Friday, January 18, 2013

"You are so lucky" & sweepstakes records

I love to enter sweepstakes.   Most of my friends, acquaintances, and even random people tell me "You are so lucky!"  I try to tell them that sweepstakes is a numbers game and the more you enter the more likely you are to win.

Few people actually keep good records of how many sweepstakes they enter.  I do, though.

Each year I get a new incentive chart.  I need one that has 24 columns across and at minimum 31 rows down.  I always use a fine point Sharpie marker to help it stand out from what I write inside the boxes.

Across the top I write the names of the months TWICE.   (Jan- Dec, Jan- Dec)  Between these two, I make a hard line.  To the left of this line is where I record how many online sweepstakes I entered that day and to the right how many mail ins I did.

Down the side of the chart I write the numbers 1-31.  I black out the days that don't exist.  (Such as February 30, 31).  The only other time I use my fine point Sharpie is if I am out of town, I will put a box around those days so I can see at a glance when I was not at home.

Then, I keep an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie nearby and before I go to bed each evening I record how many entries I did that day.  This is easy to calculate because I enter through and have it set to show 10 sweeps per page, so I know if I've entered 20 pages worth of sweeps, I've entered 200 total for the day.

While this is not necessary for entering sweepstakes, I like it because I  can see at a glance how much I have entered.  If I'm having a "dry spell" (where I'm not getting many wins) I can look back and see what was going on a few months prior.  I might not remember that I was feeling really poorly in April and hardly entered anything, but my chart will remind me of that fact, and to hold tight because I started entering again in May, so some wins should be around the corner.

So what were my stats for 2012?  I entered on average over 160 online sweepstakes a day.  Many days I entered none.  (I wasn't home for a whole week in August, and I was in the hospital for over a week in February.)  Some days I entered none, one day I entered 420 in one day.  For mail-ins, I averaged mailing SEVEN entries every single day.  (Again this is average.)

This equates to me losing over 99.9% of the time.  In much of life, we would say someone who loses approximately 99.96% of the time a failure.  What do you call that person in sweepstaking?  A winner.  That's that .04% that keeps you entering.  No, I don't win everything I enter like many people assume I do.  (I wish!)  There are times I have seen few wins, but I keep entering.  After all, you never know what tomorrow's mail mail bring!

My friend Carolyn over at is discussing this same topic today.  Take a stroll over to her blog for another perspective on the same topic on her post I Win Every Contest I Enter!  (Not, no, she doesn't win every contests she enters, but she is doing a bit of myth busting with her blog post today!)

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