It’s the friends I have made from this hobby.

When I began contesting in 2001, I had no idea the path my blossoming hobby would take. When I started, online entering was becoming more popular, and the forms were simple. I found my giveaways to enter via a Yahoo Group and chatted with fellow sweepers there.

Not in a million years did I know I would make lifelong friends along this journey.

The first time I met like-minded people was at the 2005 Annual National Sweepstakes Convention in Moline, IL. I was researching my first book; You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter, and I discovered sweepstakes clubs and sweepstakes conventions. I knew I had to go.

I remember attending with my ‘wasband’ Craig and having the feeling that I knew everyone even though I had never met anyone previously. One of my friends told me I had met my soul group. COOL! Then when we entered the conference hall with 600 attendees. I felt as if I had come home. I said, “I am coming every year!” Unfortunately, life hasn’t always allowed me to do that, but I have attended twelve.

This month I had the opportunity to take a road trip to visit friends that I had made via my favorite author and client, Robert Ohotto. But it wouldn’t be a road trip without spending time with some sweepstakes buddies.

This time I spent a day with Wendy, who I met in 2008 at a mini sweepstakes convention, of course, and then I attended the South Jersy Sweepers Sweepstakes Club meeting. I wanted to share the joy of making lifelong friends with everyone, so I talked Wendy into doing a live chat. I won’t reiterate all our great stories here. Enjoy the video.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE winning prizes, but you can’t put a price on the joy, fun, and adventures I have had with fellow sweepers.

Have you ever hung around with other winners?