Increase Your Chances of Winning Contests

All of us have seen the many contests and sweepstakes being offered on any given day. While I enter many of them, I always wonder "do I really have a chance to win?".I myself ran a contest recently and discovered there are things you can do to increase your chances of winning.Fill out your full name. The folks running the contest want to use your name when they announce the winner.

If you have put your name as only "Lisa", you may be disqualified. Also if you use your email address instead of your name, again you may be disqualified.Invest the few minutes to read the rules. Many times, the contest rules say "only one entry per person".

If this is the rule, follow it. I know I disqualified many entries because they entered more than once.Rules will also list any conditions. For example, often you must be over the age of 18, or you must live in the U.

S. Some contests are not open to all 50 states for various reasons, so again, if you want to win, read the rules.Does the form you're filling out ask questions? If it does, take the time and answer the questions. The folks running the contest are willing to give away free merchandise to get the answers from a wide group of people. If you don't take the time to answer their questions, chances are you'll be disqualified. These questions are often for product development or for marketing campaigns.

Sometimes, contests require you receive additional mailings. This is very common. Again, read the rules. If you are required to receive 3 additional emails and you unsubscribe after the first one, you are not going to be chosen as the winner.Keep a spreadsheet of what you enter and if you need to do anything additional.

Some winners are notified on the site, the day the contest ends. If you don't visit the site that day or the next day, you'll never know if you won. Keep a spreadsheet of any sites you need to visit and the date you need to visit them.Some contests announce their winners in their newsletter. If you don't subscribe, you won't know if you've won.

Again, this is almost always outlined in the rules of the contests. Mark your spreadsheet to let you know which newsletter to read on which day to know if you are a winner.By following the rules and giving the vendors what they want, you increase your odds of being the winner at the end of the contest.

.Audrey Okaneko has been entering and running contests for over 20 years. You can reach her at or visited at

By: Audrey Okaneko

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