This was one of the craziest up and down days I can remember.

On one hand, I found out the previous day my grandmother had passed away, and then I couldn’t communicate with anyone at home as Rogers had a mass telecommunications failure leaving 1/3 of Canada without internet, cell service, or television.

On the other, I won more prizes than I ever have in one day, including a trip.

Susan and I decided to theme our outfits by wearing all things red and white. Everyone knew the Canadians were in attendance. This morning it was the white Oh Canada t-shirts and the red Canada hoodies.

I had also brought down treat packs with mini Canadian chocolate bars and fairy dust to hide around the hotel. If a convention attendee found one and then found me, got to draw for a full-sized Canadian treat. I brought down Ketchup Doritos, All-Dressed Chips, Jos Louis, Kraft Peanut Butter, Hickory Sticks, and special edition Sour Patch Kids and Smarties. I had 20 packs, so I hid five per session. They were a huge hit. I will do them again at the next convention.

Morning Session

To kick off the event and make sure none of us felt peckish. Snack bags were handed out to everyone. These included everything from granola bars to cookies, crackers to chips. So yummy! Then, before we knew it, convention bags with logoed tumblers, scratch-off tickets, free offers from some of the newsletters, etc. We already felt like winners before a single prize had been handed out.

The first speaker was Christi Rechtsteiner of SweepSheet, paying tribute to Patti Olsterheld, the former editor, who passed in 2020. It was a beautiful reminder of how to live life outlined in The 12 Laws of Karma (not her actual speech but a great explanation).

Then the prize draws began! That was when Susan noticed the news on her phone about the telecommunications outage. I tried calling home. Nothing … phone not recognized. Even though I was on the AT&T network, mine was a Rogers phone, so I was out too.

I won a $50 Amazon gift card. WOO HOO!

For lunch, we went back to our room to eat as we had so much food in the mini-fridge and limited time before the next session,  That’s when I remembered we should be entering the giveaways with instant win prizes because our odds of winning would be better. I was right.

I won a pair of running shoes and an Amazon gift card. While looking at my phone, I spotted an email from HelloWorld. I also won a weekly prize in the Coca-Cola Canada Studio contest. A trip to the Îlesoniq Music Festival in Montreal, Quebec. (A similar Coca-Cola Studio sweepstakes is running in the United States.)

I also donated 30 prize packs, so there were many happy winners.

I did manage to get a message from my mom. The funeral for my grandmother was going to be the following Thursday.

Like I said. My day was very up and down.

Afternoon Session

The second speaker was Tom Cavalli of IWINCONTESTS. He began his speech by announcing he won a cruise on the Disney Wish during his lunch hour and asked if anyone else won a trip at lunch. He was shocked to see my hand go up. Yes, I really won a trip too. This really is the best hobby in the world.

Tom then went on to speak about payment apps and giveaways. As we do not have Venmo or CashApp, etc., in Canada, so I found it fascinating.

Then the prize draws began!! This time it was Susan’s turn. She won $50 cash! It was so exciting to see her win the first time at the convention.

Before the sessions ended for the day, Paula and Karen, the representatives from The Saguaro Sweepers, the host club of the 2023 Annual National Sweepstakes Convention, stepped up to the podium to tell us all about next year’s event. You can find full details at

Evening Excursion

Every convention has optional excursions, and this one was no exception. They offered several to choose from, such as a train trip, boat cruise, etc., and we picked the Friday evening baseball game.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are one of the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm teams, so Susan wore her Blue Jays t-shirt. I couldn’t find my Blue Jays baseball cap, so I stayed in my Oh Canada t-shirt.

So many of us from the convention attended that we sat in the pavilion section out in left field. We were there on jersey night, and the ticket included a hamburger dinner with salad and drinks. Great value! (All option excursions are paid for separately by convention attendees.)

At one point, the left field player missed a ball and rolled into the corner of the field. I stood up and yelled, “That’s OK. You’ll catch it next time.” I believe he liked my words of encouragement because he tossed me the ball. Our whole section cheered.

Afterward, we went back to the hotel. Similar to the night before, I didn’t go out or join any activities. I made tea and did a bit of work. Then I thought, “I would wonder if I can win again?” Sure enough, I won another pair of runners. Susan and I howled with laughter. What a lucky day!

Part of me believes my grandmother had a little something to do with my good fortune sending me good luck from heaven. You never know …

Go to my Facebook page to see the full 33rd Annual National Sweepstakes Convention photo album. If you have any pictures you would like to contribute, please email them to me.

If you would like to attend a convention, you can find a full list on my website.

Read about Day 3’s adventures!