Sweep Your State

April 1, 2016

Enter Sweepstakes Efficiently: How to Spend Less Time, But Still Keep Winning


Less Time, Win More

Sometimes when I tell people about my sweepstakes hobby they respond that they would love to win too but don’t have time to enter. I think people on the outside of this hobby think that all of us sweepers must spend hours everyday to be able to consistently win prizes. It is true that some people view this as a job of theirs and put considerable more time into it. You don’t need to though, and you can still come out a winner.

It is all about efficiency and being a ‘smart sweeper’. I’m talking quality over quantity. That is why Sweep Your State was started- to help you with just that.

I came up with these seven tips to help you save time on entering sweepstakes, but still enter enough that you can win (and possibly win more) on a regular basis.

(This post does include an affiliate link. If you choose to use them, it does not cost you more- it just helps keep this blog up and running.) 

7 Tips to Spend Less Time Entering Sweepstakes, But Win More Prizes

1) Enter sweepstakes that are winnable.

What do I mean by this? While all sweepstakes have prizes, some have much better odds than others. If there is a sweepstakes that is open to all 50 states, people have six months to enter, you are seeing it advertised on TV and there is only one prize- this sweepstake is probably not your time to enter. On the other end of the spectrum, let’s say a local florist is running a giveaway this week, good for one week only and you need to be able to pick up the prize in person. There are so many less people that are able to enter and with the short window of time to enter, it will help keep the number of total entries down. You can search for your state to find a list of local sweepstakes in your area.

If the prize in the first example of the nationwide sweepstake is a dream prize of yours and you have an extra minute someday, it certainly doesn’t hurt to throw your name in and dream of winning it. If it is a single entry sweepstake, everyone who enters will have the same odds. I just don’t tend to put my time or energy into entering daily sweepstakes with poor odds. When the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes comes around though, I do enter once or twice just for the fun of it. You never know, maybe some year it will pay off big time.

2) Enter sweepstakes quickly.

Keep a tab of favorites on your computer or tablet and add all of your daily entries to it. My husband enters on his phone and prefers to keep a window for each sweepstake and quickly swipe through each window. Once you are on the sweepstake entry page, fill in the blanks quicker using Roboform or Autofill. Some of our devices have the handy Autofill button that you just need to click and it puts in all of your information for you. If you are entering on your computer you can install Roboform and it also fills in all the boxes for you at just a click of a button. Sometimes the official rules will specify that entries need to be manually entered, so that is something to watch out for, but not typically an issue.

3) If an instant win sweepstake includes a game to play, you can usually save time by not playing it.Look near the bottom and see if there is an option to click ‘Skip Game’ or ‘Can’t See Game’. Either option will advance you to the next screen to let you know if you are a winner or not.

4) Set a timer for yourself.

Our time available to enter sweepstakes on a daily basis is going to vary greatly from person to person. Let’s say though, you have just ten minutes to enter sweepstakes today. Set a timer for the ten minutes and see how many you can enter in that time. When you are racing against the clock, you can really focus and get through a lot more than if you are just casually entering.

5) Some days casually entering may be a better fit for you.

If we are watching TV, especially football games, I find this to be a great time to get through my list of sweepstakes and search for new ones. I am too much of a busybody, so I can’t imagine just sitting and watching a football game for over three hours. I usually sit down and ‘watch’ the second half but find this to be a good time for sweepstakes. It is time I would be sitting around anyways.

6) Follow your favorite brands on social media.

You are likely going to be checking your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds anyways. This can be a quick and easy way to spot giveaways and contests. Brands will post a giveaway and it often just needs to be liked and commented on or retweeted. These are super easy entries and many of these have short entry periods, improving your odds.

7) Don’t get so caught up in contests or sweepstakes that require a ton of work.

Some sweepstakes let you improve your odds of winning by doing various, time consuming tasks. Before you know it, ten minutes have past and you have only entered for one prize. These are such a time drain! The only exception is if you can see the total number of entries and realize you actually have great odds, then it is worth it.

There are also skill-based contests. These tend to take longer but are more winnable as many people won’t put the effort in. I feel like those are a separate category because you are using your creative skills, and gaining fulfillment by expressing other talents of yours, rather than mindlessly clicking on more links.

What Is Your Time to Prize Ratio?

I’d love to hear how much time you put into entering sweepstakes. How many minutes or hours a day do you enter? Are you entering seven days a week? How often are you winning prizes? It would be interesting to see if there are any correlations of time spent to prizes won.