How to Win with Online Sweepstakes Hints and Tips (Sweepstaking Part 2 )

Jun 29, 2003 (Updated Dec 15, 2007)

The Bottom Line You have a better chance winning a sweepstakes then making money on Epinions. Here's how to get started with online sweepstakes.

Ever notice how some people can win money and prizes all the time and you never seem to win anything? Have you thought about the fact that maybe it’s because you don’t enter those sweepstakes their constantly winning from? If your willing to spend hours writing and reading at Epinions for under a buck a month what if you could spend that time entering sweepstakes and have a chance at a whole lot of bucks.

I got into sweepstaking years ago with the help of my grandmother. She had a newsletter delivered once a month that listed all sorts of snail-mail (regular mail) sweepstakes she could enter. After watching her winning hats, camera's , t-shirts, cash, Nintendo and other video games, and more I was kinda of interested but it wasn’t until she won the $15,000 diamond ring that I really took notice. I wanted that ring!

I started by filling out some of my own entries using her supplies. I had no idea that there was a vast wealth of information related to sweepstakes on the internet. What she paid $35 a month for in a 10 page newsletter could be found easily with a little searching on the internet. Since then I have been sweepstaking on and off and though I haven’t yet hit the big prize, but I have won $150 value boom-box and many little things including hats, t-shirts, a movie with movie poster, a remote control, Gift certificates around $5 to $10 in value, cd holder, tons of freebie candy, food, and drink coupons and more.

It’s relatively easy to get started. There are three ways to go. Online, phone in, snail-mail. You can do one, the other, or both. Here's how to do the Online Sweepstakes.

What you need
The great thing about online sweepstakes is that you really don’t need anything other than your computer and internet access. These are the easiest ways to win and you can enter 1,000’s of contests just by entering your information.

How they work
Many companies, many as in thousands, host sweepstakes to bring in potential customers. They aren’t trying to get you to buy anything right now by hosting them, their hope is that you will enter their contest now. Then later, come back to their website when you do need something they offer. It’s all about getting out their name and hoping you’ll remember them later! Take full advantage of this opportunity!

Where to find the sweepstakes

Search Engine
There are tons of places to find online sweepstakes. Searching on your own you kind find an infinite amount just by using and entering different key words such as: win sweepstakes, no purchase win, skateboard win, TV sweepstakes win, and so on. Change up the words a bit and for more specific prizes enter exactly what it is you want to win.

Sweepstakes Sites
The internet is full of people who share this same hobby. Like epinions they start up side sites dedicated to the hobby. Some are small and can contain some helpful info but some can contain enough sweepstakes to keep you busy for weeks.

I prefer

both are very well organized, easy to use, and seem to hold the most valid contest to enter. Rarely a broken link or expired contest to get in the way of winning the big one! they both also have forums for questions, posting wins, and other related topics to sweepstaking. I use these for entering the majority of sweepstakes I enter. CashNetSweeps and online-sweepstakes are an awesome place to start your new hobby! Remember to use google to find some of the hidden sweepstakes that CashNetSweeps or online-sweepstakes hasn’t yet found.

Limit of entering
Every contest has rules to how you can enter. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, One-time, Unlimited, or some have an odd-entry rule. The majority will fall under the first 5. Stick to these rules! If you already entered a one-time sweepstakes, do not enter it again. This can get both your entries disqualified. Same goes for the others. If it’s a daily only enter once per day. They can track your IP address and know if you’ve entered more than allowed. Don’t risk it. Find a method to keep track of your entering,

Your information and the entry form

Always complete the sweepstakes fully. You will be asked for your e-mail addy, home address and phone number in the majority of sweepstakes. Some will only require one or two of these and some just your e-mail. Remember that this is the way sweepstakes get a hold of you and notify you of your win. If they can’t reach you they will give it to someone else. Some won’t even notify you and will just send to the address listed. Make sure you are using YOUR address. If you win big you will have to pay taxes on that win. They will verify that it is the correct address. If it is not you may have to forfeit your win.

The “extra” questions listed in some entry forms can be a pain and take up time. General rule of them is enter something or check some box and move on. If the entry form has asterisks listed next to needed info, you can ignore the stuff that doesn’t have them next to it. Otherwise stick to the form and fill it out fully. Incomplete will get you disqualified.

Some sweepstakes automatically enter you into their newsletters. This is unavoidable if you want to win their prize. A few of these will only list the winners in the newsletter as a way to “make” you read it. I don’t enter these ones as I sign up for a lot of sweepstakes and don’t have time to go through and check every newsletter.

The majority of what I run into asks you if they can enroll you in their newsletter, or send you additional info on their products. You do not need to do this to win. Always check no to avoid all the junk mail. Be sure to check if they are automatically checking this box for you. If they are be sure to change it before you hit submit. Set up a free e-mail account through hotmail or yahoo to avoid getting junk in your regular e-mail account. All your winning confirmations will come here so check it daily while entering your sweepstakes. Some need replies right away and you don’t want to miss out on these wins.

How to enter lots of sweepstakes without spending all day on them.
There are plenty of automatic entry programs that will enter the sweepstakes for you. AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE. Sweepstakes will automatically disqualify these entries. This is not a useable quick win method.

If you want to win you do have to do some work to get there. My best tool is RoboForm. This is a form filler, not an automatic entry. Once downloaded on your computer this will do the constant entering of information but in a way that will still be allowed. I have mine set to automatically fill forms. You can have them automatically filled and submitted, but it is important to check information entered each time and you do not want them automatically submitted.

I open multiple windows of the sweepstakes I want entered and by the time I go to each browser, the info is already inputted into the entry form. Make sure when first starting with RoboForm and entering you information to be used when filling forms later, that you do not give out to much. You name, address, phone numbers, age, birth date, and e-mail are all you need to have entered. For some sweepstakes having household income and job title will speed up entering.
Avoid ever giving out your SS#, bank info, driver’s license #, or credit info!!!!!!!!!!

The RoboForm Form Filler can be found at it is a free download.

Good Ole Instant Wins
These are my favorite online sweepstakes to enter. If you win you are notified right there or in e-mail within 48 hours. Read the rules carefully before entering and then enter as often as you possibly can! ON my profile page I have listed some of the current Instant Wins that I have won from. Generally these are the ones with LOTS of prizes. The chances of winning are BIG. Other places listing Instant wins are
I like this site because it lists codes needed for some of the sweeps

These are the three I use daily. I check back and look for new ones, and use the UPC codes provided. When you find some favorites be sure to bookmark the actual sweepstakes so you can do it without having to go back to these sites.

Organizing the sites

Using your bookmarks make a sweepstakes folder. Inside that add a Instant Win, Daily’s, weekly’s, monthly’s, sweepstakes sites (like CashNetSweeps )

A. Sweepstakes

1. Message Boards
2. Sweepstakes sites

3. Entry Method
a. Instant Wins
b. Daily’s
c. Weekly’s
d. Monthly’s
e. Unlimited

This is a good start for organizing. After you find something more suited to your needs edit at will. One-time aren’t listed because there is no reason to go back. Feel free to add them if this helps you keep track of what you’ve entered.

Enter often
I try to enter at least won entry into Sweepstakes with just one big prize. If they are giving away more than 10 prizes and they’re something I want, I enter as often as the sweepstakes allows. I try to enter at least 50 sweepstakes a day but sometimes will go through the list of over 700 daily’s on CashNetSweeps and enter close to 300 of the ones that interest me. Do what works for you. The more you enter the better your chances of winning something.

I played for seven days on an instant win contest held by cingular. Didn’t win a thing, not even one of the smallest prizes where over 10,000 were being given away. Then today I won a soundtrack where only 500 were being given away. Someone has to win. Make sure it’s you and enter as often as possible.

Using message boards to your advantage
The message boards are an awesome way to find new sweepstakes and to get tips and hints. These are also an excellent way to get some motivation to enter sweepstakes. Check out the winners lists. Many people love to post when they win and seeing all these wins can get you going to enter “just a few more”.

one of the most popular message boards:

Don’t get discouraged
Depending when winners are chosen, it could be 6 months or more before a win is delivered. You should start winning within a few months of entering but don’t give it up just because you aren’t winning right away. Some sweepstakes you might enter may not end for months. Give it some time and hold out. If you enter regularly you will see wins start accumulating but you have to be patient. Enter all the instant wins you can to keep up the motivation, these will show wins if you keep at them regularly. Check the websites above for some great ones with lots of prizes and awesome odds. Remember to read the message board wins postings. People are winning all the time! You will too.

Stephanie Dow is the author of the Debt Freedom Guide debt diary located at

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