Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Baltimore Sun is sponsoring a Contest with one prize drawing every business day for the entire month of January, 2008. The daily prize will include two round-trip airline tickets from Baltimore to Orlando, and two nights at the "Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn" while you're there. Each prize is valued at $800. Open to legal U.S. residents of Maryland who are at least eighteen years of age.

Enter for this or a number of other contests sponsored by the Baltimore Sun HERE.

The Houston Chronicle is currently offering the "Pro Football Weekly Scoreboard" where local area car dealerships make predictions for the weeks NFL football games. Contestants choose the car dealership they think could have the most correct predictions. Correct answers will then be entered into the monthly drawing for one $250 check. Two drawings currently remain on January 17, 2008 and February 14, 2008. This contest is open to U.S. residents eighteen years of age or older, excluding employees of the Houston Chronicle and certain other restrictions. The entry deadline is February 1, 2008. Find this and other contests HERE.

Vancouver 24 Hours is offering readers the chance to win brunch for the winner and winner's co-workers, along with Vancouver 24 Hours Swag. The total prize value is $450. To enter, send a picture of you and your co-workers reading Vancouver 24 Hours to along with your full name, company name, and the number of people you work with. Be sure to put SHARE in the subject line. The picture must be in JPEG format as an attachment to your email. This contest is open to residents of British Columbia who are nineteen years of age or older. Entry deadline is midnight January 18, 2008. Find more information through this LINK

Thursday, December 6, 2007

With the holiday season quickly closing in, gift-giving is on the forefront of most of our minds. Here is a list of inexpensive gift ideas for the sweepstaker in your life:

Basic supplies:

Someone who enjoys sweepstaking by postal mail will always enjoy having extra supplies such as pens, plain white 3x5 cards, plain 3x5 notepads, #10 envelopes, stamps, and standard size postcards (available at your local post office). For a more personal touch one could create a kit that would contain all of these items in a hand-decorated box for easy storage. This could be done for less than $20.

Fancy #10 Envelopes:

Decorated envelopes, either pre-printed (readily available through your local printshop), or ones you have decorated yourself, will be a welcome gift. Also stickers, or other simple embellishments for envelope decorating, will do nicely for those who enjoy this aspect of the craft.

Sweepstakes Newsletters

Many sweepstakers will enjoy newsletter subscriptions as gifts... (it's the gift that keeps on giving). Some of these would include Sweeping America, Best Sweepstakes Newsletter, Rags to Riches, Winning Ways, and more. Many are available in an online format as well as the usual paper format, with subscription prices starting at about $15.

Return Address Labels

Always handy when contest rules allow them, these are time-savers as well as decorative and functional.

Gift subscription to Club Pogo

I recently received my special edition four year badge for being a member of Club Pogo, started in quest of winning prizes, and continued for love of the site. Pogo has a wide variety of games available, ranging from word games, to card games, to board games, casino style games, and more, with many awarding tokens for playing. Tokens can then be used in exchange for entries into drawings for cash prizes of $50 daily, $250 weekly, and $1,000 monthly along with drawings for various other prizes. Tokens can also be used to "purchase" items for your Pogo "mini" (a character that is displayed along with your screen name that can be personalized in great detail), and for various other purposes, such as playing the slot machines and some of the other casino-style games. Many of the games will also award a jackpot spin after reaching a certain score, from which you can win tokens, Pogo merchandise, and progressive cash jackpot prizes of up to $4,999. Other features too numerous to mention abound throughout the site. Subscription prices are $5.99 a month, or $39.99 a year, with a free-trial offer available.

Text to enter sweepstakes are a fun way to enter sweeps when you are on the go. Though these sweepstakes are still free to enter, standard text messaging charges may apply from your cellphone provider, so be sure to check your cell phone plan before entering.

Here are some quickie text-to-enter sweeps...

Matt Blatt Text to Win Sweepstakes

Grand Prize of one Apple 8g iPhone, valued at $600, OR one Sony Playstation 3, valued at $600. Monthly prize (one left for the month of December) of an iPod Nano 2G, capable of holding up to five hundred songs.

To enter: Text the key word MATTBLATT to MYABC (69222)

Enter daily, ends December 31, 2007. Void where prohibited.

SITV's Music Madness Sweepstakes

Offering a Grand Prize of $1,000 (awarded in the form of a check) which may be used towards enjoying the concert of your choice.

To enter: Text the key word MUSIC to GOSITV (467488)

One entry per person/mobile phone number per day. Ends December 14, 2007.

High School Rock-Off Text2Win Sweepstakes

Begins January 11, 2008, and ends January 31, 2008.

Six winners will be chosen in a random drawing to win two tickets to a "mutually determined Live Nation concert". The high school band with the most votes will win a Motorola Motorizr phone (valued at $229.99) for each band member.

This sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of Ohio who are thirteen years of age or older, though some areas may be ineligible to enter.

To enter: Text the number of your favorite Ohio High School Band to 74974 (though the numbers are not listed in the official rules, you might be able to find this information out from the high school you wish to vote for)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nascar is currently co-sponsoring several contests and sweepstakes, all with great prizes.

The Holiday Inn - Stay Under Green for Life Sweepstakes

This one offers the opportunity for a life-time's worth of stays at the Holiday in, calculated to be one hundred and sixteen nights. The sweepstakes can be entered through booking your stay at the Holiday Inn by November 15th, 2007 using the "Best-4-Breakfast rate" and paying with your Visa card, or by sending in the official entry form which can be printed out from a link at the bottom of the entry page. This sweepstakes gets four stars, due to the unique form of entry. which will be likely to reduce the number of entrants.

Castrol GTX Garage Kings Contest

This contest calls for you to nominate your favorite mechanic for a $25,000 garage makeover, and win $5,000 for yourself! Twenty second prizes will also be awarded. Entrants must submit an original essay of up to two hundred words telling why they think their mechanic deserves the title of "Garage King". Entries will be judged 50% on "Why you trust your mechanic", and 50% on "originality, creativity, and relevence". This contest ends October 30, 2007.

Nascar Cooks!

This is the last week to enter your great tailgate party recipes in this contest, which stops taking entries August 26th. They are offering one Grand Prize of a trip for eight people on October 7, 2007, to the Nextel Cup Series race in Talledega, along with a $2,000 travel voucher and other amenities with a total estimated retail value of $10,000. Other prizes will also be awarded.

You can enter these and other contests HERE

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The African Association of State Lotteries came together in 1981. The association meets regularly to provide training, and to exchange information and experience. There are currently about twenty-five countries that hold membership, with fifteen of these participating on a regular basis. They are looking to expand their membership of countries in order to provide a unified group with strength and credibility in a worldwide community.

The association states their duty as:

"Our duty in The Africa Association of state lotteries is to gather all the lotteries and state- run betting systems and create among them strong links of solidarity and understanding, it is also creating a mutual assistance, a share of informations and synergies for the management of the lotteries as well as the systems and operatting technology among the companies of games of chance in Africa."

The organization is funded by contributions, grants, subsidies, and member fees.

Some of the countries included in the association's current membership are:









and more.

The majority of the currently participating countries focus on equestrian betting and scratch tickets.

Some facts that you may find interesting about Africa are:

Africa is the second largest world continent, covering about twelve million square miles and accounting for about twenty-two percent of the world's land mass.

South Africa actually has a colony of penguins

There are over 800 languages and dialects spoken by African inhabitants

The smallest butterfly in the world, the Blue Dwarf with a wingspan of only 1/2 inch, lives in South Africa

an estimated 3,000 African children under the age of five die each day from malaria

Find out more about the African Association of State Lotteries HERE

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

This sweepstakes begins on August 16th. At that time, you will want to enter daily, when you can. Also beginning August 16, and continuing to September 27th, to coincide with the start of the sweepstakes (or vice versa), the Do-It-Yourself Network will be airing a special series on the building of this cabin at 9pm Eastern Time on Thursdays. If you enjoy the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes, then this is another one you're just going to love.

Set deep in the Woods of the North Carolina mountains, specifically at Cable Mill at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (a place of breath-taking beauty), designed by its viewers, this three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath log cabin home could be yours!

Earlier this year, viewers voted on the design of the blog cabin, with the following results:

Floorplan: Greenbriar, with two dormers and a covered porch, perfect for relaxing on the rocking chairs that come as part of the furnishings.

Roof Style: Tin, reminiscent of the backwoods cabins in the Canadian wilds.

Fireplace: Stone hearth and surround, styled with a modern appeal.

Window Design: Double Hung Windows

Flooring: Casa de Colour Aztec Cherry Oak

Cabin Railing: Round (with the log look, of course)

Kitchen Cabinetry: Country, Rustic, yet still elegant

Bathroom Tile: Natural

Kitchen Tile: Granite

Bathroom Fixtures: Modern Slate Walk-In Shower, Don't look, you'll want to walk in!

Interior Wall Finish: Single-color, eggshell finish

Front Entryway: Wormy Chestnut Door

Yes, I'm sorry, but this one will have a tremendous amount of entries, I'm sure. There were four million viewers voting for these preferences, so for the sweepstakes, you can be sure there will be more.... However, you will have as good a chance as anybody if you just enter!

I do give this sweepstakes the five-star rating, because it comes from a reliable source, it is a recurring sweepstakes that one can enter every year, the prize is outstanding, it has good entertainment value and viewer participation. Along with this it has educational value in offering the opportunity to learn more about log homes and do-it-yourself work, and for those who have not yet had the pleasure of being there, the surrounding area of the smoky mountains.

You can vote to name the blog cabin, find out more information, and view pictures of the cabin and surrounding area HERE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Register to win a new HD Camera at the Independent Film Channels "Free Film Fest"

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is travelling across the country bringing its free film fest to parks in ten different cities throughout the summer. In each city, they will host three films, one per night for three nights in a row.

The uncut screenings available for your no-cost viewing pleasure will be:

"Raising Arizona",

"The Princess Bride",


"Napoleon Dynamite".

The films will be shown on a "state-of-the-art outdoor video system", a 40' x 20' inflatable air screen designed specifically for this purpose, with activities and entertainment preceding the viewing.

The first film fest was held July 10-12 in Philedelphia, with the rest of the tour proceeding as follows:

Atlanta, GA - July 17 - 19

Miami, FL - July 24 - 26

Memphis, TN - July 31 - August 2

Denver, CO - August 7 - 9

San Francisco, CA - August 14 - 16

Seattle, WA - August 21 - 23

Detroit, MI - August 28 - 30

Boston, MA - September 4 - 6

Washington, D.C. - September 12 - 14

One of the highlights of the tour, aside from the screenings, is the Media Lab Lounge. Top local short film creators can upload their films via the Media Lab Website for public viewing in the Media Lounge. Event goers can also register to win a new HD camera while they are there.

Assasin's Creed Short Film Contest

IFC and Ubisoft are looking for short films of six minutes or less, based on the view portrayed in the game "Assasin's Creed", which looks from the viewpoint of the assasin. They are asking for films that incorporate at least one of five criteria, including but not limited to "assasination of historical figures" and "conspiracy surrounding historical assasination". Submissions will be accepted until August 25, 2007.

Entries will be voted on by the public at the IFC website, with the top three (Grand Prize Winner and two runner-ups) being aired on IFC. Grand Prize will also include:

$10,000 cash

Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft

Short film will be included in the limited edition release of the Assasin's Creed video game

Copy of the game

Two runners-up will be receiving:

$2,500 cash

Xbox 360 system

Short film included in the limited edition release of the Assasin's Creed video game

Short film aired on the IFC Network

There is a limit of five short film submissions per person and per email address per day, with standard submission guidelines such as model release forms required for anyone other than the original artist, etc.

Find out more HERE

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Do you have video of an Illinois Vacation you've taken this summer (any time after April 16, 2007), or are you planning on taking a vacation to the "Prairie State" by August 31st of this year? If so, show your stuff with a video of your time in the state. The video must feature an Illinois attraction, whilst demonstrating your video prowess.

The Illinois Bureau of Tourism is sponsoring a skill contest until August 31, 2007 offering four Grand Prizes of a $2,500 Shell Gas Card, each one representing a year's worth of free gas (they actually used a specific formula from a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with that amount... though it was done two years ago, so these figures may no longer quite apply). This contest is void in AK, AZ, CT, HI, MD, ND, NJ, VA, VT, and where prohibited by law. This is an amateur contest and is not open to those who have been paid for their artwork, videos, or written work in the past year. There is a limit of one entry per person, per household.

Contestants must supply proof of a two-night stay at any Illinois motel or hotel along with their entry, as well as a video release form and model release forms for any recognizable individuals that are in the video.

Videos must be original work with the contestant holding all rights, and must not have been previously published or entered in any other competitions. Entrants must submit full name and address with the video. Required length is at a minimum of thirty seconds, with a maximum of three minutes. Formats allowed are MPEG, AVI, and MOV, with a maximum file size of 20 MB.

Entries can be fully themed ("Family Fun", "Sports", "Road Trip", etc.), in documentary form, or in the creative venue of the entrant's choice, as long as it complies with the contest rules (no profanity, etc.) Some things that one might also choose to feature in the video could include:

State Flower: Native violet

State Tree: White oak

State Bird: Cardinal

State Mineral: Fluorite

State Animal: White-tailed deer

State Insect: Monarch butterfly

State Fish: Bluegill

State Motto: "State sovereignty, national union"

State Song: "Illinois"

Videos will be judged on the following criteria:

Creativity - 25%

Originality -25%

Ability to Inspire and Inform Others about Illinois as a travel destination -25%

Depicting the Magnificence of Illinois - 25%

The four highest scoring videos will win the contest. In the event of a tie, the entry with the highest score in "Depicting the Magnificence of Illinois" will win.

Enter by mail, or online HERE

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Olay Body" is sponsoring a contest open to female residents of the fifty United States, and the District of Columbia, who are twenty-one years of age or older. They are looking for a video, two minutes in length or less, telling them "Who is your shining light? Is it your best friend or someone you have a special friendship with?" They then ask you to "Describe why and how she lights up your life". The light may be a relative or friend.

Grand Prize winner walks away with a trip to New York City, accompanied by the subject of her video. Round-trip airfare and ground transportation are included, along with a spa visit and a $1,000 shopping spree for the winner! (Apparently, not for the video star... maybe she'll have to wait in the hotel for a while... oh, but, wait... it will be awarded in the form of a check! Nevermind, maybe she'll never have to know about it). Both ladies will also receive a makeover and professional photo shoot with a picture package to be soley determined by the sponsor. Total prize package is valued at approximately $5,350.

Ten first prizes are also to be awarded of an Olay gift basket and a $150 spa certificate. Total first prize package is valued at $165.

To enter, submit an unpublished, original video creation that has not previously won any prizes or awards, with the entrant holding all rights. Participants in the video may include ONLY the video originator and/or the friend/subject of the video. Submissions may be done in either color or black and white using QuickTime or Windows Media formats ONLY, and be 2MB or smaller. Anything seen or heard in the video (music, props, etc.) must be the entrant's original creation. Professional or student videos will not be accepted.

Preliminary judging will be done to determine the top forty videos based upon the following criteria:

Originality & Creativity of video — 35%

Appropriateness of video to theme — 35%

Sincerity of video — 15%

Exuberance of entrant as demonstrated on the video — 15%

The submission with the highest score in Originality & Creativity will win entry into the top forty in the event of a tie.

Once the top forty are chosen, a panel of judges will then choose one Grand Prize Winner and ten first place winners from the group. Judging is based on the same criteria as the first round, with tiebreaking also done in the same manner.

Entries must be recieved by 5:00 pm Eastern time on August 31, 2007. One entry per person, certain restrictions apply, so be sure to read the Official Rules.

Enter HERE.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Do you have a level of expertise in some area of life that you would like to share with others? Do you have an urge to write about your experience, yet don't know how to get started? Then these contests could be for you.

Associated Content, "The People's Media Company", presently has several contests for registered content producers. Registration is quick and simple, and once registered, you can participate in one or all of them.

First off is the "People's Media Awards". These awards are offered annually, and paid out a total of $10,000 cash last year in categories such as "Editors Pick for Best Content of the Year" ($1,250), "Editor's Pick for Best CP of the Year ($1,250), "Most Prolific Content Producer" ($500), and more. These prizes are open to any contributing member offering quality content.

Next are the "Content Challenges". These change monthly and offer prizes upwards of $125. Members can participate in creating challenges, as well, by offering ideas in the AC forum. Content Challenges are announced via the member's personal message centers, and those who wish to participate can then write an article according to the challenge criteria. Some of the previous challenges have included "Valentine's Day Challenge" and "Black History in Your City".

Finally is the "AC Sticker Placement Contest". Members are able to request AC stickers, which are then sent by postal mail. Once the stickers are received, place your sticker in a creative venue with high visibility and take a picture of it. Placement must offer an effective way of promoting AC and must show an ability to attract attention, so, again, be creative. Entries must be in .jpg or.gif format and are to include your name and a brief explanation of the placement of the sticker. This is a monthly contest with a $25 award.

Various other contests are also available throughout the year, so many opportunities to win are available. Participation is easy... After registering, just log in and go to the "My Account" tab, then click on "Ways to Win" for all the details.

Should you choose not to participate in the contests and only wish to register as a content producer, Associated Content also offers the opportunity to receive payment and/or bonuses for your work, so if you are interested in finding a venue to share your work, you might like to investigate the site anyways.

Associated Content

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary We Fest is coming to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and will be running August 2-4 this year. The country music festival is held annually at the Soo Pass Ranch, and draws a fun-loving crowd from around the country with thousands taking up temporary residency for the weekend. Some of the artists this year will include Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Toby Keith, and more.

This year, Miller Lite and Froggy 99.9 are sponsoring a campsite contest for participating weekend residents, with the theme of "Miller Time in the Wild, Wild West". Campers are offered the opportunity to win prizes based on decorating their campsites according to three categories:

Best use of the wild, wild, west theme,

Best use of the 25th Anniversary theme,

and a special Miller Lite World Beer Cup award for the site that displays the Miller logo best.

Contestants must be sure to inform their campground manager that they are participating in the contest, so that judges will be sure to stop by their site. Preliminary judging will be done on Friday, between 10am and 12 noon. Contestants are not required to be at the site, however, according to the official rules, final judging will be based on creativity and bribery, so being there to woo the judges may help just a little bit!

Prizes for the two themed sites are as follows:

  • 2 vehicle passes for 2008 in the winners current campground
  • 8 per person camping passes for 2008
  • 8 general admission tickets for 2008
  • 8 25th Anniversary Pins
  • 8 25th Anniversary chairs
  • 8 25th Anniversary T-shirts
  • 2 tents
  • 8 sleeping Bags
  • 2 coolers
  • 2 flashlights
  • Prizes for the World Beer Cup award are:

    • 2 vehicle passes in the winners current campground for 2008
    • 8 per person camping passes for 2008
    • 8 general admission tickets for 2008
    • 8 25th Anniversary Pins
    • 8 25th Anniversary chairs
    • 8 25th Anniversary T-shirts
    • 2 tents
    • 2 coolers
    • 8 sleeping bags
    • 8 Miller chairs
    • 2 fire rings

    Award ceremonies will be filmed Saturday morning between 10 am and 12 noon to be broadcast on Jumbotron Saturday afternoon.

    Find out more about the contest HERE.

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Family Dollar "Free For All" Sweepstakes & Offer

    Family Dollar Store is sponsoring a sweepstakes with 20 Grand Prizes of $100 in the form of a check. This sweepstakes offers two forms of entry, one by using the official entry form, available at Family Dollar Stores,

    which can be paired with a gift certificate offer when purchasing certain brands, and one with no purchase necessary for sweepstakes entry only.

    When using the official entry form, each household is also offered the opportunity to receive a five dollar

    Family Dollar Store gift certificate. In order to enter the sweepstakes AND receive the gift certificate, along with the official entry form one must send a cash register receipt from Family Dollar Store dated between June 1, 2007 and June 30, 2007, with the name and price circled from one of the following brands: Tide, Dawn, Charmin, Luvs, Pringles, Always, Gain, Febreze, Bounty, and Tampax. There is a limit of one gift certificate per household, and one sweepstakes entry per outer envelope.

    In order to enter the sweepstakes without the official entry form, on a plain piece of 3x5 paper, hand print your name, street address (no p.o. boxes), city, state, zip code, date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy) plus (optional) daytime and evening phone numbers. Mail in a stamped envelope no larger than a #10 to:

    Family Dollar "Free For All" Sweepstakes

    P.O. Box 5014

    Ellenton, FL 34222-5000

    Limit one entry per envelope. All entries must be received by July 16, 2007.

    Dollar General "Win a Fast Million"

    This sweepstakes offers one Grand Prize of an all-expense-paid trip for two to the Ford 300 & 400 Championship Weekend in Miami, Florida, $10,000 cash in the form of a check, and the opportunity to win $1,000,000 in the form of a twenty-year annuity paid at $50,000 a year. The Grand Prize winner receives the million dollar award "if the No. 77 Dollar General Stores Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS participates in and is declared the official winner of the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Ford 300 Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway completed on November 17, 2007", according to the official rules. If the number 77 car does not win the race, the million dollar portion of the prize will not be awarded.

    Ten first prizes of a $500 Dollar General Gift Card are being awarded, with fifty second place prizes of a $100 Dollar General Gift Card, and 100 third place prize winners receiving an autographed cap and t-shirt fan pack valued at $50.

    To enter this sweepstakes, you can mail the official entry form available from Dollar General Stores, or you can use the alternate mail-in entry as stated in the Official Rules, or you can enter online HERE.

    Entrants must be 21 years of age or older, and residents of the fifty United States or Washington D.C. One online entry per person and email address per day. Sweepstakes ends October 13, 2007.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Miller Lite is offering an interactive sweepstakes that allows you to "build" your ultimate summer Jeep, then gives you a chance to win it! You will also be offered the opportunity to fill out a Miller Lite survey, though there is no obligation to. Entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older to enter the site, one entry per person/email address per day. Sweepstakes ends July 31, 2007.

    Your sweepstakes host, Mad Mike, patiently, and sometimes not-so-patiently, walks you through the entry process, and offers comments and input, along with showing you pictures of the jeep you are building throughout the process. It is actually quite an entertaining sweepstakes to enter, though it may not work well with slower internet connections.

    To start off, you will be asked to choose your paint style. The choices include: micro blue, flame thrower, urban legend. Along with this you choose your interior. Interior choices are: speed style, lounge lizard, and casual comfort. Once you make your choice, you can hit the "show me" button, and Mike "draws" you a realistic-looking picture of it. Then you are offered the option to keep it, or to trash it and choose a different style. Taking too long to make any one of your choices will bring on some infernal ribbing from Mike.

    The next choice is rims and tires. Available selections are: twist-off, lollipop, liquid gold, dirt flirt, nite lite, and 360 degrees. Upon making your final choice in this area, it's on to thesound system. You may choose "party starter", "drive-in", "center stage", or "after hours".

    The final choice is the "blow it out" section. This area allows you to customize the final prize package. There are four different categories to choose from, and you are allowed to pick five prizes from within your chosen category to go along with your Jeep.

    The first category is: "I'm a beach bum". Prize choices for this category are: a surfboard, slide, hammock, tiki torches, volleyball net, ice cream station, baloon launcher, lawn chairs, beach awning, and a shower.

    The "I kick it by the campfire" category offers the following options: a grill, tent, kayaks, awning, picnic table, torches, hammock telescope, firepit, and satellite.

    In the"sports, sports, and more sports" category you will find: a volleyball net, basketball hoop, goal posts, practice nets, pop-a-shot, massage chairs, scoreboard, P.A. system, floodlights, and a bicycle rack.

    The final category of "block party, anyone?" allows the options of: turntables, buffet table, misters, basketball hoop, disco ball, dance floor, dance lights, dance video game, big screen, and a popcorn machine.

    Upon making your final choices, hit the "win it" button to move forward and decide whether you want to register the jeep and prize package you've created in order to receive a chance to win it, or if you would prefer to share it with others, or design another one. You may design one Jeep package per day for your chance to win it, more if you'd just like something to play with. Should you choose to register your design, you will be sent an email with the link so you can go back and look at the your chosen package for that day.

    You can enter this sweepstakes HERE

    Saturday, June 2, 2007

    The "Heroes" TV series is based on the idea that there are everyday people in the world that posses super-human qualities, and focuses upon the lives of some of these people. This year, the show was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. The show was nominated for "Best Television Series - Drama", and Actor Masi Kosa (who plays Dilbert Hiro, a hero with the ability to bend the time-space continuum) was nominated for " Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television".

    The NBC show "Heroes" (airing Mondays at 8pm central time) has inspired a limited-edition print, two copies of which are being offered as Grand Prizes in "The Heroes Sweepstakes", sponsored by Entertainment Weekly. The prints, designed by Tim Sale and James Dimmock, are signed by some of the members of the cast, and are (currently) valued at $1,500 each.

    Twenty first place prizes are also to be awarded, with each first place winner receiving a "Heroes" 9th Wonders comic art t-shirt, a "Heroes" brushed logo cap, and a "Vote Petrelli" coffee mug.

    Daily online entry is allowed for this sweepstakes, with additional entry options available. See the official rules for alternate entry guidelines, with entry "as often as you wish". (While you're there, you may wish to scroll down and check the odds of winning.)

    Enter HERE

    Heroes - Season 1

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    Sweepstakes Newsletter Review: Sweeping America

    Sweeping America is a weekly newsletter that can be subscribed to either by email or through postal mail. For the purposes of this review, I will be referring to the online version, which comes in two formats, PDF and Doc. Both versions com as an attachment to a single email, so can be opened in either format once the email is received. Again, for the purposes of this review, I will be referring to the PDF version. I find the format and styling of this version to be an easy-to-read, and something that works with most computers. These can easily be printed out in order to have a "hard-copy" version, if one so desires.

    Generally, there are about thirty sweepstakes and contests in each newsletter. The headlines for each sweepstakes are done in blue, which is a beneficial feature as it makes it easy to separate one sweepstakes from the next. The pages have boxes under each contest which can be checked for "not entering", "done" and # of entries done". This is another nice feature to have, especially when skimming through past issues, in order to keep sweepstakes entries within the alloted number according to the official rules.

    The newsletters are scattered with inspirational messages, pictures, and humor, along with extra tips for particular sweeps. If there is anything unusual stated in the rules for a specific sweeps, it is usually highlighted. These things help "break up" the sweeps from one another, and make it "flow" smoothly.

    Along with the newsletter, emails are sent out regularly giving notice of start dates for particular sweeps, end dates when phone calls are to be made to winners, and various other odds and ends of information. These are usually offered with lighthearted comments and humor added to the usual sweepstakes information, keeping it friendly and somewhat personal. Though this may be an added benefit for the serious sweeper, someone who is not so avid may find it a bit too much email, and somewhat overwhelming to keep up with.

    Competitively priced, I find Sweeping America an excellent choice for the serious sweeper.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    Jack Getze is holding a new contest awarding 10 winners signed copies of his new mystery novel "Big Numbers" and "Darkly Comic" T-Shirts. I contacted Jack for his comments, and here is what he had to say:

    Jennifer: Tell us something about yourself...

    Jack: I hated high school and had no interest in college, so I pursued writing by going to work for the LA Herald-Examiner as a copyboy. I earned my first newspaper byline at the age of 19, and went on to spend the next 13 years writing about business and finance for the two largest LA newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times. Divorce, remarriage and a new baby pushed me across the country to New Jersey where I began a new career as a stockbroker. I was always working on a novel, though, and wrote 11 manuscripts before I sold Big Numbers.

    Jennifer: Tell us something about your book, "Big Numbers"...

    Jack: I heard a supposedly true story one day about a stockbroker who married his biggest client's widow, and I thought, wow, what a perfect tale for what I want to say about stockbrokers and the investment business. The first version I wrote didn't sell, though, because the main character was too greedy--not likeable enough. When I got stuck on another manuscript two years ago, my agent said why don't you try Big Numbers again? This time, it worked.

    Jennifer: Tell us about your newest contest...

    Jack: 10 signed books, 10 T-shirts, and the deadline is June 21.

    Jennifer: How will the winners be chosen?

    Jack: It's going to be a drawing from the pile of correct answers. I didn't fool anybody with this one. But I'll probably send out more than 10 books. I gave away almost 100 last contest.

    Jack's Online Media Contact, Eileen Cruz Coleman of CruzColeman Communications, offered the following guidelines for those interested in entering the contest:

    "Be one of 10 people to win a signed copy of BIG NUMBERS and a "Darkly Comic" T-shirt (one size fits all) by answering the following

    Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?

    WARNING: This is a trick question. Check your facts people! Email your answers to"

    Jack will be speaking and signing books at various locations starting May 25th and throughout the month of June. If you are interested in seeing him in person, you can find the details on his website HERE.

    Big Numbers

    Monday, May 21, 2007

    Famecast is an online competition for talented artists in various categories, which is currently running its season two contest. Contestants can upload a video presenting their talents for the chance to win $10,000 and the title of Famecast Fenom. Submissions will close on May 28, 2007 for this season's contest. Multiple videos are accepted, though not required until the top ten round.

    Starting May 21st, submissions will be presented to website visitors who will vote for their favorite talents, and the top 50 will then move on to the next round. The voting will then continue progressively, next choosing 25 of these for the following round, then the top ten from this group. The top ten will then submit a new video, from which five will be selected, again by viewer votes, for the final round. Those in the top ten group who don't make it to the top five will be featured on Center Stage and critiqued by an industry expert, still a very worthwhile experience.

    For the final round, those voted as the top five talents will be flown on location for a live webcast beginning on July 23, 2007, where viewers will vote for the winner in each genre.

    It is advised that contestants consider a strategy for submitting multiple videos, in case they are chosen for the advanced stages of the competition. In other words, you may wish to consider your finest work for one round or another (early rounds or final ones), according to your strategy.

    Entries are being accepted in the following categories, referred to as "stages" for the competition:








    Spoken Word

    Singer/Song Writer



    Short Film

    Entries must be in either ASF, AVI, MOV, MPEG, QT, DV, or WMV format, with videos being six minutes or less in length, excluding short film and animation artists who will need to keep their films at twent minutes or less. Contestants must be at least thirteen years of age to enter, with anyone under age eighteen required to submit parental consent. The competition is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. All copyright laws apply.

    Find out more HERE.

    I recently interviewed Linda, owner of the Contestgirl website. This is part two of our interview. You can find part one HERE.

    What are some of the challenges you've faced in running a website?

    Fortunately, I do get a lot of assistance from my husband when he's not at
    his day-job. He knows computers and programming and has done most of the
    technical work. Without his help, it wouldn't be nearly as efficient and
    easy to use. The site is becoming very popular and this sometimes creates
    slowdowns in the functionality. We're looking into ways to improve any lags
    created when the sites usage peaks. Also, it's very easy to find lots of
    contests every day, but takes a long time to put it all onto the site,
    because I need to skim the rules for each. I also get lots of email from
    the sites users and try to answer in a timely manner. I do like to have
    time during the day to run errands and keep the household running, so, I'd
    say finding enough time to keep the site fresh, answering my email and
    running my home are the biggest challenges at the moment. I'm doing it all,
    but it's a balancing act.

    What are some of your future goals for the Contestgirl site?

    At some point, I would like to add a modified forum. Because the site now
    takes up so much of my time, I'm not quite ready yet to do this. A forum
    would require a lot of moderating, as they can become flashpoints when
    people don't get along. I have a lot of wonderful people contributing
    'comments' and interacting now and love the co-operative nature of it all.
    I have a real contesting community and it would be nice to give people a
    better way to interact with each other.

    I'd like to share an unexpected benefit of running this website, is that
    I've made some terrific contesting friends and have also connected some of
    my contesting community contributors to each other for friendship. I've had
    so many people thank me for making their day brighter. Some of these people
    are housebound because of illness and have found this hobby and the people
    they interact with in the 'Comments' makes their day much brighter. I also
    get such a kick when people write to me to tell me how happy they are that
    they won a prize or received a free sample. I get a lot of positive
    feedback from users, and it really makes my day a little
    brighter too. The level of pleasure the website has brought to myself as
    well as others was not something I had planned or expected.

    For more information, visit the Contestgirl website HERE

    According to the Direct Marketing Association, it is estimated that more than 55 million Americans enter sweepstakes each year, with 15 million entering four or more times a year. Here are some more interesting tidbits about sweepstakes that you may not have been aware of...

    A sweepstakes mailer that states "you may have already won" really is making a true statement.

    These types of sweepstakes generally have a pre-selected winning number which is chosen by an unbiased third party, or randomly by computer, prior to the sweepstakes mailer being sent out. Therefore, you really MAY have already won once you receive the mailer... of course, in this case, should you decide not to respond, you will forfeit your prize and it will generally be awarded in a random drawing to someone else (for those failing to respond to these types of mailers, it could just as easily read " you may have already forfeited your prize", so don't be afraid to enter!).

    Colorful sweepstakes entries are 60% more likely to be picked than plain white entries.

    This figure is according to a January 2006 article in "Woman's World" magazine. I have seen this demonstrated myself on several occasions during major TV shows when they are choosing a contest winner ("Regis and Kelly is one of them), along with some local contests. The judge will outright say "ooh, I like this bright red one!" or something to this effect. They, too, are human, and if it catches their eye, they are likely to pick it.

    This same articles states that approximately 50% of sweepstakes entries are disqualified due to being incomplete, so be sure to fill in all entry fields when you are entering.

    According to the National Consumers League, in the first six months of the year 2002 sweepstakes scams were the number three scam for consumers, with credit card scams taking first place, and Work-at-home scams following at number two.

    This report also stated that the elderly were the most targeted group for sweepstakes scams with 61 percent of its victims being age 60 or older. Another reason to emphasize to elderly family members that they are <b> never</b> required to purchase anything, or pay for shipping, nor are required to pay any other types of fees to claim a legitimate sweepstakes prize.

    The term Sweepstakes originated in horseracing.

    This actually stems from a traditional horseracing game of chance where entrants would put up a stake, and the winner would "sweep all stakes". Again, current sweepstakes are required by law to request no monetary investment in order to win.

    Sweepstake Art Print

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Recently I contacted Linda, owner of the "Contestgirl" website for an interview. Here is what she had to say in part one of our series...

    Jennifer: How did you get started entering sweepstakes?

    Linda: My sister won a cruise holiday in a radio phone-in contest. This piqued my
    interest in the idea of entering contests. Since I loved using the internet,
    I started to explore to see what online contests I could find. I was
    surprised to find very large world of contests and haven't looked back

    Jennifer: What are your favorite types of sweepstakes and why?

    Linda: My favourite type of sweepstakes are the local ones put on by newspapers, TV
    stations, radio stations and even shopping malls. These ones have a much
    smaller pool of people entering them, so your chances of winning are much
    better. I also actively seek ballot boxes when I'm out and about for the
    same reason. Having said that, it's also a lot of fun entering the huge
    national or even international contests for really big and exciting prizes,
    even if the odds of winning are almost nil, because I can at least enjoy
    imagining winning that great trip or whatever the prize might be, and
    especially if it's a one-entry only contest, because I don't feel it's a
    time waster.

    Jennifer: What made you decide to start your own website?

    Linda: I decided to start my own website because I had time on my hands (I'm a stay
    at home mom), and I thought I could do a good job being a filter for some of
    the garbage contests out there. There are so many wonderful and legitimate
    contests, but there are also some poor ones, or people who use the format of
    contests to get your info for spamming. I saw too many lousy ones being
    listed on some of the contest directory sites and wanted to create a site
    where there was more of an attempt at filtering those ones out of the pool.
    I hope I'm doing a good job of that--it's sometimes just a judgement call.

    Next week we will continue with part two. In the meantime, you can visit the Contestgirl HERE

    On Choosing Whether to Work at Home

    Thursday, May 3, 2007

    Tips for Winning Online Instant Win Sweepstakes

    Online instant win games are a fun form of sweepstakes that has some type of game or other action to be performed by the entrant in order to win a prize. A prize can be then be won instantly upon the completion of the task. Generally, these games will have an overall drawing from all entries for one Grand Prize, with smaller prizes as instant wins. As a rule of thumb, these are just as generally daily plays, and offer more prizes per game than the average sweeps.

    When the Grand Prize winner is chosen in a drawing from all qualified entries at the end of the sweeps, it is obvious that the more games you play, the better your odds for winning the Grand Prize drawing. By playing each game daily when you are able to, you will increase your odds for winning both instant win and Grand Prizes.

    For many of the instant win prizes, random computer-generated times are chosen throughout the life of the sweepstakes as "win-times", and anyone who properly plays the game at that time, or closest to that time, wins the designated prize for that time-frame.

    Depending upon the number of entrants, and the number of people playing daily, some of these "win-times" may pass without anyone receiving the prize before the next "win-time" arrives, which can end up leaving extra prizes remaining at the end of the drawing. Playing during times of less web traffic can help increase your odds of winning the daily instant win prizes by picking up some of these empty windows.

    Upon completion of the final drawing, the Grand Prize winner may not be reachable for various reasons, thus leaving the Grand Prize as unawarded. When these things happen, the majority of sweepstakes will hold a second chance drawing for any unawarded prizes. For online instant win games, the second chance drawing is generally done by drawing from all qualified entries that did not win a prize in the primary phase of the game. In this case, each qualified play increases your odds once again.

    Some sweepstakes will also hold second chance drawings by postal mail. This will be clearly stated in the official rules, along with an address as to where to send your entry. Many of these will allow more entries of one style than another, so if you really have your sites set on something, be sure to read through the rules to find out how to maximize your odds of winning.

    Find Instant Win Sweepstakes at BellaOnline

    Friday, April 27, 2007

    Limbo 41414

    Limbo 41414 is a free reverse bid game where you can "bid" for prizes (at no charge) and the lowest unique bid wins! You can play from your cellphone as well. Text PLAY to the short code 41414 for a current list of auctions.

    How to Avoid Sweepstakes Scams

    The Federal Trade Commission (chief consumer protection agency of the U.S. government) has an alert on file warning consumers of sweepstakes scammers posing as government officials who would claim that their prey had won a prize, then ask for money in order to send it. The scammers would end up being the only ones to receive any money, and the would-be prize winner would be holding the bill. The alert goes on further to state several timeless ways that these scams can be avoided.

    #1 Don't pay to collect sweepstakes winnings

    If you are required to pay anything, then pass it by. Legitimate sweepstakes won't ask you to pay anything in order to receive your prize. Some promotional contests do ask for a shipping and handling fee... however, in the end, it is more often than not, a lot of red tape and extra fees which could end you up with nothing.

    #2 Hold on to your money

    Scammers will sometimes ask you to wire them money, or to overnight them a check or money order for quick delivery of your prize. No, no, no. These are not legitimate tactics. True sweepstakes sponsors want you to have a wonderful experience with their company and product, which does not include asking you to pay for their promotion in any way.

    #3 Look-alikes aren't the real thing

    If it looks, smells, and feels like an orange, then go ahead and eat it. However, in the sweepstakes realm, just because someone says your prize is insured doesn't necessarily ensure its delivery. Phonies can give false appearances, sometimes posing as being insured by a legitimate agency... which generally doesn't mean anything at all. So, don't let it lull you into a false sense of security.

    #4 Phone numbers can deceive

    Don't rely on your caller id to be a totally reliable source of information. Internet technology can allow scam artists to "disguise" their phone number so you won't know where they are calling from. Someone could have a number from Washington, D.C. show up on your telephone when they are really calling you from Siberia.

    #5 Take control of the calls you receive

    Place your telephone number on the do not call registry at or by calling 1-888-382-1222 to help reduce the amount of unwanted phone calls.

    #6 File a complaint with the FTC

    If you receive a suspicious winning phone call, file a complaint with the FTC at, or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. If possible, include the date and time of the call along with the name and/or telephone number of the organization that called you. Even if it is a phony number, enforcement officials may still be able to track it.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    The Alltel My Circle 500 Go-Kart Race and Pit-Crew Challenge is a two-level event with a go-kart race for ten first prize winners, and a pit-crew challenge for teams of the first prize winners and seven to ten of their guests.

    The ten first prize winners will receive a trip for up to ten, yet not less than seven, people to Charlotte, North Carolina on May 24 - 27, 2007 to participate in the Alltel My Circle 500 Go-Kart Race and Pit-Crew Challenge, with an opportunity to meet Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team. Included is round-trip airfare with hotel accomodations and various VIP treatments.

    With this they will also receive one wireless handset and accessory with a value of $340, and upon meeting all requirements of the challenge along with their guests will also be awarded a single corporate check in the amount of $13,257.00 (good for paying the the taxes), bringing the total value of each first prize to approximately $39,331.00.

    Practice is on Friday, with the race on Saturday. Anyone in the race who beats the established time of Ryan Newman will be awarded a one second deduction from their pit crew time.

    The Pit-Crew Challenge will include each team member performing a standard pit crew duty on a standard-sized race car, with the team having the fastest time receiving a $200,000 award. In the event that time beats the industry standard of 14.5 seconds, an extra $300,000 will be added, for a total Grand Prize of $500,000.

    Anyone who is currently, or who ever was, a professional or semi-professional motorsports driver, crew member, or coach is ineligible for the challenge.

    Ten weekly prizes are also awarded. This week's prizes are $100 Mobil Gas Cards. One entry per weekly drawing, so this is your last chance to enter... the end date is April 30, 2007.

    To enter from your cell phone, send a text message to the short code 67783. Some cell carriers may not work with this type of service.

    You may also enter online Here .

    Cellphone Accessories

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    Top This TV Challenge

    Do you have a creative imagination and a camcorder? Together the two could earn you $57,000, or one of four runner-up prizes of $5,700 cash!

    Heinz is sponsoring a contest powered by You Tube where 30 second video clips with your idea of a great Heinz Ketchup commercial can be uploaded and voted on by other users. All ideas must be original, non-published, and cannot have been entered in or won any previous contests or awards. Up to five submissions are allowed, as long as each one is unique.

    Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

    40% Originality

    30% Overall Appeal

    30% Likelihood to motivate people to use Heinz Ketchup

    Maximum file size allowed is 100 MB and must be in a format allowable according to the You Tube user agreement (avi, mov, mpg, or wmv.). Participants must be at least 18 years of and are legal residents of the U.S.

    On or about August 13, 2007 fifteen first-round finalists will be chosen. These finalists will then be posted on the website where public voting will determine the winner and four runner-ups. All five prize winners will have their commercials aired on national television.

    When creating your commercial, be sure that no other food or beverage brands other than Heinz are included in any way. Any music or otherwise copyrightable material must be completely original or otherwise considered as public domain. If you have creative editing skills, the contest website also has tools available for use which can be used in your commercial such as clips with logos, mp3 files, and sound effects. Commercials must be exactly 30 seconds long, which could definitely take some skill, and patience... though it could be a worthwhile investment.

    View the official rules HERE.

    Follow this link to GET STARTED.

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    View my bio at Helium!

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    The American Quilter's Society is holding a contest and expo on August 25-27, 2007 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Prizes to be awarded in the contest are as follows:

    $7,500 Best of Show Award

    $5,000 Best Hand Workmanship Award

    $5,000 Best Machine Workmanship Award

    $3,000 Best Longarm Workmanship Award

    $3,000 Best Wall Quilt Award

    With additional prizes in each category of:

    $1,500 First Place

    $1,000 Second Place

    $750 Third Place

    The categories are:

    Quilts (in bed or wall size)

    A. Quilter's Choice Quilts

    B. On the Wall Quilts

    C. Made by Machine Quilts

    D. The Ultimate Guild Challenge Quilts (submitted by quilt guilds)

    E. Needlework, stitched with yarn, cloth, or thread

    Two entries are allowed per person, with an entry fee of $10 for AQS members and $30 for non-members for each entry. Quilts must be available for judging and display August 5 -25, 2007.

    Even if you aren't a quilter, this show would be fun to attend just to see the artistic works of these talented quilters!

    For complete rules and information, follow this LINK

    SA Candle Star Sweepstakes

    Family Circle 2007 Fiction Contest

    This year fiction writers (or those who aspire to be) can once again test their skills in writing short stories and enter for prizes in the Family Circle 2007 Fiction Contest. This contest is open to amateur writers who are legal residents of the U.S. or the District of Columbia, and are over the age of twenty-one.

    Judges are looking for original fiction in the form of a short story with 2,500 words or less. Stories are to be original and unpublished, and are not to have previously won any prizes or awards. All entries become the property of the Meridith Corporation, and are not returned.

    Stories will be judged according to the following criteria:

    25% Sustained Writing Ability

    25% Topic Creativity

    25% Originality

    25% Overall Excellence

    Submissions are to be typed on 8 1/2 X 11 paper with your name, address, daytime telephone number, and email address (optional) on all pages. Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2007, and received no later than September 7, 2007. Mail up to two unique submissions to:

    Family Circle Fiction Story Contest

    c/o Family Circle Magazine

    375 Lexington Avenue, Ninth Floor

    New York, NY 10017

    On or about October 15, 2007 judges will choose one grand prize winner and two semi-finalists. Grand Prize winner will receive $750, a gift certificate to a course of the winner's choice, a one year AvantGuild membership, and possible publication in Family Circle magazine (priceless?). Total Grand Prize package valued at $1,490.

    Runners-up will receive $250, a one year AvantGuild membership, and possible publication on, with a total value of $299.

    This contest may have a good number of submissions, however, if you have a quality story, it is well-worth entering.

    If you''d like to learn more about this contest, you can find the official rules Here .

    See last year's winning entries Here .

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    Photos by Wonderwolf

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    The Sundance Channel is currently sponsoring a contest called "What's the Big Idea?" This is a contest where entrants are asked to submit a one minute video describing a "big idea" for an "environmental initiative that would lead to sustainability of life and resources on our planet", according to the official rules.

    Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

    ~ 25% Creativity/Originality

    ~ 25% Appropriateness to Contest Theme

    ~ 25% Feasibility of Idea

    ~ 25% Presentation/Expression of Idea

    The first leg of this contest ends April 30th, 2007, making it a good choice for creative entrants as the total entry time is less than 30 days. Daily entries are also allowed to increase your odds, though each submission must be unique. In other words, if you come up with more than one idea, you can submit them all as long as you submit no more than one video per day for the duration of the contest.

    Upon the close of the entry portion of the contest, up to 25 qualified entries will be chosen as semi-finalists whose entries will be posted on the Sundance Channel's website, where visitors will vote for their favorites. The five entries with the most votes will then move on to the final round, where the judges will then choose the grand prize winner, to be announced on or about May 25, 2007.

    The grand prize winner will then be awarded $10,000 in the form of a check (with hopes of getting your green idea started), and a one-year lease for a Lexus vehicle (total ARV $19,000) with four semi-finalists receiving a GREEN bag filled with selected items of the sponsor's choice (ARV $100).

    This is an amateur competition, so all entries must be original, non-published material that has been produced without professional-level assistance. Only video files of less than 100MB which are compressed to a 320x240 screen size, with a 4:3 aspect ratio, will be accepted. Entrant must be a resident of the 48 contiguous United States, and be a licensed driver over the age of 18. Release forms will also need to accompany the entry if anyone other than the contest entrant is featured in the video, or if someone else's artwork, etc. is featured.

    Realistically speaking, if you can create a clear, concise video with an original idea, I would definitely recommend entering this one.

    You can view the contest rules and upload your videos Here .

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    Win a PS3 Superbundle!

    Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Does having a good bit of self-confidence help one to win contests and sweepstakes? You bet it does! Here are a few reasons why, and some things you can do to help increase your self-confidence.

    What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you find a great contest that you really feel you have the skills to win? Is it something like "I know I could be the one to win this one, BUT... I would be afraid to take the trip to get there", or "I have to lose some weight first... I wouldn't want my picture taken like this!" or maybe even "I'm too old".

    It's ok to be a bit apprehensive, in fact, it's normal. However, when self-criticism keeps us from doing the things we love, it then becomes unhealthy and can keep us from living a full and happy life. The way we "talk" to ourselves can have a big impact on our actions, or lack thereof, so it is important to be just as kind with ourselves as we would be with anybody. You wouldn't tell your best friend that she was too "big" to have her picture taken as the "grand prize winner", in fact, it most likely wouldn't even come to mind. Instead, you would be supportive and encouraging. So why not be just as loving and caring with yourself?

    Increasing self-confidence can start with agreeing to be your own best friend. Look at your strengths, compliment yourself for any job well-done, and replace self-critical comments with loving ones. When you have thoughts of passing on a particular contest that you would love to win, stop yourself and become the loving and encouraging friend that you need in order to get over that initial hurdle, and just enter! Taking that first step will increase your confidence level, and you may find it to be much easier than you had ever anticipated.

    Being prepared increases confidence tremendously, as well. For example, if you have always dreamed of overseas travel, yet have been unwilling to enter sweepstakes with vacation prizes to overseas destinations because you may not be able to find anyone to watch the kids while you are away, set some time aside and look over the details of what is really needed to make a trip such as this happen. Ask Grandma or another available relative if she'd be a willing standby for when the win really does come, and then go ahead and get your passport now, along with making any other arrangements that can be done in advance (someone to feed the cat, etc.). This will also have an added benefit of stress relief in not having to do everything at the last minute, keeping the pace relaxed and care-free. Then you can better have the confidence level to enter for that trip to Italy (or to anywhere else) you've always wanted, without having apprehension or unfounded fears stopping you.

    By taking small steps over time, you will find that most of the fears that may have kept you from entering in the past will all melt away, leaving you much happier and feeling more fulfilled... with a winning attitude!

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    Increase Self-confidence

    Thursday, February 8, 2007

    The top ten reasons to be a sweepstaker...

    Reason number 10

    "You can be the only person you know who's not a thief and still has three TVs in every room!"

    Reason number 9

    "Unexplained trips to the post office!"

    Reason number 8

    "Stamps are oooh-so-very cheap!"

    Reason number 7

    "You could end up rich!"

    Reason number 6

    "You get to learn a whole new language and say things like NAZ and DOB!"

    Reason number 5

    "Vacations, vacations, vacations!"

    Reason number 4

    "Online entry!"

    Reason number 3

    "Things like... Free ice cream for a year!"

    Reason number 2

    "You can do it in your bathrobe!"

    And the Number 1 Reason to be a Sweepstaker is...

    "Sweepstaking rules!"

    Best Sweepstakes Newsletter

    For quick entry... text by cell phone!

    Pizza Hut "The Cheesy Hunt" Sweepstakes

    Enter daily to win a Grand Prize of $30,000. Five first prizes of a $4,000 Gift card for an entertainment package at the retailer of the sponsor's choice, twenty second prizes of a $400 Pizza Hut Gift Card, and 500 third prizes of a $5 Gift Card for music downloads.

    Enter Daily, Ends March 24, 2007.

    To enter, text either the word "bites", or the code word found in the Pizza Hut Commercials to 843488 (THEHUT).

    Online entry also available here: Cheesy Hunt Sweepstakes

    There is also unlimited entries by postal mail, so if you prefer this method, be sure to check the website as the instructions are listed on the landing page.

    Lifetime Romantic Escape Sweepstakes

    One Grand Prize of a luxurious spa getaway for two to Daytona Beach. Ends February 15, 2007.

    To enter, text the word ESCAPE to 58463 (LTIME).

    Online entry here: Lifetime Romantic Escape Sweepstakes

    By Jennifer L. Thompson


    Fun accessories for your cell phone!


    There are several methods available for entering sweepstakes. Some can be entered with online methods, others using standard entry forms available through various venues (such as at stores carrying the sponsor's goods, or on the labels of the sponsor's products), and still others utilizing standard postal methods. If you have a cell phone, there is also a growing trend towards entry through text messaging.

    Most sweepstakes will offer multiple means of entry. Many have both an online entry form, and an offline address to send entries via postal methods. The way you choose to enter is merely a matter of personal preference, and may also have to do with the tools you have available. If you are new to sweepstaking, and wish to enter through multiple venues, there are a few basic items that will get you started effortlessly and with ease.

    Obviously, anyone who has access to a computer with online services can enter online sweepstakes, and someone with a cell phone can use text messaging. For postal methods, there are a few supplies that are generally accepted as standard throughout the industry, and are commonly used items according to the official rules of most sweepstakes. These supplies can easily be found in the office supply section of almost any department store, or at your local post office.

    If you have not yet done it, and wish to add postal entry to your repertoire of entry methods, this simple list of tools will get you started, and the rest is up to you!

    Blank 3"x5" Cards

    These are used as an entry form for filling out personal information, such as your name and address, and must be the type without any lines. These are sometimes referred to as index cards.

    Blank 3"x5" Papers

    When this is specified, it must be paper (not the stiff cards) in order to be qualified for entry.

    Number 10 Envelopes

    These are standard 4 1/8 x 9 1/2 inch business sized envelopes. If no specific size is stated in the rules, others are acceptable, however, keeping these on hand is a good idea, as many sweepstakes will specify this size as a requirement for entry. Of course, you will also need stamps to go along with this method of entry.


    You can buy these already stamped at your post office. They come in a standard size of 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. Occasionally official rules will specify using a different size, such as 4x6 inches, however, this is the exception rather than the rule.

    In a nutshell, though no one of these things is absolutely required in order to enter sweepstakes, with these supplies on hand, you will have enough to give yourself a well-rounded realm of opportunity with multiple means of entry.

    Sunday, February 4, 2007

    Here are six contests and sweepstakes from around the U.S. and Canada. Some are limited to regional entry.

    Win Tickets to the Boys' Sweet 16

    Located in Lexington, KY, though no requirements are stated in the official rules as to residency requirements for entering.

    One winner will receive two tickets to the National City/KHSAA Boys’ State Basketball Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky's Rupp Arena, March 14-18, 2007, including all semi-final games and the championship game. Enter once, contest ends March 7th, 2007.

    Enter HERE

    Garlic Fest 2007 Sweepstakes

    Open to residents of Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Hendry counties in Florida

    Grand prize is eight single day admission tickets to the Garlic Fest in downtown Delray Beach, along with four backstage passes for the "Sister Hazel" and "The Alan Parsons Project" concerts. Four first prizes of four single-day tickets good for any day of this year's Garlic Fest. Sweepstakes ends February 8, 2007. The Garlic Fest runs Friday February 16th through Sunday February 18th, 2007.

    Enter Here

    Houston Eats Giveaway

    Prize is from a restaurant located in downtown Houston, TX, with sweepstakes entry open to U.S. residents.

    One prize of a $25 Gift Certificate to Cabo will be given away daily. Entries must be received by noon on February 23, 2007.

    Enter Here

    Arch Madness

    Open to residents of Illinois and Missouri who are 18 years of age or older, and who have not won a prize from KMOV radio in the last 90 days.

    Two Grand Prize Winners will each receive four single-session ticket vouchers for the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, held March 1- 4, 2007, at Scottrade Center, located in St. Louis, Missouri. Each prize package includes a one night stay at the Crowne Plaza St. Louis, one on March 1st, and the other on March 2nd. Contest ends February 18, 2007, one entry per household. Prize package valued at $300 each.

    Enter Here

    Enter for a chance to win tickets to see a RACHAEL RAY show taping in New York City

    Open to residents of metropolitan Rochester, New York, or within the broadcast area of CW-WHAM or 13WHAM-TV in Rochester, New York.

    This contest starts February 26, 2007, so be sure to mark it on your calendar, however, it does not state the number of tickets that will be given away.

    Enter daily,one prize per household. Grand Prize winner will be selected on Monday March 19, 2007.

    Enter Here

    Win a Lightspeed Fusion Kayak from the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Boat Show

    For residents of British Columbia, Canada.

    One lucky winner will be awarded a 12'1" Fusion Kayak with accessories, valued at CDN $1,633.95. Only one entry per email address allowed, contest ends February 9, 2007. Need not be present at the show to win.

    Enter Here

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    Friday, February 2, 2007

    Donna Dewberry started out as a homemaking expressionist, decorating her home with what she had available. Developing her career early on by painting designs on tin surfaces, she ended up creating art history with a unique style she designed called "One Stroke" painting. This technique has now become famous with 4,500 teachers worldwide. She now offers over seventy books and thirty instructional videos.

    If you are a "One Stroke" painting fan, Donna Dewberry and Home Shopping Network are having an original art contest that could suit your style. There will be prizes awarded in four categories, Home Decor, Fashion Fabric, Glass and Ceramics, and One Stroke Painting Instructor. In all four categories, submitted entries must use the FolkArt brand of paints.

    The First Place winners in the Home Decor, Fashion Fabric, and Glass and Ceramics categories will be flown to St. Petersburg, Florida with $270 expense money, where they will attend a four hour painting class with Donna Dewberry. They will also be awarded a $250 HSN shopping spree and will appear on HSN TV during one of Donna's Shows.

    Second place winners in those same categories will receive $500 worth of Plaid Craft products and a $100 HSN shopping spree, and those in third place will be awarded $250 worth of Plaid Craft products and a $50 HSN shopping spree.

    If any of the winners in the above-mentioned categories designate having a certified instructor, their teacher will also be awarded a prize ranging from $200 to $500 in value.

    For entries in the One Stroke Painting Instructor category, the First Place prize is $500 in Plaid Craft products and a $500 HSN shopping spree, Second Place is $250 in Plaid Craft products and a $250 HSN shopping spree, and Third Place is $100 in Plaid Craft products and a $100 HSN shopping spree.

    To enter, submit a photo of your original artwork no later than February 18, 2007, either by mail or by email. Find out more Here .

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    Donna Dewberry's Complete Book of One-Stroke Painting

    Thursday, February 1, 2007

    Beauty and the Geek is a reality show by executive producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, where eight "socially impaired" males and eight" academically impaired but gorgeous" females are paired for a chance to win $250,000. Each contestant is required to pass certain challenges in order to move on to the next round.

    In this weeks episode, the geeks were assigned a dog, and were challenged to use it as a "chick magnet" to see how many phone numbers they could receive from ladies passing by. The winning geek scored seven. The beauties had to build a dog house in under an hour, with only the tools they were assigned, which were then judged by a professional dog house maker.

    Watch Beauty and the Geek on The CW Television Network, Wednesdays at 8/7 Central, for your chance to win a three day/two night trip for two to Las Vegas. The trip will include round-trip airfare, hotel accomodations, and a gift cheque for $200 redeemable at participating restaurants, with a total approximate retail value of $1,850.

    Each week, one male and one female sweepstakes participant will be chosen, for a total of ten grand prize winners.

    To enter, follow this link and answer four questions surrounding the show, as per instructions. (The answers you provide need not be correct in order for your entry to be valid.) Enter weekly as entries are not held over for the next show.

    You can also apply to be a contestant HERE

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

    Win a PS3 Superbundle!

    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    In the world of contests and sweepstakes, there are simple ways to use skill to increase your luck in winning. Some have to do with the way you enter, others are matters of creating a positive attitude. This is the final article in our three part series. You can find part two HERE.

    Enter Contests Whenever Possible

    Most contests rely on some type of skill. Look at your strengths, and utilize them to help you win. If you are a trivia nut, enter trivia contests. If you love to cook, enter cooking contests. There are fishing contests for anglers, talent contests for musicians and writers, and just about anything else you can come up with, so don't doubt that there is a contest in the area where your strengths shine.

    Release Expectations

    This utilizes skills in building patience, which is a necessary part of the process. It also helps with enjoying what you are doing in the present, and not getting caught up in what the future results will be. Enjoying the fun and relaxation offered in what you are doing now is what will keep you going, and in keeping going you know that you will in turn increase good luck and win. Releasing expectations also releases stress. There is a difference between expecting it and knowing it. Expectations can stem from a belief that something will happen. This type of knowing comes from realizing that things are already set in place in order for it to happen. You may not know exactly when or how often it will happen, you just know that it will.

    Picture Yourself With What You Wish to Receive

    Stories abound about those who have won large amounts of cash and then went broke a short while later. A sudden influx of wealth into one's life will undoubtedly create some changes, and for one who isn't prepared for it, this may be followed by making some rough decisions. By preparing yourself mentally you will increase your skills in making the proper choices, and also create good luck by developing a knowing that the winning will come.

    If you need a new vehicle, envision yourself as already driving it. If you want cash, picture yourself as already being debt-free. There's no need to spend an inordinate amount of time in doing it, a few short minutes when you have a chance throughout the day will suffice.

    Keep in mind that these are just rules of thumb, so be creative. Sometimes you will have more time to devote than you will at others, so be easy on yourself and always remember to keep it fun. That's part of the gift of increasing luck!

    By Jennifer L. Thompson

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