Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Should You Keep The News of a Sweepstakes or Contest Win Quiet?

I have been entering sweepstakes since 1998. My first win was a trip to Arizona with $2,000 cash.  I didn't think it was real because I figured that companies would give away small prizes like keychains and t-shirts, but I doubted if they really gave away anything that was actually valuable.

I didn't have a lot of choice in keeping that quiet. The company contacted my local paper, and the paper did an interview about me and the sweepstakes trip.  Since then I have been in the newspaper a few times for wins -- once for a win for a local school and when I won a contest with the story about how my dad's class ring was found after a devastating flood.  That was published at the anniversary of the flood, and was actually a heart-warming story of that tragedy.

My largest win ever was $15,000 cash.  It was impossible to keep that one quiet as well, because it was a voting contest.

There are wins I would recommend keeping quiet.  Depending on your friends, they may be very jealous of you and even say nasty things about you winning.  I've seen it on Facebook.  With my $15,000 win, I had all kinds of people asking how I spent it.  Did I tithe on it?  One woman was actually upset I didn't spend the whole amount buying things for my mother.  What did I actually do with it?  I paid taxes.  I was admitted to the hospital the next week for nine days, so some of it went to medical bills, and the rest I gave to my mother as "rent" for the rest of her life.  (Later I found out someone had been accepting the money from Mom that I was giving her each month.  That person *did* know I had won the $15,000.)   That money is long gone, now.  It doesn't take much to go through $15,000 rather quickly.

I had a status on my Facebook thread a while back and someone (a non-sweepstaker) was saying I shouldn't enter to win anything I don't want.  As most everyone who enters knows, you can't always control what you win.  I have entered to win swag bags before and have won a trip.  Or I might enter to win a grand prize and win a video game for a console I don't have.  So you might get comments like that from others as well.

There were other wins of mine that I kept rather quiet.  Cash prizes, mainly.  No one needs to know if I win money.  I was even asked by someone if I had tithed on the life insurance that Mom left me.  That is a question that should be between God and me, and not another human.

At this point of my life, I will keep any trip wins quiet.  I lived with my mother to help her and when I would win a trip, I'd get friends to help out while she was at home.  Now my mother is passed away, I am married, and the house would be empty if I were to win a trip.  I would likely post about it when I got home, but I certainly wouldn't want to give anyone the heads up that my husband and I were out of town and the house would be empty.

So should you keep a win quiet?  It's up to you.  You might have other reasons of your own, but these are a couple of mine.

How about you?  Do you share the news of a win with others?  When don't you?



  1. I think everything you said was very wise. I am so sorry somebody swindled your mom out the money you wanted her to have. I've had the problem of people wanting me to tell them shortcuts and secrets to win. There are none. You work hard and often. Some resources are better than others, but that is no guarantee of a win. If you need to work, you still need work. People don't understand that. They also don't understand why I don't automatically play the lottery. Well, lotteries are mathematically the worst way to spend your money, and my religion doesn't believe in it. I do think that you bring luck to your life by being positive and being generous. I see people try to sell their wins for nearly the retail value of the win. I hate to see people like that win. If I can't use something, I pass it on. IF I felt financially pressured to sell, I would give the other person a deal. That is just me, though.

  2. In response to people saying "You are so lucky" I sometimes say "Would you say the same thing about a paycheck from a part time job? Because that's about how much time I put into it each week." :)

  3. I sometimes tell and sometimes NOT. If I cannot use a product, I do not see what is wrong with selling it and banking a few bucks for my son or grandchild--or for MY trip fund. People say the very same thing to me---how lucky I am---that they have never won a thing, but that's because they don't enter. You can't enter ONCE (well, sometimes...)and expect to win. If it's a daily contest, I bookmark it and enter daily. Many people are reluctant to give out their phone number or date or birth so they do not enter. Even the simplest contests ask for this information just to win a Snickers bar! Every sweepstaker knows how much time it takes. People don't realize this. For every 1,000 entries, I might win one thing. You just never know. And, that is the FUN of it.