My friend Lauren told me about a special on TLC called High Stakes Sweepers. The show is similar to the craziness of Extreme Couponing, but for people who like to enter sweepstakes. Some of them have quit their jobs to become full-time “sweepers” and devote their days to winning cash, cars, vacations and other prizes. It would be completely insane for me to quit my job to enter sweepstakes, but I wondered if entering sweepstakes on a regular basis would be worth my time. I’ve won movie and show tickets on twitter without a lot of effort, so I’ve decided to give low stakes sweeping a shot.
My version of sweeping will be entering different online contests for 30 minutes a day while I watch TV. After reading some sweepstakes blogs, I’ve learned a few tips to win sweepstakes:
- Set up an email devoted to sweepstakes to avoid a barrage of newsletters and spam.
- Only enter contests that you want to win. You have to pay taxes on your winnings, so don’t waste your time on items you don’t want.
- Watch out for scams. If a website looks shady or wants you to pay to enter, skip it.
- Be social. Sweepstaking involves more than just entering online forms these days. Some require you to enter from a Facebook or twitter account.
- Be persistent and patient. Most sites say that it takes about six months or sweeping to become a rewarding hobby.
I’ll post an update in the next few months to let you know if my sweeping has been a success. Chances are low that I’ll win a new car or a cruise, but I’ll consider this experiment worthwhile if I win a few small prizes. Have you ever won something fun in a contest?