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From the Contest Queen

Now that Book Expo Canada and the 17th Annual National Sweepstakes Convention are over I am on target to finish writing the American Edition of You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter by August 31st. With editing, rewrites and printing, I see the book for sale by October 31st. If you have an anecdote, tip or resource you feel you would like to contribute, please email me. (All selected contributors will be named in the Acknowledgement section and receive a free autographed copy.)

Here is an example from my first book. It was the funniest anecdote that was sent in for the Canadian Edition. NOTE: In Canada to ensure a sweepstake is legal, the potential winner must first correctly answer a skill testing question in order to be declared the official winner.

STORY: Fred submitted a very funny story about his wife Betty and her first experience with answering an over-the-phone Skill Testing Question.

Fred—Prince George, BC
The wife got her first phone call and skill testing question today. It went something like this: Wife answers phone and runs into computer room, “Fred I think I won something!” Then talks on the phone, “I had better sit down.” CRASH! BANG! OUCH! Picks up phone while lying on floor and says, “I missed the chair.” I pick up extension phone and hear a guy laughing so hard he can hardly say the skill testing question. The wife hollers, “Fred have you got the answer?” More laughing. Then she says, “My husband says it’s 350.” I hear some guy say, “I guess that is right, what is your email address?” Wife says “XXX funny sign XXX dot CA.” I hear more laughing and the guy says, “Well you made my day! Did you hurt yourself? You have won an Apple iPod.” Wife, “An I what?” “An iPod.” says the guy. Wife, “Is that something to do with glasses?” Guy, “I wish I had this on tape.” That’s when I hung up the extension.

NOTE: Betty’s email address was Xed out to protect her privacy.

I recently had another meeting with my first client, During our meeting we discussed their current promotion ClickWatchWin. It seems that people entering the contest do not realize there are several ways to accumulate entries into the promotion. The first involves you login, click a random pixel on the game board, watch a 15 second presentation and possibly win if you clicked the correct pixel selected that day. (Winners are notified by phone within 24 hours.) You can click, watch and win up to 1000x per day. The second is gaining entries into the second chance draws. If no one clicked a winning pixel on any given day then the prize goes into a second chance drawing. The more times you click, the more entries you have. Last month five prizes (2 computers, 2 barbeques and an iPod) were given away in the second chance draws. The third and final way to accumulate entries is to refer your friends. For every friend you refer (and they enter using your referral link) you get ten extra entries plus, your friend will get one extra entry. There is no limit to the number of referral entries you can receive. There are lots of great prizes being added on a monthly basis so, go ClickWatchWin!

My friend Bonnie Staring is writing an article for a large Canadian women’s magazine on what some "enthusiastic" contesters will do to win prizes - and she wants to hear (and share) your story! (Names can be changed to protect the innocent!) Have you stood in line for hours, overstuffed a ballot box, developed carpel tunnel syndrome or bought out all the stamps at your post office? For example, Bonnie forced her family to eat over 20 packages of hot dogs over a three-month period when Maple Lodge Farms was giving away a VW Beetle. She won the second prize, a remote-controlled one. They eventually forgave her. She'd love to hear from contestors and sweepers all over North America, and if your story is used, you'll receive a small token of appreciation. Please contact her directly by July 26th, 2006.

I am sad to report this image is the only one currently available of the sumo wrestling event as my camera failed. I am currently trying to obtain pictures from others attending the event.

Last week I also got a call from The Toronto Sun. (This is my crazy story because sometimes I see a contest and get so enthusiastic, I enter without ever really reading what the prize is or what is involved.) Apparently, my name had been selected as one of the four finalists in the Sumo & Win promotion with The Fight Network. I won a three day silver pass and a three day paddock pass to the Molson Grand Prix in Toronto. To win the Grand Prize I had go down to the Grand Prix and sumo wrestle three other people in order to win lunch with Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Two of the four didn’t show up so I would only have to wrestle one person to win! The other competitor turned out to be Frank; a very fit man, who was a good 8” taller and good 50lbs heavier than me. Hmmm…this was going to be a challenge. I didn’t know how much until I wriggled into the sumo suit. Frank fit into his suit fine. Since I am only 5’3” and 135lbs the suit was swimming on me. Then came the helmet. It was so big that I couldn’t see. So I put my baseball cap on to hold the helmet up. That didn’t work, so they finally got a t-shirt, folded it up, put it on my head and squished the helmet on. I could finally see. We then had to stand, all suited up, in the hot sun for 10 minutes while we waited for Bret to arrive. It was going to be the best of three. Once the match started I realized, not only was Frank bigger than me, he had also sumo wrestled before. I was in trouble. In no time he had knocked me down and slammed me. Thank goodness the suits are all padding. I didn’t feel a thing. OK, so now I had to win or it was all over. In the second round I was able to maneuver around Frank a bit more and give him a few good pushes but not enough to knock him down. He gave me one really good push and I fell backwards, my helmet got stuck in between the ropes. When he slammed me the helmet came loose and covered my face. At first everyone thought I got hurt but I was fine. Frank had won lunch with Bret Hart. He was very happy. Frank and I had a chance to talk after the match. It turns out he is a fellow contestor. He inspired me to follow through on an idea I have had for over a year now; to start Canada’s first official contesting club.

The first club will be formed in the Greater Toronto Area and the meeting will be held centrally. (The word club is a bit strong because it really is an informal gathering of contestors and sweepers.) The format will be similar to those in the US but since most of our promotions are online, it will vary slightly. I am looking at holding the meetings either the second Sunday of every month from 1:00pm-3:00pm. (Due to holidays and long weekends we will occasionally shift the Sunday we meet.) If you are interested in becoming a member, please email me. I need to get an idea of how many people would like to attend on a regular basis so I can source an appropriate venue for our meetings.

I wanted to report that the only picture I received of my book in stores was taken by my husband.  (No Craig, you do not win a free copy of my book. All employees and their immediate family are ineligible to win.)


Tips and Tricks

This is something very interesting I learned down at the convention. Even though both Canada and the US have No Purchase Entry option laws, what Canadians and Americans have to do to enter differs slightly. In Canada a No Purchase Entry usually consists of entering certain information such as name, address, telephone number, etc…on a 3x5 card or a plain piece of paper along with a Universal Product Code (UPC) or a Hand Drawn Facsimile (HDF). In the US sweepers are only required to send in a 3x5 card or plain piece of paper but without the UPC of HDF as UPCs are now thought of as “consideration” which would make it Purchase Entry.

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

Our Contest

The Issue 13 Winning EDGE subscriber winner of a bottle of I AM Lucky Essential Oil is Cate of Kamloops, BC! Congratulations!!

Win an autographed copy of You Can't Win If You Don't Enter in our next draw.

If you are receiving this e-newsletter directly from me you are already entered! Please forward this newsletter to your friends so they can sign-up and have an opportunity to win too!!

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 Carolyn,
If the contest does not stipulate “hand written” essay, can you send in a “typed” essay? Also, if hand written, should it be printed or can it be written?
Thanks for your response!
Saskatoon, SK

Hi Maureen,
I always type my essays if they don't specify because 1) many now are emailed in and 2) you can get the exact word count (as many specify a word count, e.g. 100-word essay). I only hand-write if it specifies. Also many people have terrible handwriting so when it is printed from a computer it can be easily read. If you do chose to handwrite your entries, ensure that you write clearly.

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 should now be in local book stores. If not, you can take in a copy of my sell sheet and ask them to order your copy.

I am continuing to research the American Edition and I am targeting to have it published Fall 2006. Please contact me directly if you have any tips, tricks or stories that you think would make a good addition to the American edition.

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


Please send all your comments and suggestions to