I Win Every Contest I Enter


My friend Jenn posted this status update on Facebook this week and I knew I had to break the myth that contestors and sweepers win everything.

I was talking to someone today and mentioned when I enter sweeps I lose 99.9% of the time. They were actually shocked and thought that I just won about everything I enter. I wish! 🙂


Last year companies in the U.S. spent over $3,000,000,000 on promotions, contests, sweepstakes and giveaways.  I sure didn’t win that much!!

I submit 100-300 entries per day and I win 5-15 prizes per month.  All one has to do is the math to figure out the percentage of entries vs. prizes.

100 x 30 = 3000
5 ÷ 3000 = 0.001


300 x 30 = 9000
15 ÷ 9000 = 0.001

It turns out Jenn’s math is wrong.  She loses 99.99% of what she enters!  But, we don’t focus on what we lose.  We focus on what we win, the prizes, the fun and the excitement.  (Jenn also wrote a blog post on this subject: You Are So Lucky & Sweepstakes Records.)

This also ties into the people I meet that say, “I entered a few contests and didn’t win anything. You are so lucky.”  They don’t realize that contestors make our own luck.

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more of it I have.”
Thomas Jefferson

So yes, it only takes WON to WIN, and I do know those who have won entering one contest one time and walked away with the grand prize, but that is very rare.  For the vast majority of us we have to enter many to win a few.

Are you a seasoned sweeper?  A dedicated contestor?  If so, why do you enter day-after-day and month-after-month?

For me, Dortha Schaefer said it best in The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, “No matter how many kids you might have, I’m a firmly convinced that a person can find time to do the things they want to do, and you and I must want to contest.”

2015-08-04T16:01:45+00:00January 18th, 2013|Featured, Luck|25 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.


  1. Londia January 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    I enter contests daily. But i used to go to my daily entries and enter them daily. I do not do that anymore. Contesting is time consuming but it is fun and exciting when you win. My family sometimes jokes around with me saying I win lots. But I don’t. I see so many people win multiple times more then i do. It has you thinking that you can do it to. But you do have to take your time to enter. Luck and fun and time is what contesting is.

  2. David Balkin January 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    I work with a friend who, in seeing all my fantastic winnings coming in, entered for about (1) hour only (1) day. Now she complains to me 1-2 times per week about how she hasn’t won anything yet! She’s a wonderful person, but I don’t think she’s grasping the hard work that goes into this hobby. I know it’s worth every minute to me!!

  3. Claire McKeon January 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I enter tons! I win a small percentage! I look at this as a great, low cost hobby that is fun and sometimes have wonderful results. I enjoy fantasizing about winning different prizes so I get pleasure even if I don’t win!

  4. Holly Oswald January 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I have been sweeping for almost 6 years. I am entering 350-500 sweepstakes a day (4-5 hrs a day) and I am very please with my results. Over 400 wins last year. You do the math. Some wins were small $20 movie tickets some wins were big , a 10 night trip to Ireland. I average 10 grand prizes a year. Have not paid for a vacation since I got into this hobby. You get out what you put in. I put a lot in. Entering with every method possible and always learning something new. Oh by the way this is ALL ” The Contest Queens” fault. My hubby jokingly pointed out her book to me 6 years ago in the Library and I read it. (about 10 times) and I am enjoying my sweeping life.

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I love your story! I wish I had time to enter as much as you do. Somedays I get 10 minutes! Happy to take all the blame for all your luck, fun & adventures 🙂

  5. Nicole January 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I enter 1-2hrs about 4days a week. I am very happy with my wins as I feel they add to my life & life experiences. I don’t enter contests for things I’m not interested in. I enjoy my hobby & I know my family loves it too. I have to admit, by the time I go thru emails & facebook, I just don’t have time to sign up for a twitter account or follow a bunch of blogs so I don’t enter contests those ways. Maybe one day when I have more time. I would love to contest full-time like Ron Smith on Extreme Sweepers! Haha! That is so awesome that he created a job for himself from his hobby as did Carolyn!
    Carolyn – I’m so glad to be receiving your emails again after your hiatus. Glad to have you back in my contesting world!

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Nicole. I am on a 31 day blog challenge. I do not think I can keep blogging at this pace as I want to put energy to finishing the next edition of my book. My goal is to keep blogging at least 3 days+ days per week.

  6. ellen February 1, 2013 at 11:38 am - Reply

    i have been contesting for 13 years. i have won once last year.my family and friends think contesting is a joke and not one of them i can use to send a contest to when referring friends.im still optimistic that more wins are in the future.i spend about 3 -4 hours a day on contests

  7. Kimberly April 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    This is so true! I enter lots and have won several major prizes but i definitely lose so much more than I win. I not only do it because I love winning, but also because I enjoy it as a hobby. If it quits being fun for me, I won’t keep entering. Several of my friends want to know how I win, so I will try to get them started. They stick with it about a week or so, and then quit because they didn’t win.

  8. Alexa Nernberg April 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I have been entering sweepstakes and blog giveaways for four years now. I have won some great prizes in that time. I am currently experiencing a “dry period” but I continue to enter day in and day out. I know the “dry spell” won’t last forever. Thanks for introducing me to this great hobby. I enjoy it immensely. Good luck to all.

  9. Melissa M. December 28, 2015 at 6:34 am - Reply

    I’ve been entering sweeps since May 2015. I had some nice little instant wins early on, which kept me going (summer months were particularly fruitful, I noticed!) Since then, I’ve won 44 prizes! November was my leanest month (only 3 very wee wins), but I knew it was only a matter of time until I started winning bigger prizes again. So I kept at it. And lo and behold, come December, I won several gift cards, a fancy bottle of nail polish, and my biggest (and most unique) win so far, a pair of gloves signed by Rihanna & a bottle of her perfume, RiRi! I spend about 1-2 hours a day entering. For me, the key is consistency and persistence! The more you put in, the more you get in return!

  10. ZacharyB January 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Not sure you got your maths right there. Yes its 5 / 3000 but then you need to multiply by 100 to get the percentage. To find the percentage you lose you would do 100 – (5/3000) * 100 = 99.8.

    • Carolyn
      Carolyn January 8, 2016 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the new calculations Zachary, but even according to your math, I still lose a heck of a lot!

  11. sarah cornett May 18, 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    what do you go to enter

    • Carolyn
      Carolyn May 19, 2016 at 9:27 am - Reply

      Check out my Resources for hundreds of links to legitimate sites that offer winning opportunities: FIND SWEEPSTAKES

  12. Lori Humphrey September 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    I love entering contests and sweepstakes and my family and friends think I am a lucky person who just enters a few contests and win all the time. Only my hubby sees how much time I actually spend entering contests (and even he doesn’t even realize just how much time I actually spend). But the joy of winning is so exciting to me and makes me feel good no matter how small the prize is. I use to enter everything I came across but now I only enter contests that offer prizes that I actually want. It is just like any other hobby it is for the enjoyment of it.

  13. Kay January 23, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    I enter when I can – but a couple of hours in the evenings – as I can fit it in & it is fun when I win. I only enter for things I need or would enjoy. It drives me nuts to see people win & then – shortly thereafter want to sell items. I have entered for charities & love when that works out. We have an event for fundraising for #OneWalkForCancer each year …An Amazing race & I love winning items for the auction table etc.

  14. Rosanne Del Corpo May 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Lady luck has passed me by!!! I enter quite a bit but because i’m from the province of Quebec i’m limited & even when I only enter contests that are just for my province I still don’t win. It is very difficult to win no matter how hard you try. I do better with radio contests but even that is failing me. The gods don’t want me to win anymore – I only won 2 big prizes which were trips which was like 10 years ago – since then zilch. I have a good mind to drop the whole thing altogether which I’ve done but get sucked back in with no results.

  15. Kurt Winkler December 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    There are no percentages, there are no odds. Since 2010 in have won now over 2000 contests and net worth around 400000 buckaroos. Although there is no science, there is a very easy way to enter, as I enter over 350 per day on average……..

    • Carolyn
      Carolyn December 27, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Every statistician would disagree. Everything in life has odds.

    • Brittany July 21, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply


      Where do you find 350 a day to enter. I cruise a ton of sites that offer contests/giveaways/sweepstakes and not only are there a lot of the same ones, there’s no where near 350 to enter a day.
      Are you factoring in the instant win contests?

      Thanks to anyone that weighs in!

  16. Bobbi August 31, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I enter about 100 everyday some are daily and I’m lucky if I win 1-2 a year I don’t enter for things I don’t need. I just started to enter toys because toys for tots so what am I doing wrong I google my name I use Facebook Twitter did something to my account back in dec. and I’m restricted I don’t know why I never entered Sweepstakes there just used for extra entries please help me

    • Carolyn
      Carolyn September 4, 2018 at 8:03 am - Reply

      Bobbi, a big key to winning is to be organized. Do you have a contest entry system in place? If not, start there. Don’t know how to set one up, buy my book. I teach you how to do it step-by-step. It’s only $10 on Kindle. A worthwhile investment. GOOD LUCK!

  17. Bobbi September 3, 2018 at 12:16 am - Reply

    So what am I doing wrong. U win every day I’m Facebook 1 name

  18. Laura Collins November 4, 2018 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    I enter on weekdays save the weekends for my grandkids.I have won some nice prizes .I have help others .I was once asked how can you get so happy winning a coupon .My reply was if you can not appreciate the little wins ,you may miss bigger ones.

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