The answer is maybe.

Let me explain.

Most contests have a clause similar to this (from the Fruit vacation contest I won):

9.4  The Grand Prizes must be accepted as is, cannot be transferred, and is without substitution in cash or otherwise, except if agreed to by the Sponsor. The Sponsor reserves the right at its entire discretion to substitute a prize of equivalent value if the Grand Prizes cannot be awarded as provided for by these Rules. Any portion of a Grand Prize that is not accepted or used by a Grand Prize Winner will be deemed forfeited. Grand Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred, or substituted for cash. Neither the sponsor nor Universal Orlando warrants, either implicitly or expressly, the safety, appearance, or performance of the Grand Prizes or any activity related to the Grand Prizes. Each of the Grand Prize Winners does not have any recourse against the Sponsor or Universal Orlando for any warranty related to the Grand Prizes in any circumstance whatsoever. The Sponsor and Universal Orlando will in no way be liable for any event which leads to the Grand Prizes being annulled or for events beyond its control that lead to the Grand Prizes or part of the Grand Prizes not being awarded. Neither the Sponsor nor Universal Orlando shall assume responsibility of any nature whatsoever for any postponement, delay, or cancellation of the flights or any component of the trip or of any transportation which is part of the NBCUniversal:3781520v1

Grand Prizes, for any reason whatsoever, including, but not limited to, weather conditions, equipment breakdown, or failure. No frequent flyer miles will be available or awarded.

The official rules will always be written in favor of the sponsor. They have the right to change anything as they see fit. That also means they can change things in your favor, too.

When I won the trip to Universal Studios Florida, and the representative called me to arrange the trip. The first thing I did, after thanking her, was to ask if we could extend our trip.

She said yes.


It meant we would spend more money on their parks and resorts.

I also requested the first flight out on day one and the last flight out on the last day to maximize our time away. All I had to pay for was the additional hotel nights. The other reason I asked to extend our trip was that if we only stayed the four days and three nights I won, it would mean we would be traveling on a park day, cutting into our fun.

When she got back to me with the stay details, they could not get us into the hotel as stated in the rules. They upgraded us to a higher-end resort, Portofino, and as a massive bonus, our room keys became Fast Passes for the three days we were in the parks.

As I couldn’t afford to stay at Portofino for the additional two days, I booked us in at the original hotel, Sapphire Falls. I was worried the second resort would feel like a step-down, but it did not. In some ways, I even liked it better than the first. Universal does a great job of making its guests feel welcome.

(If you want to see what fun we had, you can check out my Orlando 2019 album on Facebook.)

It’s also a great idea to show your gratitude. I sent the Universal representative a small box of Canadian treats. Upon our return, I emailed the agency that managed the contest a thank-you note with a photo attached, requesting that it be shared with their client Fruite.

I believe I have altered almost every trip I have won. Why not?!

If you are already there, you might as well maximize your adventures. Just be sure you have a travel budget because, at that point, it becomes a cheap trip, not a free trip.

This example is for a trip win, but you may be able to alter other prizes. All you have to do is ask, politely.

Have you ever altered a win?