Monday, December 22, 2008

Think Local and Win

Woman talking to someone on the telephone in deskchair
People often suggest that I'm the luckiest person I know. Ah if that were only true. I believe Roy Chapin was right when he said: Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.

I'm in the same boat as the rest of you when it comes to HUGE NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES CAMPAIGNS. I've never won Publisher's Clearing House, despite the many letters that assured me my big win was on the way. I have never won the HGTV dream house. So why on earth would you listen to me about how to win contests and sweepstakes?

Well for starters let's look at some of the amazing trips that sweeping has afforded me. I've been to the Bahamas, St Lucia, Scotland, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, etc., etc.. These were not prizes that were fraudulent but rather sponsored by big corporations like Sony, Procter and Gamble, Kraft and others. I don't waste my time entering sweepstakes that are not legitimate and neither should you.

I would like to suggest that if you are thinking about beginning this great hobby you remember the first basic rule. This is a HOBBY. You cannot quit your job and wait for the prizes to come in. Repeat the previous phrase a few times and then proceed. You may enter many different contests and not win ANYTHING for a few months or you might win right away. I'm dogged in entering because that's what it takes to be a consistent winner.

It is far easier to win a local sweepstakes than a national one. This is because you are not competing with such a large pool of entrants. Where do you find them? Try your local newspaper. I live in the Atlanta Journal Constitution readership area. This week they are giving away a chance to experience the Atlanta's Ballet performing the Nutcracker. The AJC is also giving away tickets to the FernBank Museum of Natural History. I've been wanting to see it and of course if I won that would be a great experience to do that. Do you know someone who LOVES High School Musical or Hannah Montana? Just go to the AJC contest section to learn how to win a Hannah Montana DVD game and the High School Musical DVD game. This Christmas heel the love with the movie I'm dying to see, Marley and Me. They are giving away movie passes and one person will win a Free in-home consultation for your dog. When's the last time you saw a puppet show? The Center for Pupettry Arts and the AJC are giving away tickets to see Sam the Lovesick Snowman Entering these contests are easy and you don't have to be a subscriber. I have won several things from them and they usually require that you pick your prize up from their offices but this is not always true.

Check out your local television stations. I often watch WSBTV and they are giving away some great prizes right now. For example you can win a two night stay at Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort. OK it's a bit cold for waterparks but there's another great prize on AJC this week. You can win a contest promoting the show Lost. The grand prize includes:(1) 42" 1080p Panasonic Blu-ray Plasma Television, (1) Panasonic Blu-ray DVD Player, and (1) LOST – Season 3 box set on Blu-ray discs If you don't win the grand prize that's OK because there are ten (10) second prizes: LOST Season 3 box sets on standard DVD.

Don't forget to check out your local radio stations. I know what you're thinking. "I'll never get through." I will tell you that when I used to do the radio station call in's I was extremely successful. They aren't the only way to win from radio stations though. Some of their contests are online. I won a trip to St. Lucia and $1,500 worth of Kroger cards from a radio station online entry this year. Check out live remotes. When stations appear at a location they are often giving away tickets to upcoming events, t-shirts, cds, and dvds.

Good luck to you and if you see a contest or sweepstakes that you'd like to share with others let me know.

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