Winning Sweepstakes: Mere Luck…or not?

Do you enter sweepstakes/contests? I think contesting is a fun hobby and I have won some great prizes in the past, but I don’t spend an excessive amount of time on it. When I do enter, I tend to enter blog contests (a great way to show support to fellow bloggers!) and merit-based contests (essays, photos, etc.). I’m what you might call a “sporadic sweepstaker” because I am definitely not systematic in my approach.

But some people are sweepstaking “pros.” 

kdcarlos 150x119 Winning Sweepstakes: Mere Luck...or not?I recently had the pleasure of interviewing two people who fall into that category – Ken and Diane Carlos of Sweepstakes Advantage (“The Largest Directory of Free Online Sweepstakes, Freebies, and Contests“). Read on for their best tips.

Q. How does Sweepstakes Advantage compare to other sweepstakes sites? 

A. Some sweepstakes sites are charging an entry or membership fee nowadays, but one way we strive to separate ourselves from other sweepstakes sites is by continuing to be a free site. Our members are important to us, so we are constantly making changes & improvements to accommodate those who make suggestions. Also, one of our goals is to add more new sweepstakes every day than our competive sweepstakes sites to give our visitors the winning edge.

Q. What things have you personally won from entering sweepstakes?

A. I starting entering sweepstakes in 1996 before creating sweepstakes advantage with my husband in march of 1997. While he was at work and with my being a stay-at-home mom at the time, I thought maybe I could help out financially by entering sweeps. I was amazed when the wins started rolling in. The most fun prize to win was a sony playstation kiosk gaming center worth close to $4,000. We also won a 4-day trip to the Bahamas. Another favorite win was $1,000 worth of toys from amazon.com. 

Q. What kind of sweepsakes/contests are most “lucrative” in your opinion?

logo1 150x58 Winning Sweepstakes: Mere Luck...or not?A. Your best odds of winning a sweepstakes by entering our very own SA member sweepstakes that we offer occasionally. We pick our winners randomly and in some cases have only a small amount of entries so your chances could be like 1 out of 25 or 1 out of 100. Also, merit-based or essay type contests are more time consuming but you have a better shot at winning. For example, one contest I simply wrote a 1 to 2 line sentence to say why my husband is the “best hungry man” for those hungry man dinners. I couldn’t believe I won 2nd place for $500!

Q. What are your top contest tips?

A. Enter as often as you can & use roboform to make things easier. It’s a good idea to read the rules so you don’t disqualify yourself. Patience will be your best friend in this hobby. 

Q. In your opinion, are sweepstakes “mere luck” or can you take steps to become a more frequent winner?

A. Being consistent & taking steps to be organized will definitely help you in the long run and will give you the better odds of winning. You can gain a lot of tips and knowledge by visiting the forum, where you can ask questions and get answers that can give you some insight on what will work best for you personally. Some of these folks are experienced veterans and can be very helpful. And most importantly, you can only get lucky if you enter! Have a winning day!

YOUR TURN: Do you enter sweepstakes/contests? If so, have you won anything fun?

  • Lachelle

    I won a radio contest last year for $700 and have won small little things in other contests. The other day I won a coupon for a free dinner. Even though I haven’t won anything too big – it’s still fun to enter into things and hope for a big win one day. I don’t gamble so it’s sort of a thrill to me.

  • http://notimemommy.com/ brandy

    just blog contests, the best thing i ever won was a printer.

  • http://growingalife.blogspot.com Damselfly

    I like to enter contests. I just won two bloggy contests this month! The most expensive thing I ever won was a designer tote bag.

  • Zoey

    I love the Sweepstakes Advantage site. Ken and Diane are awesome and my fellow SA members are kind, helpful, and funny.

    I have only been doing the “sweeps thing” since March of this year, but am amazed at the prizes I have won. My best win came this month, a $6,000 trip to London from the 007 Bond | Coke Zero! My husband and I plan on celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary in England next year – thanks to sweeps.

    I also enter blog sweepstakes – my last win was a The Micro Grill “As Seen on TV” and The Automatic One Touch Jar Opener.

    However, the real exciting news is that my husband’s story is one of the 50 finalists Irwin.com – Tell Us Your Vise-Grip Story Sweepstakes. The first price on that contest is a trip to New York and $25,000 cash. As you can imagine, we are real excited.

    We need all the votes we can get to win, so please vote for Paulie at http://irwin.eprize.net/visegripstory/index.tbapp.

    Search for his entry by his email – [email protected].

    One vote a day until 12/19/2008.

    As a reward for voting – You get to play an Instant Win Game and you could win cool prizes.

  • lee

    I have won many sweeps as far as luck or not goes, there is luck of the draw.You can not win if you are not entered.it is mostly how often you enter and how many times (rules limiting) and of coarse how many others are trying to win what you want! So it is an odds game and you try to enter those that others have overlooked. SA offers many tools for picking your personal sweeps list of things you want to win.This way luck is on your side!

  • Lisa

    I love to enter sweepstakes. Before I found Sweepstakes Advantage, I just entered random ones I saw advertised.
    Being an SA member has made it so much easier and more fun to enter these contests–and I have actually won a few things!

    Like Zoey above, I am a finalist in the Vise Grips sweepstakes. I would also love a vote, since the grand prize is $25,000! It’a s true story of one of my “interesting” days as a zookeeper.
    To vote, go to http://irwin.eprize.net/visegripstory/index.tbapp.

    and look for my email [email protected]

    The story is called Escaped Pig.

    For all of you new sweepers out there reading this, it really does happen–you really can win some cool things! On the SA forum I read all the time about people winning fabulous prizes. And the best thing is that the other folks on the forum are so supportive and helpful! SA really is the way to go.

  • Pam

    I have been entering sweepstakes for many years. Before joining Sweepstakes Advantage my wins were few and far between. Since I joined Sweepstakes Advantage I consistantly win great prizes. Their tools and great listing of sweepstakes makes this hobby easier for me to win the prizes I want. The members in the forum are a great bunch of people that are always ready to assist in any problem or question you may have. Ken and Diane are wonderful. They listen to their membership and consistantly make the changes and updates requested by their members. If you are even thinking of starting the hobby of sweepstaking, take a look at SA. You will find everything you need to make it a rewarding hobby for you and your family.

  • Anne L.

    SweepsAdvantage is the best site for serious sweepers. It has tons of sweeps, nice people, and sweeps tools all for free. People really do win too. Just tonight I won $25 from HSN in an Instant Win sweep. If you haven’t been there yet, check it out: http://www.sweepsadvantage.com

  • Sarah Berry

    I have entered sweeps off and on over the last few years with little or no wins. Then about a year ago I started entering more often and the day before by b-day I received an email from eprize that I had won the apple mac book air from an accuvue sweeps. It was a great feeling especially since my desktop had just crashed two weeks earlier. You just have to believe it can happen.

  • JohnZ

    Sweepstakes Advantage is a great site to help you keep track of what new sweepstakes are available, when you can enter daily/weekly/monthly sweepstakes again, and where to enter sweeps for the prizes you want. I like going through the “expiring today” list because those are ending the soonest. I’ve frequently forgetten about many sweeps I’ve won because they didn’t end for six months after I entered. At least with the “expiring today” list, you’ll know sooner that you didn’t win or actually did win…

  • Paulie

    Checking the website and it appears that we are one of the ten Semi-Finalists in the Irwin “Tell Us Your Vise Grip Story” Sweepstakes. This would mean that at the very least, Paul won a Tool bag of Vise-Grip pliers and wrenches (contents of tool bag determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion). ARV: $550. What an excellent prize – I know that Paul will make good use of his new tool bag filled with Irwin goodies!

    The rules state: After the conclusion of the Voting Phase, a different group of qualified judges determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion will select from amongst the Semi-Finalists the top three (3) Contest Entries (“Finalists”) based on the Judging Criteria (defined above). Each Finalist will be a potential Top 3 Finalist Prize winner. The qualified judges will then select the potential Contest Grand Prize, First Runner-Up Prize, and Second Runner-Up Prize winners from amongst the Finalists based on the Judging Criteria. In the case of a tie, the entrant whose Contest Entry received the highest score in the Fit with Theme category will be deemed the winner from amongst the tied entrants.

    Thanks to everyone who voted for us! We will keep you posted! Please think good positive thoughts about us making the cut and becoming one of the three finalists in the Irwin “Tell Us Your Vise Grip Story” Sweepstakes! That would mean an awesome trip to New York!

    I would say that this contest required both luck and a lot of work!

    (FYI – Voting period is over, this is just an update)