Friday, February 19, 2010

What might happen if you win a $750,000 house?

A Michigan family won a $750,000 green house in Florida, but they don't want to move there, and they can't turn the house into "green". It is also worth a whole lot less than the $750,000 on today's market.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What would you do if you won 36 Vintage Corvettes?

Here is a fascintating story about what happened to 36 Vintage Corvettes that were won in a 1989 VH1 contest. Unfortuntately, it involves a bit of rot, dust, neglect, and the artist Peter Max.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Go for the Quick and Easy Win: Do a Search!

There are some easy and instant win contests to do if you want to get the winning off to a quick start. These are search engine websites where instead of giving google all the money when you do searches, some of the money is shared back with you, the searcher.

I often use these sites when I search. I have them bookmarked. They can give points, instant wins, or a combination of the two. Each site gives a variety of different search results so you have to be aware of which ones gives you results that you like on your searches. They are great, however for quick searches and every once in a while it is nice to see a screen that says you have won $5 or a movie ticket, or a big prize (twice I have won $150 iPods).

Here are the sites. You can sign up for them and start searching and maybe even win today! Blingo has lots of prizes (many of them very large) but I find it hard to win on that site any more as too many people use it. I used to win there a lot, but it has been awhile since I have received a winning screen.


LuckySearch is a site where you win points when searching. You get 100, 250, 0r 500 points as a win. When your points add up to 500 you can order a $5.00 goft certificate at or save for other prizes. I have won over $100 doing searches on LuckySearch. They send the gift certificates quickly.

PrizeWish is another site. As you accumulate enough points (points happen every day) you can redeem them for prizes. I buy $5 Amazon gift certificates for 59 points each. It takes a month or two to claim a prize but only seconds a day to get points.

Search & Win

Keep in mind that each site has a limit to the number of searches you can do each day that have the potential to be winning searches. Good luck and search away!

Secret Number 3: Get a New E-mail Address

Don't use your real e-mail address for sweepstakes. Get a new or address and use it just for your sweepstakes entries.

Always put honest information on sweepstakes forms. Don't change you phone number, age, or address hoping you will be a winner. When they call you won't be home at that phone number. Also many sweepstakes send an affidavit for you to sign and notarize once you win to make sure you are who you say you are and that you qualify for the win. If the prize is over $600 they will need your social security number to send you tax forms on your win too!

Check your sweepstakes email often. You don't want to miss a win. Sometimes you have to respond in a few days to the companies email. You may also want to check the junk folder of your sweepstakes email. Some wins do turn up in there. Be smart, don't think those emails from Nigeria are real wins, though! If you are not sure if an e-mail is legit, check out the contest on OLS or ask about it in the forums there. You will get your answer soon enough.

The fun thing about sweepstakes is that sometimes you are informed that you are a winner: by phone, e-mail, or Fed-ex. At other times prizes just show up without any announcement. Strangely enough some prizes show up and their is no identification as to where the prize came from. Sometimes you can figure it out, sometimes you just have no idea. Just yesterday I got a package with 4 DVD's, a gift certificate, and a t-shirt. There was no note as to which company ran the contest!

Secret Number 2: Roboform It!

The one thing about most contest entries is that you have to input information onto forms. That involves typing. Sure, Internet Explorer can help fill in forms for you if you set it up right, but the best tool for entering information into form is a program called Roboform.

You can download a free trial of the program at their site or you can buy a subscription. Roboform then will fill out forms, remember all you passwords, encrypt your passwords and keep everything safe and easy to use. It pops up on my browser whenever I have an online form to enter. I can hit "fill and submit" and it will fill out a form and submit the page in seconds without my having to type a thing. This is a great time-saver. It will also fill in forms and you can check that the information is correct before submitting. If it is a new form you may want to make sure all the boxes are filled in properly and that boxes are checked or unchecked when the company wants you to sign up for information and you would prefer not to have e-mails or information in the mail sent to you!

Again if you want to enter contests you really need this program.

Remember that contests are about getting information and publicity out to consumers. I have learned about a lot of interesting things by entering contests and even bought a few things that I first heard about online. You will get e-mails (lots of them) if you enter contests. Some you can opt-out of recieving but many contests ask you to go on their internet mailing lists. That has never really been a problem for me, as long as you know secret #3!

It is also why you want to be a member of OLS They do not put questionable sweepstakes on their site and members point out tips or questions about sweepstakes in notes under each sweepstake they list.

Secret Number One:

Where does one find out about contests?
All that you need to know is this site:

There are lots of sweepstakes websites, but why waste your time when I just told you the name of the best site to go to. You can look all around the internet and this is what you will find as the best site to work with. It has all sorts of catagories of sweepstakes and many ways for you to decide how and when you want to enter. It is a free website with many contests to enter. However, if you "go green": that means you pay for their premium service, you will find all the really good contests that aren't on the free pages. It will cost you $23.50 for 3 months of greenness or $30 for the year. It is well worth it if you intend to stick with this for awhile. If you are just curious, save your money. The payoff of going green can be really big if you remain enthusistic or have a goal (such as winning a trip to Hawaii- it worked for me!).

It will take a long time to figure out how you want to work this website. Read their forums if you want some ideas. I suggest starting with the "Expiring Sweepstakes" and going through the lists day by day entering the ones that interest you. You don't have to enter them all! At first the hobby will keep you quite busy but as you figure it out, you will learn it doesn't need to take a lot of time at all. I watch sports events on TV as I enter. It is easy to multi-task!

One hint: although some sweepstakes let you know instantly that you have won, many others won't let you know for months on down the line. I entered a contest in the summer (one entry) that had an end date of October 31st. I did not know that I had won a $1000 check until 6 months after the contest ended when I reveived the phone call. So stick with it. One entry in only one contest could win you a great prize. Many people enter tons of contests, however, and claim to barely win a thing. It is all about luck in the end. But you do have to enter.

By the way contests are free. Never pay to enter a contest! Those are just scams. On the other hand is not a scam. You are paying for the service of OLS listing the contests and for the team at the site to sort through the scams and to only list real contests! That is all that you should invest in sweepstake entering except for one little tool that is secret #2.

Just Wait to You Get a Call that You Won!

A couple of years ago I was wondering how on earth my wife and I could celebrate our 20th anniversay. With 3 children and my teaching job there has never been money for many nights out on the town, let alone a vacation. I saw a sweepstakes online and decided to research to see if winning a vacation was something at all possible or if those contests were just scams. If they weren't scams, my order was in. I wanted to win a trip to Hawaii before our 20th anniversary. Any trip would do, but Hawaii was the dream.

I learned a lot about entering contests and how to do it easily and without much hassle. I also learned that you can win things, lots of things. And yes, you can also win trips. This winter I received one of a few nice phone calls I have received. I had won a trip to Hawaii. My wife and I were to go during April vacation and just in time, because it was two months before our 20th anniversary. We had the trip of a lifetime.

I have revieved other such calls or notices in the mail. One daughter and I went on a trip win to Florida and she got to play soccer with Mia Hamm. That is her kneeling in front of Mia Hamm.

My son and I went to a trip to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox. We also got to go on the field during batting practice, to meet Jerry Remy and Don Orsilo in the NESN booth, have a guided tour of the stadium, and super seats to see the ballgame.

Another trip win just recently allowed me to take my daughter to the USA Olympic Team Swimming Trials in Omaha, NE. We got to see Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, and other swimming stars make the Olympic team. Here we are with Mark Spitz.

Besides trip wins I have won money: $1000 and $500, Gift cards: $1000 and $500, iPods, a kayak, a mountain bike, a PDA, 40 pounds of candy, and lots of other smaller things that keep showing up in the mail. Life gets real interesting when you don't know what the mailman or UPS man is bringing when they walk up to the door.

I am a busy guy. I don't like to waste time, or spend a lot of time entering contests. So I have some secrets to success that I will share. That way when someone asks me how I do it (and they keep asking) I can point them to this blog and they can learn how they can do it too!

I am now a husband and father that wins the smiles of my family as they wonder what fantastic trip or win I could get next. Not only has everyone gone on a vacation now, but we get to do cool trips that no one else gets to do. It doesn't cost a dime and doesn't take a lot of time! After all, someone has to win, you just have to enter!