that have these games..

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