Guest post: is entering sweepstakes worth your time?

Today I’m delighted to share a guest post with you from my friend Maegen from Sounds Fun Mom. If you live in the greater Puget Sound area and are looking for fun and frugal things to do, please check out her site!

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A year ago I had almost quit entering sweepstakes. I was one of those people who, “Never win anything.” Maybe you can relate?

Well, I’m here to tell you that real people do win those things. I know, because thanks to a post right here at The Coupon Project, I tried my hand at an Albertsons instant win sweepstakes last August and watched in amazement as the virtual prize wheel made me the proud owner of a MacBook.

I’d like to tell you I jumped up and down and screamed, but honestly, I just stared at the screen for a while. I think I was waiting for confetti to shoot out of the monitor or something. Finally, I printed out an image. Then I came and left a comment for Angela. Then I called my husband. Yes, my hubby knows I shared here first. He’s o.k. with it.

Several days passed with no call or email about my prize. I was starting to think it was just a big mistake. Finally, I thought to check my spam folder. Sure enough, there was an email from the sweepstakes company confirming that I was a winner as long as my information checked out. Another email followed that one, and then I got an affidavit in the mail that I had to fill out and get notarized.

 Finally, I got a call letting me know that my MacBook was on its way. It arrived in late October, about three months after my, “Instant Win.”

Ready to start winning yourself? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • You will have to pay taxes on your earnings. We had to report the value of my MacBook as “other income,” when we did our taxes. As far as I can tell, this didn’t affect our return one iota, but it’s something to keep in mind before you enter for a lifetime supply of sweat socks or something.
  • Make sure to follow the directions carefully.
  • Check your email-and your Spam folders! A lot of bloggers recommend separate email accounts for coupon offers. If you use this for entering sweepstakes, don’t forget to check it!

Finally, a couple words of warning: There are some sweepstakes that are designed to get your information. Look in the fine print to see if entering will mean your receive a sales call. If something sounds fishy, it probably is!

Also, be cautious of Facebook sweepstakes. While some are legit, others are phony offers by internet scammers impersonating well known companies.  Angela did a post on these phony Facebook offers a while ago. Last week I noticed many of my friends entering a sweepstakes for airline tickets, that just looked too good to be true. Thanks to that post, I knew to look closely at the url, and I was able to confirm that it was baloney.

You probably know that Albertsons has launched a brand new contest. If you’re headed that way, don’t forget to take your doublers and don’t forget to grab your game pieces on the way out. I’ll be playing. How about you?

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Maegen Blue uses her MacBook to run Soundsfunmom.com, where she blogs about events and outings for families in the South Puget Sound. She lives with her husband and two wild boys in Puyallup. 


Comments

  1. says

    I started sweeping on occasion as a hobby last summer. I won a few neat prizes (a costco sized box of granola bars, tons of free coupons, and a few free shirts). Then I won $250 from a one-time entry Kelloggs sweep in the fall and I was hooked. Last winter, I won a week long trip for my family to South Beach with spending money (worth about 6k) that we took in Feb. Since then, I’ve won giftcards, digital cameras, a bicycle, more free item coupons, various other goodies, and even a $200 fire pit (my most recent big win). I’ve gotten my mom into sweeping recently as well and she just had her first big win (a galaxy tab from taco bell!).

    I think the trick is to treat it like an occasional hobby. you might win and you might not. It’s fun, even for someone like me who used to think of myself as someone who never won anything :)

      • says

        I go through and do a list of instant wins or dailies each day while I drink coffee and the kids eat breakfast. There are maybe 30 currently on my list but I’m done in 15 minutes or so (thanks to autofill and copy&paste for my email address). If I have time (usually at night when i’m nursing and the older kids are in bed) I’ll go through and enter a few one-time entries. So it depends. I skip everything if I’m having a really busy day or just enter a couple. Still, you can’t win unless you enter :)

  2. CJ says

    Congratulations on your wins! Very Impressive… especially since I am still in the “I never win anything” group! Good luck and go win some more!

  3. says

    Maygan,

    That’s amazing! I wish I’d included your tip about using the autofill, and what a great idea to make it part of your routine.

    Oh, and I’m very jealous of that South Beach vacation! What I wouldn’t do for a free trip to somewhere sunny right now….

    • says

      haha, the trip was amazing and the lady who coordinated it all was SO wonderful. It was really nice to be able to get out of all that crummy weather we had this winter and get somewhere nice this winter (i actually got my winning email the day my husband was under the house trying to unfreeze our pipes with a blow dryer).

  4. Rita Collins says

    It is timely that I am reading this post. I just received notice that I won a hotel stay. I have won various prizes over the years. Before the hotel stay, my most recent prize was movie ticket coupons. I have won a high-end coffee maker, an Ipod, a year’s worth of chocolate (the best ever), book certificates (RIF), and many more. I usually enter contests on a daily basis, but I do miss some days. I have gone through droughts of no wins, but I enter anyway.

  5. dan stocker says

    Yes contests are for real.I have won a chevy cruze,a airstream trailer,vip trip to the super bowl,and much, much more.we do around a 1000 a day and won around 175000 dollars in two and a half years. So in closing keep on sweeping the more you enter the more you win.Ps we dont waste computer time on games, facebook and such

  6. Lee Moore says

    I’ve been entering sweepstakes for about 6 months and have won a few small things but nothing big. For those of you that have won bigger prizes, do you go through a sweeps site to enter?

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