From the Contest Queen
More About Radio Codes

In the past when a radio station gave away a prize you had to be the 7th, 10th, 25th, etc. caller through on the contest line to win the prize. As the Internet became more popular, radio stations began combining online entries as a way to “level the playing field” because if you were terrible at dialing-in, everyone could fill out an online entry form. In the past year, in the Toronto area, we saw the beginning of radio codes. Radio stations would give out a code word on the air and you would have 24 hours to enter it and gain points into their loyalty listener club. They also had games and trivia you could play on the website for additional club points. With your accumulated points you could bid for prizes or enter into sweepstakes.

Well, it now seems that the radio stations have made it even harder to win. You are now no longer entering sweepstakes competing against those within the listening area, but with all the markets the umbrella parent company owns stations. Geri of the T.O. Wanna Winners figured it out when she noticed on Q107 that the prizes were coded MM or L. She realized MM meant Multiple Market and L meant Local. This meant if you were entering a sweepstakes to win a prize marked MM you were possibly competing against all loyalty club members for every radio station the Corus Entertainment Company owns in Canada! Club members think they are entering a regional promotion when it is really national. I feel this practice is unfair and should be made clearer to the listeners. I do not think there is anything wrong with running a national promotion. I enter them all the time and encourage others to do so, as you never know what you may win. However, allowing people to think their odds are better than they are is unfair. If you are entering online radio promotions, ensure to carefully read the rules so you know what your odds are of winning. You can read the blog posted by T.O. Wanna Winner member Geri here.

Full Circle

In my book, I write about the first contest I remember entering.

The first sweepstakes I can remember entering was a radio sweepstakes to see Burton Cummings at Hamilton Place. I stood in the kitchen for ages dialing on a rotary dial phone hoping to be the fourth caller through. I was so excited when I won those tickets. I was only fourteen so my mom had to go down and pick up the tickets. She also went with me to the concert. We sat fourth row, centre. I felt so grown-up and so lucky!

Well, last month my contesting buddy Rick won several prizes playing Stump the Chump, coincidently, on Q107. One of the prizes was a set of tickets to see Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings at Hamilton Place. He thoughtfully gave the tickets to me. I had a blast!! It was very surreal sitting in the same theatre, listening to many of the same songs, 25 years later, with tickets “I won”. Thanks Rick for making a special contesting memory come full circle.

OLS Upgrade

If you are a member of Online-Sweepstakes you need to be aware they will be upgrading the website shortly and after the upgrade you must login to retain your membership (Free or Premium). You can read full details here.


You're a Winner

This adventure was sent in by Joyce of Montreal, QC.

I have been following your newsletter for awhile and am always happy to see people winning wonderful things. I've been hooked on contesting for about 18 years after I won my first wonderful vacation to paradise. I have won seven more amazing trips since, some of them huge like Tahiti or Hong Kong. But I've recently printed out your mantra of "I am lucky, I am a winner, I am a grand prize winner," and I do chant it when I enter contests I really want to win. Last week, I won a contest from Pepsi called “Be a Reporter”. The prize was a trip to Colorado with flight, hotel, new digital camera, spending money and press passes to cover the Avalanche vs. Pittsburg game at the Pepsi Centre November 1st 2007. I am a hockey fantastic, as well as my husband, so you can imagine how exciting it was to win this trip. So, use the mantra. It really works!

Here is an excerpt of the story Joyce wrote for her report:

We were ushered through the media entrance to pick up our press passes and whizzed up to the press boxes where Media Relations had all kinds of game information statistics available for us. I’ve always been curious to see what goes on behind the scenes and I could see that everyone was very business-like and intense and focused on their jobs to do. I grabbed some popcorn and a Pepsi and took my seat high above centre ice in front of a card that identified me as Joyce S., NHL. Very cool! From the press box I could easily follow the game.

For the second period, we decided to take advantage of the seats offered to us in the 12th row from centre ice. We pushed through the crowd while glimpsing more of the Pepsi centre, which is a beautiful arena. Every kind of food and drink is available, even Margarita’s! The seats down below made us feel part of the game. After being in the press box for the first period, I didn’t react to the first goal that the Avalanche scored but for the remaining two, I was on my feet hooting and hollering with the masses. The atmosphere was electrifying! Upstairs was all business and meeting deadlines, while down by the ice among the fans, it was definitely all pleasure and lots of fun. Both perspectives were a good experience.

Have a great story to share? Send me your story to share with the contesting community.

Tips and Tricks

Do you check any judging agency’s, contest management company’s or marketing and promotional industry websites? Did you know many list their current promotions as a way of attracting new clients? Here are a few websites you can check frequently for new contests and sweepstakes: ePrize, Launchfire, Promo Magazine, SCA Interactive.

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 18 Winning EDGE subscriber winner of a Xamrock Four-Leaf Clover Necklace is: Nick of Toronto, ON! Congratulations!

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.

Thanks for the quick reply. Did the lawyer happen to provide you any info or where to find additional info on that? Well, from one of my previous posts on Frugal I dug this up:

Click here for the original page.

Subparagraph 52.1(3)(b)(i) prohibits contests or games where the delivery of a prize or benefit is, or is represented to be, conditional on the prior payment of any amount by a participant.

(a) Contests in which the prize is a percentage off of the price of a product or is a "free" product if another is purchased (i.e. "buy one get one free") are generally considered to contain a condition of prior payment in order to receive the prize.

(b) The initial cost of entering a contest or game (such as the cost of a postage stamp in order to send in an entry) will not generally be considered by the Bureau to be a condition for the delivery of the prize or benefit.

To me it sounds like they are allowed to ask you to send a SASE. So does this mean that a postage stamp is not considered a form of payment for a contest because it is usually considered a minimal expense? Well, I know for myself anyways I don't usually believe what a lawyer says unless it is in writing or they can refer me to the printed regulations somewhere. Have any of the companies gotten back to you on this yet?
Ottawa ON

Hi Miriam,
I am not a lawyer, but it does sound like companies can ask for a SASE. Not one of the requests I sent without an SASE and a note sent anything back to me. All the requests I included a SASE in, did come back. Considering mail-in promotions are getting farther and fewer between in Canada, the price of a stamp seems to be a minimal expense for the opportunity to win. I look at it this way, it’s cheaper than a lottery ticket and the odds are better. You have to decide for yourself if you feel it is worth the price of a stamp for the entry form, PIN code, etc.

Hi Carolyn,
I need help in complaining about the rules for this contest: My son was one of the 15 finalists for the trip to London, England. When they phoned him, they didn't ask the STQ like they were supposed to, all they asked was whether or not he has a passport (which he doesn't). So, they disqualified him right away. He could have received a passport by applying in person within 10 days. Also, nowhere in the rules state when the trip was to be taken. Would you have a general phone number or email address to voice my concern? This contest was put on by MTV and Johnson & Johnson.
Thank You,
Edmonton, AB

Hi Gord,
I read the rules and they state: The Grand Prize Winner and his/her Travel Guest must each have proof of valid travel documents. That means your son would have had to have his passport before entering. I am sorry to tell you they had every legal right to disqualify him. This is why: 1) it is every important to read all the rules and 2) if you are entering travel sweepstakes, everyone has their passport.

My daughter has had her passport since she was 3 months old. When won the trip to London we were already “good to go”. I know the cost of the passport is a bit intimidating for some, but I feel the value of the trip/prize far outweighs the cost of the documentation. Since 9/11 and with the implementation of the US/Canada passport requirement, everyone should have a valid passport at all times, especially if you are entering sweepstakes for trips.

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

You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter

The American Edition is scheduled to be released on December 1st 2007. If you have a story, tip or trick you think would make a good addition, please email it to me as I put the finishing touches on the book. Also, if you belong to a sweeping club, sell sweeping supplies or run a sweepstakes website and would like to be included, please email me. (All contributors published receive a free autographed copy!)

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.


Please send all your comments and suggestions to