Originally posted on July 27, 2009. Not much has changed except the amounts given away have increased exponentially with the introduction of social media sweepstakes.
There are millions of people that enter contests and sweepstakes on a daily basis as a hobby. So the question begs, how are “sweepers” created? Where do they come from? Why would anyone choose to spend hours on end entering countless contests and sweepstakes? (For definitions of contestor, sweeper or comper, read What is a Contestor?)
Let us start with the marketers. The first games of chance were lotteries. These dated back to ancient times. In about 1900, contest giveaways began to enter the American marketplace. The value of all the prizes given away totalled $15,000. By 1910, $500,000 in prizes were given away and there were about 100,000 contestors. By the 1930s marketers saw the value of running a contest as a marketing tool. By the end of that decade, the dollar value of giveaways soared to $100 million and there were 12 million contestors.
In the 1950s and 1960s, contests were in their heyday. (Read The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio.) During that time there was a shift from contests to sweepstakes. Sweepstakes were far easier to enter than contests. The number of sweepers, again, soared. By the 1980s there were 20 million sweepers. By the new millennium, there were 55 million sweepers. In 2007 companies in the United States spent $1.89 billion on giveaways and that number is expected to triple. We can only expect a rise in the number of hobbyists.
I call it Contest Crack. One win and you are hooked. The marketers created these wonderful promotions giving away amazing prizes. It usually goes something like this: You may enter on a lark. You win. Then you begin to wonder, “What else can I win?“. A sweeper is born.
Another way a sweeper is born is by watching their friends. Many of my friends began entering on a regular basis after they saw me win many prizes and thought to themselves, “Well, it is so easy for her to win, why can’t I?” I don’t know anyone who hasn’t begun to enter contests and sweepstakes on a consistent basis, that didn’t begin to win on a consistent basis.
If you want to know how to begin winning GET STARTED.
How did you begin winning?