From the Contest Queen

I recently had a very interesting experience. My hobby and career are blurring together.

I was notified by NOW Magazine that I was the Grand Prize winner of their Love & Sex online contest. The prize included dinner and a night’s stay at The Drake Hotel along with a gift bag from Good for Her and two VIP tickets to the Love & Sex Party at The Drake on Thursday February 8th. (I love this hobby! WHOO HOO!!)

After my husband Craig and I got settled in the VIP Lounge at the party, we began to talk to the group of people next to us. I gave an I AM LUCKY bracelet to each person that I hand out like business cards, and one fellow said to me, “you know me”. I did not recognize him. He opened his wallet, took out a business card and watched my reaction as I recognized his name. It was Brian Makse of Upshift Marketing Group. Brian and his team have a really neat blog called Enter to Win. What makes the blog interesting is that it is about promotions from a marketer’s perspective. I had been visiting his blog every few weeks and submitting my responses to their posts, plus his entire office reads this newsletter :), so he recognized me right away.

NOTE: If you visit the blog, you may notice it is a little bit out of date. Brian and his team have been very busy working with their clients to create the awesome promotions we get to enter. Here’s a shout out to the Upshift team. Please find some time each week to update your blog. We love it!

The blur occurred as Brain, Craig and I talked about all things contest related. Brian has agreed to speak at the 1st Annual National Contestors Convention, for details see below. I am very excited as it will be our chance to not only hear from “the other side of the table” but also ask all the questions contestors can never seem to get answers to. Make sure you register as soon as the contest convention website is online.

UPDATE: Canadian Contestors Association

The Canadian Contestors Association is currently being incorporated. It is a non-profit organization whose first order of business is to run the annual convention. We will eventually be accepting memberships from individuals and corporations, contest management companies, ad agencies, etcetera. The member benefits and fees are still yet to be determined. More detailed information will be available in about 3-4 weeks. I will be sending out a notification along with a link to the Association’s website, currently being built.

UPDATE: Canadian Contest Convention

The 1st Annual National Contestors Convention is a go! It will be held from Friday September 28th to Sunday September 30th 2007at The Sheraton Centre in Toronto ON. The fee will be $200 CAD. All our American sweeping friends are welcome.

There will be five or six dynamic speakers, a banquet, a vendor room, raffles plus thousands of dollars in prizes. Mark you calendar now!

The rough itinerary is:

  • Friday September 28th - 7:00pm Reception
  • Saturday September 29th
    9:00am to 11:30am Speakers and Draws
    1:00pm-4:00pm Speakers and Draws
    6:00pm Cocktails
    7:00pm-Midnight Banquet, Entertainment and Draws
  • Sunday September 30th - 9:00am to 11:30am Speakers and Draws

The vendor room will be open before and after most scheduled events.

We are launching the convention website as soon as possible with full details and registration information. We are expecting a minimum of 500 attendees and will close registrations on either July 31st 2007 or once the room capacity has been met, which ever comes first. Please, do not make hotel reservations until I post the convention code to ensure you get the convention room rate. I will be doing this as soon as possible.

UPDATE: My Home Town in the News!

I think Stephen Colbert is very funny. Here is a follow-up story and video regarding the sad loss of the Oshawa Generals to the Saginaw Spirit. You can read full story here.

Are You Attracting Bad Luck?

On February 5th there was an interesting blog entry posted by Joe Vitale. I thought I would share it with you. It shows how we are all human; we have lessons to learn and how to be more conscious of what we manifest.

Can you help me win?

I won hockey tickets from The Toronto Sun. They selected twenty “grand prize” winners to go to the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday February 13th and watch the Maple Leafs take on the Islanders from gondola seats. To one of those in attendance they will be giving a 46” Sony Brava HDTV. Please help me manifest this TV. I would be happy and grateful if you took a few moments and visualized me winning the TV. See me jumping up and down with excitement. Feel the vibration of the win in the core of your being. Send those thoughts and feelings out into the Universe. THANK YOU.


Tips and Tricks

Lash of Sherwood Park, AB sent in this tip for our American sweeping buddies.

I enjoy getting your e-mails. I understand you are working on a book for the U.S. You mention their contests are still primarily mail-in ones. I read of a site where people could buy discounted stamps if they buy $100 or more dollars worth. The site I got was as follows: I haven't looked into it as it doesn't apply to Canadians but it might be something you want to look into and if you think it's worth while, pass this info on to our American friends.

I checked out the site and it seemed legitimate. If you have bought from this site before, please write in and share your experience with the rest of us.

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

There are no winners to post in this issue of The Winning EDGE because no one is responding to my winning notification emails. Please ensure your spam blocking software is set to accept emails from both and Otherwise, you may not receive my prize email notice.

TIP: Quickly scan your spam folder before you empty it to ensure you don't erase any prize notification emails, from me, or anyone else.

Get The Winning EDGE on Today's Contests.
Win a 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, 2006 and 2007 archives of Your Questions Answered.

Hello Contest Queen;
Thank you for your great site. I have a question about the math skill testing questions (STQ) sometimes asked to enter a contest. I learned in school you always do the question in the brackets first and always multiplying and division questions first then the adding and subtracting, no matter how it is written, but when I do this sometimes I get a decimal or a negative number.

One question was written as 452 + 741 - 451 x 32 / 8 but if you do the 451 multiplied 32 divided by 8 first then the adding and subtracting you get a negative number. So I guess I just do it as it is written? If there were brackets around part of the question you do these first don't you? I'm just starting to enter contests and would be devastated to get a winning call and get the question wrong.
Thanks for your help.

Hi Catherine,
This problem just drives me nuts!!

If they phone, I ask up front if they want me to use BEDMAS to solve the problem or answer the question left to right. They usually tell you or you have to explain the two methods. They want you to win so they will guide you accordingly.

If the STQ is on a release form, I put down both answers with an explanation to both and to why there are two possible right answers. I have yet to be disqualified when I do this.

If the STQ is on an entry form, I email the company outlining the problem. Sometimes they fix it. Sometimes they don't.

Just enter, have fun and don't sweat it.

Hi Carolyn,
I would like to know how to find sweeps that are harder to find. How the free internet newsletters seem to all have the same sweeps. Is there a way to use search engines or some other means to get the harder to find sweeps that everybody else is not entering.
Brownsburg IN

Hi Beverly,
I am not sure if you did internet searches if it would yield you better results than using a site such as and it would be more time consuming. How I win most of my prizes is I do the online version of the locals.

Do you live near a big city? I am about a 45 minute to 1 hour drive outside Toronto. So I enter all the contests for all the Toronto TV, radio stations and newspapers. I sign-up for their e-newsletters to get notified of promotions first, some include bonus codes to their loyalty or VIP online clubs or exclusive promotions for subscribers only. I check all their sites once a week and enter anything new as most are one entry only per person. The prizes are not always small either as we won a two week trip to Europe this way and a Harry Potter weekend in London too.

Thanks Carolyn,
I will certainly give the locals a try and yes, I live close to a big city. I was getting a little discouraged I do a lot of mail-in entries and have been winning very little.
I appreciate you getting back to me.

Hi Beverly,
I don't do a lot of mail-ins as in Canada we pay 52 cents (plus 5 cents tax!) for every letter sent. We don't have a postcard rate either. 85% of my wins are from online entries. The balance are from a few mail-ins, radio phone-in, text messaging on my cellphone or in person (drop box/entry form).

Let me know how it goes for you. Remember to give it three to six months, as what you enter today may not draw for awhile.

I took your advice and won a $100.00 gift card locally.

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

I am working away on the American Edition. I am targeting to have it published by Spring 2007. 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