Picture the scene…you have a five minute break from your busy day and decide to order a new pair of shoes online from your favorite retailer. While on their website you notice that they are running a sweepstakes and the grand prize is a luxury trip for two to Italy. Your mind immediately flashes back to the time one summer in college that you back packed (on a tight budget) across Europe and how you swore you would return some day to this magical place. Could this be your chance? But, then reality sets in and the adult you, who has limited time and lots of skepticism abound thinks, “What are the Odds? Do I Really Have a Chance to Win a Sweepstakes?”
Believe me, I’ve been there as well. On many occasions in the past I’ve seen random sweepstakes that have piqued my interest, but before entering, I stopped for a moment and thought, “Why bother, what are the chances?” Now that I’m on the other side and actually see the inner workings of a sweepstakes, I can say, “Sometimes, the chances can be pretty good!” So good in fact, that there are many people, aka “Sweepers,” as referred to in industry terms, who make entering sweepstakes a full-time job. Here is one example of a site that lists new sweepstakes every day to aid people involved in this very hobby.
But for the average person who may only enter here and there, below are some helpful tips to determine if you should take a shot at entering for your chance to win.
What are the odds of winning?
Obviously, this is a big factor in your chances of winning. Typically the odds are based on the number of eligible entries received during the sweepstakes entry period. As a good rule of thumb it is always good to check the official rules to see how the odds are outlined. In some instances, companies choose to limit the number of entries or only open the eligibility up to people who are subscribers to their email notifications or to people within a certain age range. You typically have a better chance of winning if it’s a contest vs. a sweepstakes as entrants have to complete a task in order to enter a contest, which often lessens the number of entries received. Also, look for local sweepstakes to enter. There will be less entries than a national promotion so you will have a higher chance of winning.
How often are you allowed to enter?
Building on the odds of winning, another thing to consider is that if it is only one entry per person total you will have a much greater chance of winning than a sweepstakes that allows people to enter daily, unless you plan to enter on a daily basis yourself. Be sure to read the official rules to see if there are restrictions on the number of entries in order to make sure you have the best chance.
How many prizes are being awarded?
If a sweepstakes sponsor is only offering one grand prize, your chances of winning will be less than if they offered more than one grand prize, or if they are offering several first prizes. Obviously, the more prizes a company is offering, the better chance you have of winning. You may not win the trip to Italy, but it might be fun to win some of the other prizes they are offering.
Enter a sweepstakes that has a mail-in entry
Because most sweepstakes have been moving online, you have a better chance of winning one that is strictly a mail-in entry since less people tend to enter these sweepstakes.
Now if you do win, additional questions may arise such as, “How do I know this isn’t a scam? Here is a blog article that may be helpful in this instance.
Want some additional tips? The sweepstakes pros share their tips to winning here.
Whether you take the time to enter or not, of course it is ultimately up to you, but one thing rings true…you can’t win if you don’t play.