How To Raise Your Odds of Winning a Contest

It can be hard to summon the courage to enter a contest, especially when you feel like your chances to win are marginal at best. While that may be true, if you try some simple tricks when competing, you’ll increase your odds of winning.

Try Often
First thing's first – enter all the contests you can. This doesn't mean you need to wear yourself thin. Choose contests you can win easily. After all, the more contests you enter the more chances you have to win. Furthermore, there are numerous venues to enter into a contest, both online and in person. One way to practice this is to enter a new contest every day of the week. Whether online, at the grocery store, on the radio, or on the street − you could enter about 30 contests a month. You may even have time to surpass this goal if you put forth the time and energy. Anytime you see a contest consider entering it. Most don’t take a long time to enter and many require a short form to be completed. You’ll be surprised by how many contests allow participation, especially if you live in a heavily-populated area.

Nothing’s Too Small
Don't underestimate the importance of entering small contests. The prize may not be as lucrative, but the odds of winning will increase with a smaller pool of contestants. When a contest is locally run, you may only compete against a few hundred participants. In contrast with national contests that potentially have hundreds of thousands of entries. Small contests could include a raffle at a football game or something as simple as dropping a business card off at a restaurant. Even though it may take a bit of work you’ll see how much it paid off when you receive the congratulatory phone call.

Internet Contests Aplenty
Do a quick Internet search, and there are thousands upon thousands of contests all over the Internet. A savvy person could potentially enter into dozens of contests every single day. This is especially possible due to technological advances that allow us to view and enter contests digitally. For instance, there are tons of plugins and programs that can assist anyone looking to fill out forms for contests. An organized person with a basic excel sheet could do remarkably well by entering dozens of contests every day. Make sure to not use a primary or business email though because many sweepstakes companies sell email addresses to marketing firms. Most email providers allow forwarding, this way you’ll still receive the important emails that inform you if you have won. If you'll be online frequently entering contest, create an email address for this purpose to reduce the amount of junk you get sent.

Read the Rules
Make sure the rules are understood. Some contests are limited to a certain geographical area or age group. Other contests require a person to be present, or call back within a certain time frame to receive a prize. In particular, casinos are infamous for having tons of drawings for incredible prizes, but they usually require the contest winners to be present on the casino’s premises or have other hard to follow stipulations to win. Read the fine print and if you find the rules to complicated or strict, don't waste your time. Find another contest to win. 

Prepare to Win
Give the most pertinent contact information and have a reliable phone number and email address. As mentioned earlier, some contests require a short response time in order to claim a prize. If you don’t want to give out your main number, many free VoIP numbers can be forwarded to a phone that you normally use. It’s tremendously crucial to be available so you can receive proper notification when you win a contest. After all, if you take the time to enter and win a contest, you’ll want to know when you’ve won.

Taxes and Prizes
Some contests may not be worth entering, especially if they're giving away monetary prizes. Any prize over $600 will result in a tax to the winner. If a contest gives away something with a retail value of $650, it could   be worthless to the winner.  In addition, contest winnings are usually inflated by the hosts when it comes to IRS reporting. Do your research, know your facts, and be smart − not impulsive. Also, consider you're situation and if you’re in a good standing. 

Entering contests can be fun and lucrative, but only if you’re diligent. Many forums and websites are devoted to people who enter hundreds of contests a month, and it would behoove you to check one or two out. There are even clubs you can join where you can meet like-minded people to exchange tips and hear success stories. Anyone who’s organized and stays persistent has a serious shot at winning a bunch of contests. Never forget that! Now that luck’s on your side, you’ll be winning competition after competition.

Selena Marimba is an entrepreneur who writes articles on hiking, achieving, organization, personal empowerment, budgeting, and The Top 10 Online Business Management Degree Programs.