How to Enter Online Sweepstakes: Advice From a Sweeps Winner - ToughNickel - Money
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How to Enter Online Sweepstakes: Advice From a Sweeps Winner

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Winning is her thing! Ms. Monae has been entering and winning sweepstakes since 2008. Learn how to win sweepstakes from a real expert!

Online sweepstakes are worth entering. Take it from me—I've entered a lot and won a lot!

Online sweepstakes are worth entering. Take it from me—I've entered a lot and won a lot!

Have you ever thought about entering a sweepstakes online? Maybe you think they aren't worth your time. Maybe someone else talked you out of entering. Well, I'm here to tell you and show you that entering online is worth it. Take a look at some of my wins and learn how to win online sweepstakes.

Winning Is My Thing!

I've won hundreds of prizes since I first started entering sweepstakes in 2008. My very first win was a mouse pad. It was an instant win sweepstakes by Time Warner Cable. A week later, I won a refrigerator message board with a Ritz cracker eraser from a Rachael Ray sweep. I was hooked! When I first started sweeping, I only entered about 20 sweepstakes a day. I started entering seriously in 2010.

I have won a trip to the Super Bowl, two Vegas trips, and a trip to New York City. I've won cash, numerous gift cards, two televisions, three game consoles, a tablet, two cameras, and a laptop. In addition to these big items, I've won clothes, handbags, perfume, food, a couple hundred free product coupons, and numerous other prizes. There is not a room in my house that doesn't contain something I've won. I love giving my wins away as presents, and I donate some great things.

I'm Not Lucky; I'm Persistent

Friends and family are like, “You are the luckiest person in the world.” There are many lucky people like me who win all the time. Our secret is that we are persistent. We follow the rules and enter as many times as allowed. Here are my top tips for winning sweepstakes, and I hope you find them helpful.

Advice on Entering Online Sweepstakes

  1. Find a good sweepstakes site. Find a site that offers a variety of sweepstakes. There are tons of sites, but search for a well-organized one. Your time is valuable, and you don't won't to waste it searching around for sweeps to enter. Get sweepstakes tips and read sweepstakes forums. Entering sweepstakes is absolutely free. Some sites have free and paid memberships. Paid memberships usually come with a few more perks, including more sweeps to enter.
  2. Set up an email just for sweeping. You will get junk mail besides your win notifications. You do not want your personal email account to be flooded by junk mail and newsletters. Take the time and set up an email account just for sweepstakes. Check your email often for win notifications because some will come with a "reply by" deadline. Always check your spam folder. Some winning emails will end up in it.

    Some sweeps require that you sign up for their newsletter in order to enter. You can always opt out later. I usually opt out once the sweeps is over unless I'm very interested in their product or service.

  3. Use a form filler when allowed. I use Roboform Everywhere. I use the paid subscription because I'm not limited to how many forms I can save, but there is also a free version. Having a good form filler will save you tons of time. If a sweep says manual keystrokes in the rules, I will enter it manually. This is very rare, but it happens from time to time.

    Using a form filler will take some time to get used to. You really need to make sure the information is accurate before saving. Once you have your forms saved, entering sweepstakes is super easy. I have my forms set to fill out and submit with one click.

    I also use a Google Voice phone number for sweeping. I have the number forwarded to my phone. When I see my Google Voice number come up on my phone, I know it's from a sweep and I need to answer it right away. If I miss a call, I go to my Google Voice account online and get the number and call it back as soon as possible. Sometimes they will pick another winner if they can't contact you.

  4. Enter dailies daily and once-onlys once. Read the rules! Do not disqualify yourself by entering more than the allowed amount. In the last two years, I've started entering Facebook and Twitter sweeps, and they have doubled my wins.

    Sweeps that last for 1 or 2 months and have daily entries are the best to enter. These are the ones I win from the most. I've found that sweepstakes that drag on forever are almost impossible to win. There are just too many entries. I don't enter sweepstakes that run over 3 or 4 months. Someone will win them; it just won't be me. I try to use my time wisely.

  5. When you receive a winning email, read it carefully. Most of the time, they want to verify your address. Sometimes when you're lucky there will be an affidavit attached that you will need to fill out and have notarized. You can get these notarized for free at your bank. Always give them exactly what they want so you can get your prize as soon as possible.

    Some prizes come fast, and some take forever. I've received some within a couple of days, and some have taken three months to a year to receive. I also receive prizes in the mail that I didn't get any notification for. Surprise wins are so awesome! They are some of the best wins you'll get. I love UPS, FedEx, and the mailman! They bring me great prizes on a regular basis. I always greet them with the biggest smile they've ever seen before in their lives!

My Winning Strategy

Usually I enter between 75 and 100 sweepstakes a day. This takes me between one and two hours. There are many more sweepstakes out there, but I choose to enter what's best for me and my time. I am very selective. I don't enter to win everything. Limiting myself allows me to feel good about entering sweepstakes and just have fun.

The only time I don't enter is when I'm on a fabulous vacation. I enter my sweeps early in the morning or at night while I'm watching my favorite TV shows. This is a hobby for me, and I enjoy every second of it. Some people will think you are crazy until they start seeing your wins, then they'll become your fans!

Consult With Your Tax Professional

You will have to pay taxes on your big wins. Make sure you consult with your tax professional before the prizes start rolling in. I won a trip to the NCAA Men's final four games one year and had to decline. I had just gotten back from a trip, and that one would have put me over my desired tax bracket for the year. If you take my advice and enter like I do, you will have to make decisions like this one day.

Remember: You can't win it if you're not in it. I wish you much luck and success. Here's some—sprinkle, sprinkle, lucky dust for everyone!

I won a trip to Super Bowl XLV from an Instant Win Sweepstakes!

I won a trip to Super Bowl XLV from an Instant Win Sweepstakes!

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

Sweeping has been around for a long time and has even hit the big screen. "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" is a movie full of drama based on a true story. If you are a sweeper, you probably have already seen this movie and can relate to it. For all the newbies out there, I recommend you watch this movie. Be careful, however, because you may catch the sweeping bug.

Happy Sweeping!

Sweepstakes Poll

Questions & Answers

Question: where do you find sweepstakes to enter?

Answer: I personally like bigsweeps.com. There are many, just do your research before you decide on one.

Comments

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on July 14, 2015:

You are welcome Kathyrn. Good luck to you!

Kathryn Church on July 13, 2015:

Awesome wins... I also started sweeping in 2008... I have never heard of the Google Voice account... I need to check that out asap... thanks for the tip..

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on June 23, 2015:

Make sure you are entering these sweepstakes every day. http://www.thesweepstakessouthernbelle.com/

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on May 15, 2015:

You are so welcome SuziQ523. Thank you and Good Luck!

SuziQ523 on May 15, 2015:

Thanks a bunch @motivationsblog, your reassurance was helpful. I am truly so grateful for the wins, they seem to come when you least expect them or one that you haven't thought about, so I'll try to not think about wanting to win a dream home, or a car..... :) Happiness to you and good luck to everyone; there's plenty for everyone.

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on May 14, 2015:

Congrats Suziq523, Sounds like there was clearly a mistake on the FB page. You will receive whatever the rules state the 2nd place or 2nd prize is. The sponsor and fulfillment company will only honor the rules. You will see that mistakes like this happen all the time. I always read the rules first and refer back to them when I win something to make sure the phone call or e-mail is correct. The good thing is that you are a winner! I can't wait to hear about your next win. It will be a big one :)

SuziQ523 on May 14, 2015:

~ Hi! I just stumbled upon your post and glad I did. I look forward to hearing more and telling you when I win. I did have a question, what do you do when the company lists the sweeps incorrectly along with the rules. I know if it shows the incorrect dates, I've nicely messaged them before. Yesterday, I was notified as being a winner or shoes. On the advertisement on their FB page entry, it states Grand Prize -1 winner, Second Prize- 2 winners 6 pairs of shoes, then Third Prize- 10 winners of 1 pair. I was told I was the 2nd place winner, and had to verify by Friday, which gave me two days but in the rules it does say "5 days". The rules also have the winnings as Grand Prize, 1st Prize, 2nd Prize, so they mislabeled the winnings. I nicely asked as I said it wasn't clear as stating I was the 2nd Prize winner, and then I copy and pasted the entry form. After being grateful, my instinct is to tell them how stupid for not proofreading and they are paying their advertising dept to make the artwork. I feel like telling someone higher up in their company other than the the PR person. And I was thinking last night how I would give a shoe voucher to my aunt, a few elderly people at the nursing home... oh well. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks - :) Suzanne

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on April 17, 2015:

Thanks Ron and congrats on your wins. Trips are some of the best prizes. We do get a lot of junk email don't we, lol. I've managed to get mine down quite a bit by opting out of newsletters. Happy Sweeping!

Ron on April 17, 2015:

Cool article. I joined Sweepstakestoday.com a little over 3 years ago and have won nearly 10k in prizes, including 3 trips, an Ipad mini, and a lot of other cool stuff. I enter about 100-150 sweeps per day and average a few less wins per month than you. Most people I know get excited about it, but can't handle the massive amounts of emails they would receive and don't end up doing it.

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on April 17, 2015:

Xavier that is Awesome! I know your family and friends are like, WOW! Now that will surely give other sweepers the motivation to keep on keeping on. I hope this year brings you even more wins!

Miss Monae (author) from North Carolina on April 10, 2015:

Thank you Kristen. Yes you do have to enter as much as possible to increase your chances of winning. Currently I'm entering about 80 a day. If you win a really nice trip or cash, it's all worth it. The little wins give you motivation and it doesn't cost a thing to enter.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 10, 2015:

That's so way cool and awesome on how you've won those prizes. I would love to win the lottery or PCH sweepstakes, but you have to buy products to enter and win. Great tips on how to do it. But that's a lot of entries to win one prize. Voted up for useful!

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