Feel Like You Never Win? Here's How to Turn Your Luck Around

How to Stop Feeling Unlucky and Get a Winning Feeling, Instead

Frustrated Caucasian businesswoman using computer
Feel Like You'll Never Win Anything? Don't Give Up!. JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

If you haven't had any luck entering sweepstakes, you might start to worry that you're just not cut out to be a winner. Maybe the giveaways are rigged or too many people enter for you to have a chance of winning. Maybe sweepstakes just aren't for you.

The truth is that sweepstakes do work, and the secret to winning them is patience, persistence, and a positive attitude. However, it's possible that you are making some mistakes that are reducing your odds of winning a prize. Before you decide you'll never be a winner, ask yourself these questions.

Have You Given Yourself Enough Time to Win?

You might think that if you haven't won a prize in the first few weeks after you start entering, you'll never win at all. You then give up... without ever giving yourself a real chance.

While some people are lucky enough to have their name drawn right away, it usually takes a few months of entering a solid number of sweepstakes on a regular basis for the prize notifications to start coming in. Or even longer.

Think about the timeframe of winning a giveaway; it looks something like this:

  1. The giveaway you're entering has to end before the winners are drawn. The exception is instant sweepstakes, which give you a chance of finding out that you have won immediately, or sweepstakes with multiple drawings over time.
  2. After the giveaway ends, the entries need to be checked and any incomplete or ineligible entries must be disqualified and removed. 
  3. Next, the sponsor has to draw potential winners and notify them. This process can take a while, especially if they can't reach some of their potential winners right away. Many times, the rules state that they must make a certain number of attempts to contact winners. If that fails, the sponsor has to draw another winner and try again, so this step can take a while.​
  4. The potential winners (often) have to complete an affidavit and return it, along with other required paperwork. If any of them fail to complete this step, new winners must be drawn and the notification process in step 3 must begin again.

This means that even if you submit an entry that ends up winning on your very first day of entering sweepstakes, it can take weeks or months before you find out that you're going to receive a prize.

When you're feeling frustrated, remind yourself that you could already have a winning entry and that a prize notification could be in the works.

Are You Entering the Right Sweepstakes?

All sweepstakes are not created equal. Some have great chances of winning, while others are long shots. By concentrating your efforts on the best sweepstakes to enter, you can win more quickly and reduce your frustration.

For example, if you're primarily entering those big-name sweepstakes that everyone's heard about, like the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes, PCH SuperPrize Giveaways, or sweepstakes from magazines, you're going to be competing with hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of other entries. 

There's nothing wrong with aiming for the stars and trying to win some of those high-publicity, life-changing prizes. But if you enter a good mix of sweepstakes types every day, you'll also be winning smaller (but still fabulous) prizes while you're waiting for your dream prize to arrive.​

Entering sweepstakes with lots of prizes is a good choice if you want to prove to yourself that you really can win. More prizes mean more winners and better odds. And even if those prizes don't have a huge value, they are so much fun to receive. There's a reason why one popular motto among sweepers is, "A Win Is a Win!"

Another good idea is to search out local sweepstakes, which have very few entries compared to nationally-advertised giveaways.

Are You Maximizing Your Odds?

Luck is only one part of winning sweepstakes. The rest is being a smarter sweeper by maximizing your odds of winning.

There are only three factors that influence sweepstakes odds, and you can tweak those odds so that they tilt in your favor.

Some ways to do this include taking advantage of bonus entries, picking sweepstakes that limit entry by certain age groups, and being sure to enter as often as possible.​

The more sweepstakes you enter, the higher your chances to win are. By streamlining the amount of time it takes to enter each one, you can enter more sweepstakes in less time.

Are You Making Mistakes That Affect Your Odds?

If you're wondering whether you're not winning anything because you're doing something wrong... well, it's possible. There are some common sweepstakes mistakes that many people make which lower their chances of winning.

Are you reading the sweepstakes rules? Do you have a typo in your sweepstakes information that's keeping sponsors from reaching you? Are you avoiding picking up the phone if you don't recognize the caller's number?

If you can avoid making these mistakes, you'll increase your odds of winning.

Hanging In There

For new sweepers, the hardest thing about entering regularly is that you haven't had any proof that people really do win sweepstakes. That uncertainty makes it easy to quit.

Sadly, most people don't win overnight, and when you've been entering for months with no proof of a payoff, it's easy to give up. But many people win on the verge of giving up. Use this to motivate yourself by keeping in mind that your very next entry could be the one that makes you a winner.

Stick with it, and focus on the fun of entering, the friendly sweepstakes community, and the excitement of thinking about what you could win. The prizes will follow.

How to Stay Motivated Until the Wins Come In

If you feel like your motivation is flagging, it's a good idea to try to focus on making entering fun rather than wasting your time thinking about how long it's taking the prizes to arrive.

For example, you could try a time-tested way of ​improving your luck. Or you can make yourself a cute lucky charm to boost your spirits. There are even some ​ways to win with no extra effort that could give you a boost.

You can also try visualizing your prizes with a vision board. Thinking about the great things sweepstakes can bring to your life can keep you fired up to win.

Remember that if you enter regularly, prizes will come in more regularly. Sure, there will always be dry spells, but there will also be times when one prize after another shows up at your door.

Keep in mind, sweepstakes are a hobby, not a job and certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme. If it were, everyone would do it! Oftentimes, the prizes you win will be fun, but not life-changing, and sometimes even useless.

But if you have the patience to wait it out, sweepstakes can be very rewarding. So try to keep the frustration at bay and focus on the fun parts of entering, and you'll find that you really can be a winner!