Tag Archives: National Sweepstakes Convention

Reflecting on Sweepstakes Resolutions

Reflections

Since the end of the year is approaching, I looked back to my January post “Sweeping Resolutions” to see what I have accomplished and what I still have left to get done.  In that post, I had set out four sweepstakes items I wanted to accomplish before the close of 2017.

The first was to schedule monthly meetings of the Boise Sweepstakes Club.  I already had a dedicated Facebook page for the club where I post local and regional sweepstakes.  But I wanted to build a community in my town around sweepstaking where we could meet every month to talk sweeping, support each other, enter sweepstakes together, and make the hobby even more fun and social!  So, in July I started a page on meetup.com for Boise Sweepstakes Club, and in just 3 months we have 15 members.  This does not count all the folks who like and follow Boise Sweepstakes Club on Facebook.

My second resolution was to enter even more sweepstakes.  To help achieve this goal, I decided to attend the National Sweepstakes Convention this year. It was held on a cruise and introduced me to many more resources for sweepstaking.  You can read a bit about the convention and the entire adventure on my other blog here. I am utilizing a lot more online sweepstaking information sites than I was before the convention, which has allowed me to find more sweepstakes to enter.

Next on my resolutions list was to reapply to teach a sweepstaking class through my city’s community education program.  You may remember that the first time I applied to teach the course, my idea was turned down.  However, I am happy to report that I was selected to teach the class earlier this month, and the class, entitled Sweepstaking: Fun & Free, was held October 9. Six people registered for the course, but only three showed up for the class.  I still had a lot of fun teaching it, and my students seemed excited to learn.  I am awaiting feedback, and to hear whether I can teach this course again in the future.

My final sweepstaking resolution for 2017 was to write a memoir centered around my years doing this hobby.  It is the only resolution I have not taken steps toward, so to ensure I would push myself to complete it before the end of the year, I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  A memoir is not a novel, however, if you write in the nonfiction genre they simply call you a “rebel” but you can still participate via their free website for writing support. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word book in just the 30 days of November.  It is not meant to be a publishable piece at the end of one month.  It is more to encourage you to get a draft down.  You can edit it later after the month is over.  As of right now, I am registered at the NaNoWriMo site with a working title for my memoir, a brief synopsis, and my husband is working on creating a book cover for me.  If I do complete my 50,000 words in 30 days, I’m considered a “winner” – and I love that word!

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Selling Prizes for Fun and Fixing

Sold!

In past blog posts, I have talked about some reasons for sweeping other than just winning prizes for yourself.  These included gifting to friends and family and donating to local charitable causes. But there is another advantage to winning prizes: selling them to buy something else you want or need.  I have two examples from this year where I won large prizes and sold them for one thing I wanted and something else I needed.

A little over a year ago on July 21, 2016 I was fortunate enough to win a regional contest for a Yamaha Waverunner and trailer worth around $9000.  At first I couldn’t decide whether to keep it or sell it. So, I kept it unused in my garage through the winter, and in the spring decided that it was best to sell it.  I took it back to the dealer that distributed the prize and negotiated a fair price.  I then took the money to do something I have always wanted to do!  I registered myself and a friend for the National Sweepstakes Convention Cruise, which happens this fall.  I had been wanting to attend the convention for several years, but was never in a financial position to do it.  Selling the Waverunner connected me to my dream goal (and quite a nice vacation opportunity!)

Earlier this year I won a $5000 pinball machine.  When I got it, the key was missing and though I tried hard to track it down from the sponsor and distributor, I had no luck.  I had a machine I couldn’t play.  Knowing this, the distributor put me in touch with a local businessman who was looking for a pinball machine. We negotiated a price, and the buyer paid me and picked it up. The very next day, our hot water heater broke.  It was an unexpected expense, and due to other priorities, not one we had set money aside for.  How fortunate that I had just sold the pinball machine!  We used that money to get a new water heater.

So now I don’t just enter sweepstakes where I want the prize.  I enter sweepstakes for prizes I perhaps could not use, but I know that I could sell for money.  Then I can treat myself to my true desires!

Sweeping: A Solitary Hobby or a Chance to Make Friends?

girl in chair at computer

I’ve tried twice to start a local sweepstakes club.  The first time was in California.  I had about a dozen people sign up on our website to join the group.  But when it came down to attending a meeting, the only one that showed up was my mother-in-law.  She was not a sweeper but showed interest in learning and wanted to support me.  I kept the club going a few months, but never had anyone attend one of our meetings at a local coffee shop.

The second time I tried to start a local sweepstakes club was in Idaho.  I had about half dozen people sign up, 3 of which included friends of mine who wanted to learn but were mostly there to support me.  Others wrote on the website that they wanted to learn and wanted to attend meetings, but no one else ever showed up in person.

People have pointed out to me that it is a solitary hobby – for the most part you sit in front of your computer, alone at your desk at home.  Others have said it’s probably because people do not want to share promotions they know about or their methods because they want less competition.  But I do not think either of these statements are true.

First of all, while entering online sweepstakes is a hobby pursued from your personal computer, people do indeed seek out fellow sweepers to socialize with.  Contest Queen keeps a list of successful clubs around the nation.  Also there is a large annual National Sweepstakes Convention.  This year they are limiting attendance to 700 people.  That’s a lot of sweepers who want to come together and meet, learn, socialize, and win!

Second, sweepers share their methods and the promotions that they enter all the time!  That is why there are sweepstakes websites (by hobby sweepers) set up to share information.  Plus there are books and pamphlets on Amazon geared at teaching people how to begin this hobby.  And there are blogs, like this very one, to share links, ideas, and more!  I even post interesting promotions on a Facebook page called Boise Sweepstakes Club.

That definitely doesn’t make sweepers seem like secretive loners!  So it’s a mystery to me why in some areas it is harder to start a sweepstakes club or find fellow sweepers to socialize with.  Any ideas?