From the Contest Queen

The past two weeks have been very interesting to say the least.

Maple Leaf Hockey Game

We had to arrive before 6:30pm in order to qualify for the grand prize drawings. All of the winner’s names were put into a cookie tin. Four names were drawn out and sadly, mine was not one of the four selected. So I did not have an opportunity play High Card Draw the TV. Thank you so much for all your support and encouraging emails. We did have a lot of fun at the hockey game!

Book Lover's Ball

I attended the 2nd Annual Book Lover’s Ball. It is the annual fundraiser for the Toronto Public Library Foundation. There were over 700 guests. Each table had a celebrity author. Marsha Boulton, author of Wally’s World, and her partner Stephen Williams were seated at mine. It was wonderful to be able to speak to other authors and get their perspectives on writing and the Canadian publishing industry.

The Affadaisies

L-R: Carolyn, Dortha, Alice and Betty

Julianne Moore played Evelyn Ryan and
Laura Dern played Dortha Schaefer.

If you have read The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio or have seen the movie, then you know who The Affadaisies are. If you have not, they are a group of women who formed a contesting club back in 1957. They are celebrating their club’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary!

Originally, I arranged to go down to Ohio and interview only Dortha for the Sweeping Clubs chapter of my book. Once her friends heard I was coming, they wanted to be there too. When I arrived I had the pleasure of also meeting Alice Bruns and Betty Yearling.

I felt as if I had won my best prize ever. I got to be an honorary Affadaisy for a day! First we chatted about the hobby and then we ate the delicious buffet lunch Dortha had made for us. After lunch we got “down to business” and began working on word contests, which was a first for me, as I primarily enter sweepstakes. No wonder those ladies used to win so much. They are all sharp as tacks and very witty.

These women are the true Contest Queens. They have watched the hobby go from contests to sweepstakes and from mail-in to online. They still enter and they still win. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world to be given the opportunity to meet them.

Please Help Bring Stephen Colbert to Oshawa

March 20th is Stephen Colbert Day in Oshawa. Please help Oshawa bring Stephen Colbert to our city for Grin and Bear It and sign the online petition. THANKS.

Book Signing at Chapters

I will be signing copies of my book at the Chapters Bayview Village store on Sunday March 25th starting at 2pm. WHOO HOO!

Canadian Contestors Association

The temporary CCA website is now up and running. The fully functional site will be online soon.

1st Annual National Contestors Convention

The temporary convention website is now up and running. The fully functional site will be online soon.

Maple Leaf Foods

There has been a lot of discussion in several online groups regarding a Maple Leaf Foods promotion gone terribly awry. If you wish to read the online discussions, you can go either to Frugal Shopper or Canada-Contests.

If you do chose to read the online posts, please remember Socrates and his Test of Three.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance that ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. ”Before you tell me your story I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”

“The test of three?” asked the man.

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student, let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first is the Test of Truthfulness. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the Test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. “You may still pass though, because there is a third test - this test is the Test of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me in light of your other two answers?”

“No, not really…”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all? I am not interested in gossip.”


Tips and Tricks

My husband Craig sent me this great tip: Getting to Plumb. Attracting Luck principle #4 is: Have good chi flowing inside and out. Balance your inner chi and attract more wins.

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 1 Winning EDGE subscriber winner of a Lucky Gemstone Window Crystal is: Marlane of Valencia, PA! Congratulations!

The Issue 3 Winning EDGE subscriber winner of a Winner Wear Baseball Hats is: Carol of San Diego, CA! Congratulations!

Wear Luck Around Your Neck!
Win a Xamrock Tear-Drop Necklace 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.

Could you please clarify contest tax laws? One contest at Canadian House and Home states winners are subject to municipal, federal and provincial taxes. All contest suppliers like yourself, say Canadian contests are not taxable income.

Another contest is Nestles Mothers Day contest from last summer. Could you tell me what the tax laws are on that one? One winner was from Alberta, one from Ontario and one from New Brunswick. Total prize value was $22,000 in services including yoga for a year, catering for a year and Molly Maid for a year. I have many questions:

  1. Is the winner obligated to pay taxes?
  2. Does each service provider have to pay taxes on their portions, or is everybody exempt from paying income tax?
  3. Since the companies receive the actual cash payments from the contest for the work they do for the winner, are they responsible for income tax on the earnings or are they covered by a Canadian contest non taxable win and are exempt also? I have heard that no T4 slips will be issued by Nestles.
  4.  Are cash winnings subject to taxes but merchandise ones not? Canadian tax returns say lotteries are not included in income, but doesn’t mention contests.
  5. Does it vary in all provinces?
  6. Is there a page of income tax rules you could send me? I am very confused on the varieties. I know U.S. contests are taxable.

Hope you can help me on these questions

Hi Lorraine,
There is no page of tax laws I can send you. When you win something in Canada you are not obligated to pay INCOME tax on wins of any kind. For example, in the United States if you earned $35,000 per year and you won a $35,000 car, the next year you would pay income tax on $70,000. In Canada you would not.

However, you are obligated to pay municipal, provincial and federal taxes if asked. For example, my husband and I won a trip to Europe. The trip was free and we paid no income tax. We were asked to pay, as per the rules, the GST, PST and airport taxes which equaled about $250 each. We have won other trips and were not asked to pay anything and others where we only paid the hotel taxes when we checked out.

Do not offer to pay anything unless asked no matter what the rules say. If asked and then you are obligated to pay or you possibly could forfeit the prize.

You seem to be saying that the maids will be paid in cash for their services to the winner by Nestle and are they responsible for paying income tax. They didn't win anything. So, yes they pay taxes because Nestle is a client and they pay corporate income tax on all their sales just like every other business in Canada. You are the winner, not the maid company.

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