Years ago I decided to do an experiment, I was going to enter on line contests and see if I could win something. I went through several sites and entered various sweepstakes but I after a while I got bored and I didn’t really keep track. I think I won a t shirt or a beach towel but I couldn’t be sure. So, a week ago someone linked to this video: https://youtu.be/nXAfWpNLocY I watched it and decided to redo my experiment.
In order to do a proper experiment you need to break it down into three steps.
1) The plan
2) The experiment
3) The results.
So my plan is simple, I will type the word Sweepstakes into the Google search engine and then enter all the legitimate contests, you have to watch out for the scam sites that are only after your information. I did come up with a few limitations on which contests I would enter:
1) I would only enter contests that didn’t require downloads, subscriptions or product codes. If it wasn’t a “fill out the form and hit enter” site I would pass.
2) I would only enter contests that were age and gender appropriate. There were several that were for women’s products like heath and beauty aids or clothing. There was also a contest to meet SpongeBob in Orlando and it was targeted towards children.
3) No scholarship contests. Several companies offer prizes to pay for a college education but I’m a little too old and stuck in my life’s rut to go back to school and I wouldn’t want to win a prize that should go to someone in need.
I would limit myself to the first 10 pages of the Google search. I would go on every day during the month of August and enter every contest that fit within my parameters. I would keep track of the contests, the prizes and when the advertisers were suppose to contact the winners. It turns out some of the contests run until the end of the year so I am going to have to do a monthly update until January. I will also keep track of my winnings, if any.
So let the fun began.
August 1, 2015
I entered all the contests on Google and on the first day I had an instant win of a free single serving of Twix cookies. The coupon will be sent some time in October after the entire contest has ended. Also by not reading through the rules I accidentally subscribed to Esquire magazine, however when the bill arrives all I have to do is write Cancel on it and send it back. I also decided to not enter the contest from the Veal council, it just seemed wrong somehow.
In the end I entered over 30 contests on the first day. If you average it out it figures to be around 1200 entries by the end of the month, that’s a lot of chances. Off to a good start.
August 2, 2015
I won a free music download from Twix. I suspect they award a prize every day for every entrant. I also found out I entered a contest that is really a time share scam, I’ll avoid that one from now on. I also found, by reading the rules, that the Disneyland Diamond Jubilee giveaway is only open to guests of the on site hotels so my entrance yesterday doesn’t count for anything.
There was a contest to win a car or meet One Direction. I don’t really want to meet the band but I wouldn’t mind the car. It’s a one time entrance per email address so I won’t have to enter again.
New contests! Google pages features links based either on companies who paid to be there or by popularity. Several of the link pages were for contests that ran until July 31st and have now ended so people have quit clicking on them. As they fall off other sweepstakes pages replace them so today I entered a contest from Heineken Beer to win a trip to the city of my choice, a trip to Ireland to play golf (I don’t really play golf but I would like to go to Ireland) and O-Cedar is giving away a Jeep Wrangler or a weekly prize of a….mop….Well, it’s a free mop so….
I also entered a contest on Twitter to win the complete Walking Dead series on DVD. It was one of the “follow and retweet to win” contests.
Two contests ended today, the first was from Great American RV to win $45,000 towards your dream trip. Notification won’t be until the 17th so now we wait. A second contest is to win a trip to Boston to see One Direction. I entered this contest because the final prize is a Honda Civic which I hope to win, the Boston trip not so much, although I could probably skip the concert. Notification for the trip is on the 5th so I won’t have to wait long on that although the car drawing isn’t until January so I won’t find out about that until next year.
I got an e-mail from The Tennis Channel, yes there is an entire channel dedicated to tennis, and they wanted me to enter a contest to win a trip to the U.S. Open in NYC. So I entered plus I saved the e-mail for future entries. Also the amount of spam e-mail has tripled in just three days.
There was a book giveaway on Twitter, “You’re Never Weird On The Internet” by Felicia Day. It’s another one of those “follow us” things and as soon as the contest is over on the 15th I can go and unfollow the site. A second “Tweet and Follow” contest was to win a copy of the movie Burying The Ex, some kind of zombie film, from Amazon. I don’t actually want to win it but I did say “all sweepstakes” so….
There were three new contests today, first is a chance to win a Webber Grill from Treasure Cave Cheese (never heard of them), second is a trip to NYC to plan your fantasy league team sponsored by Pepsi and Buffalo Wild Wings, and the third is a travel tote bag full of stuff like towels and headphones from State Farm and Adult Swim. Another contest ended today, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Motorcycle and Guitar giveaway. They will notify the winner on August 5th so we will find out about that before the end of the experiment.
I know I said I wasn’t going to enter any contests where you had to sign up for something but I entered the Kveller Projects, Big Bang Theory Lego’s set giveaway by following them on Twitter and signing up for their newsletter (which I will mark as spam). The thing is when the contest is over I can unfollow them. It’s not really cheating…..
Expedia does a weekly Twitter contest. They ask 8 travel questions and people tweet a response. The winner gets a $500 travel voucher. This week was off season travel tips. Mostly I talked about going to the Disney parks, seriously, go in October.
I received an email from an on-line magazine called Bootprints, it’s written for hiking enthusiasts. They are giving away an adventure trip to Florida. Since the state has no mountains and the accommodations are at a luxury spa I figure it will be a pretty simple adventure.
The new contests on Google are from Radio.com to see Ariana Grande in New York City. CBS Sports Radio is giving away a trip to Tallahassee Florida to the Florida State vs. Miami football game. Royal Purple cleaner is offering a trip to Las Vegas to see a motor rally.
The Disney Channel is having a contest to attend a beach party with the stars of their TV movie Beach Party II. Thankfully this one falls into the age restriction category and I don’t have to enter it.
JC Whitney auto parts catalog has a contest to win either a Jeep or a Ford but the site doesn’t have an Enter button. I’ll check back tomorrow.
Today was the notification for the Sturgis Motorcycle and Guitar was today so I’m guessing I didn’t win that. It was also the day they let you know about the One Direction concert in Boston and I didn’t win that, but I’m still in the running for the car.
August 6, 2015
Today I got an email from Farmland Bacon. They hold monthly contests to promote their product. They offer prizes from a year’s supply of bacon to t shirts. This month’s prize is a bumper sticker collection. Normally I’d pass but I said I would enter all sweepstakes for the month.
New contests on the Google pages include one from Yelp Reviews. They are having a sweepstakes for $2150.00 in gift cards towards travel. It’s a once a week entry so I’ll have to remember next week. Northstar Retro is having a contest to win a 1940’s style fridge. I don’t need it but I entered anyhow.
HGTV is having a give away of an Urban Oasis house in Asheville. NC. I don’t really want to win it, or the Idaho cabin they are giving away, because they would be more trouble than they are worth. Both are too far away for me to enjoy so I’d have to sell them at bargain basement prices. The realtor and the tax man would get money and I’d wind up with nothing. Keep your fingers crossed that someone else wins it.
I broke down and went to McDonalds where I got two game pieces for their Minions Universal Studios Orlando trip giveaway so I went on line and entered that contest.
On Twitter IMAX is offering a chance to win a drone. You have to go to their Instagram page, follow and leave a comment about where I’d like to go if I could travel anywhere (I said I’d like to stand on the exact South Pole in all time zones at the same time, which is true).
I also won another music download from Twix. I considered putting the code and the link on Twitter for others to use but the whole process was pretty complicated so I just deleted the email.
Today’s new contest is from SiriusXM radio. The grand prize is a Million dollars; second prize is a Ford Mustang. It wasn’t until I filled out all the forms that I found out you have to be a subscriber to their service. I lied and entered but I’ll have to skip it in the future.
I entered another million dollar contest but then I found out it was for a spam site. Sure enough, I got about a hundred extra junk emails. I need to keep a closer eye out for them in the future.
The IMAX drone contest I entered yesterday ends today so we will know if I won or lost within a week.
At the end of the first week I entered 59 contests, the majority of which were “enter once a day” sweepstakes so it comes out to somewhere around 360 entries.
So the grand prize total for week one is One single serving of Twix cookies (to be sent at a later date) and two free music downloads that I didn’t want. I wonder what I’ll win next week.