You Can Win a Sweepstakes

Although it seems impossible, sweepstakes are really being won by hundreds of ordinary people every day.  Real prizes, like cars, trips, cash, cruises, computers, iPads, Kindles, and others, are being won by people just like you, everyday.  The way to win them is to enter.  If you are not in it, you can’t win it.

The larger companies usually have some sweepstakes, contests and giveaways going all the time. These sweepstakes offer lots of great prizes which run the gambit from caps, and t-shirts, and free product coupons to the more extreme ones like trips and cars!   The larger companies will also hire judging and fulfillment companies to both administer and run these promotions for them.  This insures full legal compliance, as well as assuring that the actual prizewinners will be chosen in an impartial manner.

Every sweepstakes you might want to enter, should have a way to enter that does not require you to purchase any of their products and services.  You may have to read the rules to find out which “no purchase necessary” way is being provided.  To comply with this rule – they might allow you to “ask” or “send” for an official game piece, or they may just ask that you mail in your entry instead of entering online.  And while you might consider it an exception when you must mail in your entry, because this will actually require an envelope and a stamp, it still makes you a legitimate entry in the pool of possible winners.

It’s not really a sweepstakes if you have to purchase anything. The idea behind the sweepstakes rules in this country (United States) is that you cannot be required to buy anything to enter, and must not be required to pay anything to be declared the winner – or to them after you win (unless disclosed in the rules, and any of your costs associated with the prize will be listed in the rules).  Examples of things you might have to pay after you are declared the winner and on your way to your dream trip location could be baggage fees, transportation to/from the hotel to the airport, any and all meals, and incidentals.  The reason that you will pay for these, is that these items were not part of the prize package offered in the sweepstakes.

One thing you will absolutely have to pay if you live in the US is taxes.  Uncle Sam will tax you on the “fair market value” of your win.  Likely if it’s a large win, you will get a 1099 from the fulfillment house, or sponsor of the sweepstakes.  Even if you don’t get a 1099, you do still owe taxes on the fair market value of any wins you receive.

Most wins will require you to provide information to the fulfillment company, usually by filling out a signed and notarized affidavit which lists all of your requirements and states the details of your prize.  They may also include a copy of the rules, because you must comply with the rules and make sure you were actually eligible to win in the first place.  If any point you are found not to be in compliance with the rules, the sponsor has the right to require you to give back the prize, the actual prize or the monetary equivalent.  So do read the rules before you enter.

Since “You’re a Winner” is a common way for many scam artists to target you, make sure you enter legitimate contests from known companies that do not require a purchase, or any payment whatsoever.  Requiring any payment to process, or administer your win is a common scam technique.   If they do, move on and forget it.  You do not want to be the victim in exchange for any prize.  NO money needs to be spent to be declared the winner in any sweepstakes.  Legitimate fulfillment houses, and companies will work with you if you have any doubts or concerns.   Pay attention to the actual sweepstakes you are entering, so you know if you really did enter.   You cannot win anything you didn’t enter.

OK…. ready, set, go ~~ enter today!

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