If you were new to the hobby of entering sweepstakes and contests, you might have begun by going to my website to learn how to become a winner. Most likely, the first thing you would click on is the featured post that says 5 Quick Tips to Get Started Winning.


It is my #1 tip because it is the thing people do the least.  If you do not follow the rules and you are selected as the potential winner, you will automatically be disqualified.

I wrote this blog because I know for a fact many of you are not reading the rules. How do I know? Because Not only do I teach others how to win, I am a Sweepstakes Marketer.

For example, in the past, I had hosted a blog contest to attend an in-person seminar I was presenting. It had only two very simple rules:

  1. Leave a 2-part comment on my blog–why you want to win and which prize you are entering for,
  2. before 11:59 pm on [INSERT DATE HERE].

As I was approving the comments (a feature I enable to prevent spam), I noticed many entries did not follow the rules. They stated why they wanted to attend my seminar but failed to post which prize they wanted.  This concerned me because if you are entering my simple blog contest and not following such easy rules, how many prizes are you missing out on because you failed to read the rules and follow them?!

I get asked all the time, “How can I win more prizes?”  Make sure you are in the game!

When you come to an entry page, even if you got the link from a website that gave you a brief outline of the rules, read the rules.  (Occasionally, I have found an error and would have been disqualified had I followed the entry instructions posted on the online sweepstakes website, group, or forum.) Ensure you are qualified to enter; meet the age requirements, the geographical area of eligibility, etc. Then ensure you follow all the entry instructions; is an essay required? photo? quiz? etc. Keep reading until you are sure you understand exactly what you need to do to win.  Then enter, following those rules you just read, and GOOD LUCK!

Now I want to tell you about what can happen if you don’t read the rules properly.

Several years ago, I got a call from The Toronto Sun.  I had entered their Steelback Grand Prix contest. I won two Weekend Silver Grandstand Passes. WOO HOO! However, I only skimmed the rules.  Somehow I missed the part about sumo wrestling!! Yes, sumo wrestling.

As I lamented about whether I should claim the prize or not, my ‘wasband’ said to me, “You know, I read in a book somewhere that you should always read the rules.”  I said, “I know. I read the same book!”  So, I sucked it up, claimed the prize, and wrestled.  (SPOILER ALERT: I got squashed!)  Read the full sumo wrestling story.

Have you ever disqualified yourself?