A Guide To Winning Contests

To win a contest is not an impossible task. Valuable information about how-to increase your chances at becoming one of the lucky winners.

There are more than five hundred contest and sweepstakes each year that give away items such as cash, vacations, houses, cars, electronic equipment, cameras and much, much more. These dream prizes keep the average person filling out entry forms hoping to be the next big winner. There are more than one hundred million dollars worth of prizes giving away in the United States alone. That is a lot of prizes that some lucky person is going to have a share in. Some dedicated hobbyists have been able to win as many as fifty prizes in a single year. These people have a planned approach to overcome the heavy odds against each entrant.

These people look at strategies, here are a few strategies used at winning. First most people that win at contest use their talents. They enter contest more often than sweepstakes, which allow them to use skills such as writing, cooking or taking photographs. The contest usually require skill so fewer people are likely to compete, improving your chances of winning. They also follow directions precisely, if the instructions say to print your name, then print your name. Don't write it in long hand this may be a consideration for disqualification. If a three-by-five-inch piece of paper is called for, make sure to measure the entry exactly, the slightest variation can disqualify you.

Increase your chances by entering as often as possible. If the sweepstakes says you can enter as much as you like. Then enter, as many times as you can this will greatly increase your chances of winning. Be on the lookout for new sweepstakes and contest to enter. You can find contest and sweepstakes forms in magazines, newspapers, on the radio and television, over the Internet, on store shelves and bulletin boards and the best place for product contest or sweepstakes forms is on the product itself.



Some contest and sweepstakes allow you to send in entries on three by five cards, if this is the case make multiple entries. The more entries you send in, the more you make the odds in your favor. An idea for large sweepstakes is to spread out your entries over the length of the contest, one a week for five weeks. The reason for this is that when the volume of mail is big enough it will be delivered to the judges in a number of different sacks. This helps your chances because the judges will pick from each sack and your chances of having an entry in each sack goes up if you have mailed out at separate times.

The next important factor is to stay informed. Before mailing your entries make a log of dates entries were mailed and important information about the contest or sweepstakes. Valuable information to keep is the address to obtain a list of winners, the date the contest ends and how long it will take for the promoter to contact you after the drawing date. There are also many contest club and contest newsletters that can be joined to stay informed of what is going on in the sweepstakes and contest world; these would be valuable resources.

When entering major sweepstakes or contest, remember to be selective. Remember that you must pay taxes on the items that you win. So make sure the prizes are appropriate for you. If you do not live by a large body of water then a large boat may be more of a headache than a prize. Some of the contests offer cash equivalents it is suggested to look for these contests for items you really could not use. If you do win, check with your tax consultant immediately. You must report the fair market value of items that you win, whether you keep them, sell them or give them away. This part can be tricky when it comes to reporting for taxes.

Some contest and sweepstakes ask you to enclose some proof of purchase or a plain piece of paper with a product name or product number written on it. Since these competitions are designed to promote a product, the sponsors have an interest in your buying what they are selling. Many people assume that a real proof of purchase will improve their chances of winning. The fact is that more than half the winners of major prizes reported that they had not bought the sponsor's product.

Major prizes do have a lower chance of winning than some contest that are sponsored on a local level. Almost every popular radio station uses giveaways. Rewards may include cash, cars, vacation and other prizes, ranging from record albums to TV sets.

Although chance plays the major role in any contest or sweepstakes you enter, understanding how the call-in contests are run will greatly increase your chances for winning. First pick a few stations that have entertaining contests and good prizes. Listen to each closely for a few hours and phone in several times to get a feel for how the game is played. There is always an element of chance, do not give up. If you get a call through but you are close to the winning number, hang up and keep trying. The difference between your number and the winning number is a split second. So don't give up!

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