If you've been entering sweepstakes without luck, you might start to worry that you're just not cut out to be a winner. Maybe the giveaways are rigged or too many people enter for you to have a chance of winning. Maybe sweepstakes just aren't for you.
The truth is that sweepstakes do work, and the secret to winning them is patience, persistence, and a positive attitude. However, it's possible that you are making some mistakes that are reducing your odds of winning a prize. Before you give up on winning, ask yourself these questions.
Have You Given Yourself Enough Time to Win?
Many people think that if they haven't won prizes in the first few weeks after they started entering, they'll never win at all. They give up without really giving themselves a chance.
While some people are lucky enough to have their name drawn right away, it usually takes a few months of entering a decent number of sweepstakes regularly for the prize notifications to start coming in.
Think about the timeframe of winning a giveaway; it looks something like this:
- The sweepstakes you're entering usually has to end before winners can be drawn. The exception is instant sweepstakes, which give you a chance of finding out that you have won immediately, or sweepstakes with multiple drawings over time.
- After the giveaway has ended, the entries need to be checked and any incomplete or ineligible entries need to be disqualified and removed.
- Then, the sponsor has to draw potential winners and notify them. This process can take a while, especially if they can't reach some of their potential winners right away. Many times, the rules state that they must make a certain number of attempts to contact winners. If that fails, the sponsor has to draw another winner and try again, so this step can take a while.
- The potential winners (often) have to complete an affidavit and return it, along with other required paperwork. If any of the potential winners fail to complete this step, new winners must be drawn and the notification process in step 3 must begin again.
This means that even if you submit an entry that ends up winning on your very first day of entering sweepstakes, it can take weeks or months before you find out that you're going to receive a prize.
When you're feeling frustrated, remind yourself that you could already have a winning entry and that a prize notification could be in the works.
Are You Entering the Right Sweepstakes?
All sweepstakes are not created equal. Some have great chances of winning, while others are long shots. By concentrating your efforts on the best sweepstakes to enter, you can win more quickly and reduce your frustration.
For example, if you're primarily entering those big-name sweepstakes that everyone's heard about, like the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes, PCH SuperPrize Giveaways, or sweepstakes from magazines, you're going to be competing with hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of other entries.
There's nothing wrong with aiming for the stars and trying to win some of those high-publicity, life-changing prizes. But if you enter a good mix of sweepstakes types every day, you'll also be winning smaller (but still fabulous) prizes while you're waiting for your dream prize to arrive.
Entering sweepstakes with lots of prizes is a good choice if you want to prove to yourself that you really can win. More prizes mean more winners and better odds.
You might also want to search out local sweepstakes, which have very few entries compared to nationally-advertised giveaways.
Are You Maximizing Your Odds?
Luck is only one part of winning sweepstakes. The rest is being a smarter sweeper by maximizing your odds of winning.
There are only 3 factors that influence sweepstakes odds, and you can tweak those odds to tilt in your favor.
Some ways to do this include taking advantage of bonus entries, picking sweepstakes that limit entry by certain age groups, and being sure to enter as often as possible are some ways to improve your odds of winning.
The more sweepstakes you enter, the more chances you have to win. By streamlining the amount of time it takes to enter each one, you can enter more sweepstakes in less time.
Are You Making Mistakes That Are Affecting Your Odds?
If you're wondering whether you're not winning anything because you're doing something wrong... well, it's possible. There are some common sweepstakes mistakes that many people make which lower their chances of winning.
Are you reading the sweepstakes rules? Do you have a typo in your sweepstakes information that's keeping sponsors from reaching you? Are you avoiding picking up the phone if you don't recognize the caller's number?
If you can avoid making these mistakes, you'll increase your odds of winning.
Are You Being Patient Enough?
The hardest thing about sweepstakes for a new sweeper is that you haven't had any proof that people really do win sweepstakes.
Sadly, most people don't win overnight, and when you've been entering for months with no proof of a payoff, it's easy to give up. But many people have won when they were on the verge of giving up, and your very next entry could be the one that wins.
Stick with it, and focus on the fun of entering, the friendly sweepstakes community, and the excitement of thinking about what you could win, and the prizes will follow.
How to Stay Motivated Until the Wins Come In
If you feel like your motivation is flagging, it's a good idea to try to focus on making entering fun rather than wasting your time thinking about how long it's taking the prizes to arrive.
For example, you could try a time-tested way of improving your luck. Or you can make yourself a cute lucky charm to boost your spirits. There are even some ways to win with no extra effort that could give you a boost.
You can also try visualizing your prizes with a vision board. Thinking about the great things sweepstakes can bring to your life can keep you fired up to win.
Remember that if you enter regularly, prizes will come in more regularly. Sure, there will always be dry spells, but there will also be times when one prize after another shows up at your door.
Keep in mind, sweepstakes are a hobby, not a job and certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme. If it were, everyone would do it! Oftentimes, the prizes you win will be fun, but not life-changing, and sometimes even useless.
But if you have the patience to wait it out, sweepstakes can be very rewarding. So try to keep the frustration at bay and focus on the fun parts of entering, and you'll find that you really can be a winner!