The Art of the Contest
For the past couple of years I’ve been hearing this sound a lot, “arrrrrrrrrrg.” It’s the sound of my friends groaning as I tell them I’ve won yet another contest. It’s usually followed by “seriously, you win everything!” This, of course, is not totally true but I’ve been fortunate enough to win some great prizes lately. I’ve won things like movie passes, restaurant gift certificates and even a grand prize pack worth over $2000.
Okay, so maybe I do have a lucky horseshoe stashed away somewhere but I don’t believe that’s the reason I win stuff. It’s really simple and everyone can do it if they choose. I love it when anybody wins something so here is my pay-it-forward for all the good luck I’ve had lately.
ENTER EVERY CONTEST
I have a mantra for winning things: ”You can’t win if you don’t enter.” It’s really that simple. How many times have you seen a contest on Facebook or spotted a ballot box at a store and chose to ignore it? In essence, you have actually said, “I don’t want to win anything.” Some would argue that it takes too much time to fill out the ballot or enter your info online but isn’t it worth it if you win hundreds of dollars in prizes for one minute of your time?
It’s understandable to not want to release your private information, but if you’re okay with it, then spend that extra minute. I believe I have won things before simply because I was one of the only people who actually entered the contest.
SEEK OUT CONTESTS
As I mentioned, you can find hundreds of contests on places like Facebook and Twitter. Most of them are from manufacturers wanting you to “like” their pages. So if there are products that you really support, make sure to “like” or follow them so you’ll be notified of their contests.
Another great way to find out about contests is to look up contest sites like smartsource.ca and womenfreebies.ca (which is not all about women prizes by the way). They will let you know about the great current contests to enter.
My best advice is to keep your eye peeled for contests as they are literally everywhere. You’ll find ballot boxes in grocery stores, at malls, in liquor stores and even on napkins – yes, napkins. I won a grand prize worth over $2000 by simply scanning a barcode off a napkin at a restaurant with my smart phone. The barcode linked me to a contest entry form and I filled it out. Sure enough, a few weeks later I got a call informing me I was the grand prize winner! This was totally crazy as it was also the first time I’ve ever used my phone to scan a barcode.
PAY IT FORWARD
If you know about a great contest, share it with your friends and family so they also have a chance to win. This goes against the idea that the fewer people who enter, the greater chance you have to win. I firmly believe in karma and feel that if you help others, you increase your luck in life… and in this case, contests!
As I said earlier, I totally understand that some people don’t feel comfortable giving out their personal info in order to win. But I can honestly say that I’ve entered hundreds of contests and have never been spammed, harassed or bombarded with emails from any of them. That said, I strongly recommend taking a good look at each contest carefully to make sure that it is legit and legal. One tip to avoid spam is to create a separate email account only for contests.
I hope this inspires some of you out there to start entering contests and I’d love to hear of some of the cool things you’ve won in the past and how you did it.