**Disclaimer: I have paid all applicable taxes on prizes I won, and I highly suggest you do the same. Winnings are considered income by the United States and you will need to fill our tax forms for all prizes with a certain financial value. Please consult a tax expert with your questions.**
I’m sure you’ve seen internet contests popping up all over the place. This site is giving away a gift card, that company is having a photo contest, your favorite blog is giving away a book…
I’m going to tell you my secret. I win these contests. A lot. And sometimes I win some really, really cool stuff.
Here is a partial list of some of the things I’ve won through these internet contests/giveaways:
-a $100 gift card to the grocery store of my choice
-a reading curriculum that sells for $120
-an entire 4th grade curriculum from a major publisher, valued at $390
-6 ebooks valued at around $40 total
-4 in-print books with a total value of $60
-a card game that sells for $16
-a beginner etiquette program valued at $70
-several learning apps valued at $10 total
-a reusable math program that sells for $160
-season one of True Blood on DVD (best.prize.ever.), $25 value
Here are my tips for entering these contests, and remember:
If you don’t enter, you can’t win!
1. Establish an email address just for these contests. Most contests require you to submit an email address or sign up for a newsletter. If everything is in one neat place you can easily unsubscribe when the contest is over.
2. Check your email daily! Most of these contests only allow 24 hours for you to claim your prize, and if you don’t claim it they will give it to someone else. See that $390 prize up there? Yup, I lost out on it because I won on a Saturday and I didn’t check my email until Monday *sad face*
On the other hand, that $120 reading curriculum? I won that because the original winner didn’t claim the prize.
3. If you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account you will want to get one. While they aren’t required for most contests you can often earn extra entries for following the company on social media. Just like with email, you can unlike/unfollow everyone when the contest is over (but you may find that you like their content too much to unfollow!)
4. Most sites use a contest engine from Punchtab, Rafflecopter or GiveawayTools to run their contest. Don’t be afraid of these tools, they make it easier for you to enter and a million times easier for those who run the contest…plus they ensure that the winner will be chosen at random.