From the Contest Queen

What a week I have had! An article was printed about me and the hobby of entering contests in The Toronto Star on Sunday March 19th. I did not expect the media frenzy that followed.

Since that article appeared in the paper I have been on two evening news shows (one local, one national) two morning TV talk shows (one local, one national) and four radio talk shows (three local and one national). (My webmaster is in the process of putting all the TV interviews on the website if you did not have an opportunity to see them live.)

My website was hit so many times that my website hosting company thought I was getting spammed and shut bits of my site down. It took me three days to get them to fix the problem(s). (If you know anyone that had trouble signing-up for this newsletter, let them know to try again as the problem has been fixed.)

And now for the best part… our first The Winning EDGE subscriber winner is Carolee of Sherwood Park AB!!! Congratulations!! You have won an autographed copy of You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter.

Our next draw is for Winner Wear. A pair of baseball hats embroidered with our Contest Queen and Sweepstakes King logos.


Tips and Tricks

I just read the little story about the contestor that won those tickets for her friend (see Issue 2 for original Tip) too bad her friend wasn't a little more considerate about the win- but a lesson learned I guess.

On the upside I recently entered my sister’s name in a contest to win an all-inclusive trip to Mexico - as the contest stated one entry per person I entered me, my husband, my sister and her husband and low and behold she won!!!

I couldn't have been more thrilled for her and her husband!!! When people heard that I had entered her name and she had won, I was floored by the number of people who asked me if I was mad that she won and I didn't!!! I was flabbergasted - I would never have entered her if I didn't want her to have a chance to win.

A few years back I won a two week trip to Europe - it was my sister who took her holidays from work and took care of my children and gave them a fun filled two weeks of a lifetime while we were gone - I'd have to be a real miserable so and so not to be thrilled to give her something like this in return, not that anyone ever felt owed for anything!

I also won my mother-in law $5600 worth of groceries a couple years ago- at a time when she was financially destitute - did I begrudge her that? Absolutely NOT... I was so thrilled for her... and she shared too which she didn't have to.

My whole point is the same as yours either enter others without strings attached or don't at all. It can indeed be an expensive hobby - time and money - so I only enter those who I am close to and would love to see win! What goes around comes around as you say and I know I have benefited in more ways then one simply by the hand I have had in others wins! Good Karma surrounds me!

Also, if I had a dime for ever person/co worker/acquaintance and stranger that asked me to send in a few entries for them...well lets just say I'd be rich (or maybe poor - lol!!!) I stick with family and occasionally a close friend if I come across something I know they'd love if they win.

I am always willing to give those other folks a few forms and certainly lots of contesting pointers cause, I'd love them to win too - but you have to draw the line - I barely have enough time and funds to get my own entries in :)

The day I start to take contesting too seriously is the day I quit the hobby it should be fun and stress free - I have enough stress in my day job I don't need to bring stress into my hobbies too!!!

Swan River, MB

Hi Lisa,
Funny, I won my sister a trip to Greece this year and the same thing happened to me.  I tell people, if you don't want others (family & friends) to win, don't enter them.

I also find that many people do not enter sweepstakes because they think it’s a scam or that no one really wins. When they get close to a win or can see it within their grasp the green-eyed monster rears it’s very ugly head. (To read good examples of this occurring, read Tips & Tricks in EDGEbeat Issue 10 or Rim Rolling Girls Fight For Prize.)

If you wish to extend your good will to others and want to enter friends and family into online promotions, but feel you don’t have the time, try using RoboForm. It cut my contesting time in half!
Thanks for the Tip.

Have a great tip? Send me your best tips to share with the contesting community. Remember “You Can’t Lose Helping Others Win”.

Your Questions Answered

Many new subscribers are asking similar questions to ones I have already answered.  To read those answers, check our 2005 and 2006 archives of Your Questions Answered.

Hi Contest Queen;
Can you please give me advice as to winning sweepstakes by mail?  I've been entering and sweeping for over a year and have yet to win anything.  I'm hooked on sweeping; so I'll keep plugging away.  I think I've read somewhere; if you make your own colorful, textured envelopes the judges will more than likely select your envelope!  Is this true?  With the price of stamps having gone up; this would help.  With more time on my hands now I would be able to do this.  Let me know-it would be appreciated.
Thanks much;
Chicago IL

Hi Wanda,
It depends on where you live.  There are differences between Canada and the US when it comes to sweeping.  In Canada about 80% of the promotions are online and 20% are mail in.  In the US the percentage seems to be about 30-40% online and 60-70% mail-in.  This is due to differences in the technology infrastructure and technology adoption between our two countries.  Also, various contest management companies in Canada have told me that mail-in promotions will disappear in 5-10 years and I believe it will be 10-20 in the US.

So 1) my advice is to enter online as much as you can because you can generally get many more entries in (assuming once per day) for FREE! And 2) I have interviewed people that send in coloured and decorated envelopes and others that send in plain ones.  Both swear that's how they win.  One because the envelopes stick out and the other because they blend in.  I think you should try both methods and decide for yourself. I personally send in plain envelopes because I usually don't have a lot of time to work on mail-in sweepstake entries.  I find the mail in ones harder to win but I have interviewed people that swear by them and prefer them over the internet ones.

That's part of the hobby - try different things and figure out what works for you.

Try to save money by entering ballot contests in your local stores, enter online and if you have a cellphone, try text message contests too.

Hi Carolyn,
I've had a 7 month dry spell...haven't won anything since last spring.  I'm beginning to wonder if I'm spending enough time contesting each week. How much time would you recommend daily/weekly?
Oshawa, ON

Hi Louise,
I spend about 1-2 hours per day everyday on online contests - I use a couple of software programs to speed things up to increase the number of entries I submit.

That said - it only takes one to win!!

What are you entering??  I win a lot of local, short entry period contests.  If you are only entering for trips or cars, I would have only won a few contests over the past few years and I plan to win my new car this year. :)  So, if I had only been entering for very large prizes, I too would have had a long dry spell.  Sometimes entering smaller contests with a bunch of prizes for tickets to local movies and attractions can keep you inspired between the big wins!

Send me any sweeping or contesting questions you would like answered.

You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter

The Canadian Edition of You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter is now available for sale in my online store. Indigo and Chapters has picked up my book. YEAH!! I expect the books to be in their stores in about 30 days. I am working with Indigo on setting up book signings for the GTA in May. I am also continuing to work on getting the book in Canada's public libraries.

The American Edition is currently being researched. I am targeting to have it available for sale Fall 2006. Please forward your suggestions, links, questions and any feedback you may have directly to me: I look forward to hearing from you.

Keep your eye on this section for future updates on the book’s progress.


Please send all your comments and suggestions to