Sweepstakes Odds: What They Are & How to Tweak Them In Your Favor

Sweepstakes Odds: How to Decide How Easy a Giveaway Is to Win

Image of Dice Rolling
•••

 MarcoSchmidt.net / Getty Images

When you enter sweepstakes, you need to determine how to spend your time wisely. The best sweepstakes for you to enter are the ones that have good chances of winning prizes you really want.

But how can you know whether a giveaway is easier or harder to win if you can't see how many other people have entered? Being able to guesstimate the sweepstakes odds helps you decide where to concentrate your efforts so they will pay off.

To help you do this, find out which factors influence sweepstakes odds and make giveaways easier or harder to win.

3 Factors That Influence the Odds of Winning Sweepstakes

There are many types of giveaways out there. But when it comes to standard, random-draw sweepstakes, the way to determine the odds for every giveaway is remarkably similar.

There are three factors that influence sweepstakes odds:

  1. How many entries you receive.
  2. How many entries other people entering the giveaway get.
  3. How many prizes will be awarded.

Each of these factors can be tweaked to maximize your sweepstakes odds. If you want the best chances of winning sweepstakes, you need to understand how to tweak those factors in your favor.

How to Boost the Entries You Receive

The more often you enter, the higher your odds of winning, as long as you are careful to follow the entry frequency rules. After all, you'll have no chance of winning at all if you are disqualified for entering too often.

You can improve the number of entries you receive by:

How to Estimate How Many Other People Are Entering

In sweepstakes, the fewer entries from other people, the better your odds will be. But how can you tell how many other people are entering?

Sometimes, the giveaway tells you. For example, many Rafflecopter giveaways display the total number of entries on the entry page.

When the competition isn't listed, however, you can still make an educated guess as to whether your competition is going to be heavy.

For example:

  • Local sweepstakes, where entries are restricted by location, are easier to win than national competitions.
  • Sweepstakes that you can only enter if you fall into a certain age range, gender, industry, or other criteria are easier to win than giveaways open to everyone.
  • Sweepstakes that are difficult or complicated to enter are easier to win because fewer people take the time to enter.
  • Creative contests have better odds than randomly-drawn sweepstakes for the same reason: they take time and effort to enter.
  • Sweepstakes with short entry periods are easier to win because fewer people will hear about the opportunity to win before it ends.
  • Sweepstakes with small prizes have better odds because many people won't bother with them.
  • Sweepstakes whose prizes have a limited appeal have better odds because a lot of people aren't interested.
  • Sweepstakes that aren't heavily advertised are easier to win because fewer people will hear about the chance to enter.
  • Giveaways with usual entry methods, like Twitter sweepstakes, blog contests, email entries, etc. have better odds because fewer people use those entry methods.

By focusing your efforts on giveaways that other people skip, you can boost your odds of taking home a prize.

Focusing on Sweepstakes with Lots of Prizes:

This one is pretty simple. The more prizes being given away, the better your odds are of winning. In other words, with all other factors being equal, a giveaway with two prizes has two times better odds than giveaways with one.

Some sweepstakes give away tens of thousands of prizes, and your chances of walking away with one of them are sky-high. Instant-win sweepstakes are attractive for this reason. They often give away tons of prizes

Check out this list of sweepstakes with lots of prizes.for more giveaways with multiple prizes.

Now, you have a good idea of how to pick giveaways with good odds of winning. But there's one more thing to consider:

Sometimes, Even Hard to Win Sweepstakes Are Worth Entering

It makes sense to focus most of your efforts on sweepstakes with good odds of winning. But does that mean that it's not worthwhile to shoot for the big prizes like the HGTV Dream Home or other really attractive giveaways?

Of course not. One of the reasons to enter sweepstakes is to have the opportunity to win big. The trick is to balance those big-name sweepstakes with more winnable giveaways so that you win on a regular basis and avoid sweepstakes burnout.​