8 Reasons Why You're Not Winning Sweepstakes

...and What to Do About It!

Have you been entering sweepstakes but not winning as much as you expected? If you're going through a dry spell or if you've never won a prize, you might feel like you're just unlucky. However, the reason why your name isn't being drawn as a winner could also be that you are doing something that hurts your chances. Here are the top reasons why people don't win sweepstakes, and what you can do about them.

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You're Not Reading the Sweepstakes' Rules

Image of an error sign
A simple mistake can prevent you from winning prizes. Image (c) Lvcandy / Getty Images

If you're not winning as many sweepstakes prizes as you hoped, one possible reason is that you're skipping over the sweepstakes' rules. Reading all that legalese can be tedious, but it often pays off with more prizes. 

For example, reading the rules can help you avoid being disqualified because you entered too often, submitted an essay contest entry with too many characters, or didn't meet the eligibility criteria.

Furthermore, reading the rules can show you ways to get bonus entries, improving your chances of being drawn as a winner. 

So instead of skipping over the rules next time, take a few minutes to read through them and break your losing streak.

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Sponsors Can't Get in Touch with You

It's not easy to think about, but maybe you have been winning giveaways... but the sponsors haven't been able to let you know. Have you made it too difficult to get in touch with you?

It's easy to sabotage your chances of winning by making simple typos in your email address, street address, or telephone number when you fill out an entry form. To avoid this, proofread your information carefully before submitting it. Using an automatic form filler like Roboform can help to prevent typos, but you should still double-check that all of your entry information is in the correct field and entered properly before you submit your form. 

Next, make sure that sponsors can reach you by telephone. Most won't leave an answering machine message if you aren't home when they call. You can use your cell phone number to enter to make it easier to reach you when you're on the go, or you can take advantage of call forwarding to make sure you don't miss any win notifications

If you enter sweepstakes on Facebook, make sure you check your messages carefully. Facebook doesn't clearly notify users about messages that come from people other than their friends, so be sure to check "Other Messages" regularly to make sure a company hasn't tried to reach you.

It's also a good idea to set up Google Alerts to catch any prize notifications you might have overlooked. Sometimes, companies post winners on their websites or social media accounts, and Google Alerts gives you a chance of finding these posts in time to claim your prize..

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You're Not Entering Often Enough

The more sweepstakes you enter, the less you have to rely on luck to win. Entering regularly is one of the keys to winning sweepstakes. If you enter only 15 minutes every day, it's still better than entering only now and then. Entering daily will give you a broad range of entries, and will help you win more regularly as well.

But of course, there's a balance — entering too often can lead to frustration and unhealthy behavior. Check out how many sweepstakes should you enter daily for tips on striking a healthy balance.

It's smart to try to get as many entries as you can in whatever time you have available to you. Creating a ​winning sweepstakes strategy and learning how to enter sweepstakes faster helps.

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You're Not Using All Your Chances

Some sweepstakes give you more ways to win than just filling out entry forms. Perhaps you can play more than once per day, or maybe you can get extra entries for telling your friends about the giveaway or for watching a video online.

Each of these bonus entry methods increases your chances of being drawn as a winner, so don't pass them by. They could give you the winning edge over all of the other people who are entering.

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You're Wasting Time Entering the Wrong Sweepstakes

Everybody wants to win the big prizes, but if those are the only sweepstakes you are entering, it's not surprising that you are feeling frustrated. The sweepstakes with the biggest prizes have the longest chances of winning. For example, the PCH SuperPrize Sweepstakes has far, far worse odds of winning than the Powerball lottery, yet people are still surprised when they enter for years but don't win.

It's a good idea to enter a mix of sweepstakes with exciting prizes and the sweepstakes with the best chances of winning. It's a good idea to enter sweepstakes with lots of prizescreative contests, and instant-win giveaways to make sure the prizes keep rolling in while you're waiting for your Dream Home or multi-million-dollar prize to arrive.

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You're Not Checking Your Email Regularly

You'd be surprised at how many people do win, but either never receive their win notifications or don't answer them because they think they are scams.

Increase your odds of winning by using a  separate sweepstakes email and checking it regularly. Make sure that your inbox is never too full to receive new emails. 

It's also a good idea to learn the difference between the warning signs of sweepstakes scams and normal things sponsors need when you win so that you don't toss out a legitimate win notification.

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Winning Notifications Sent to Spam

Another problem when it comes to checking sweepstakes email is that some winning notifications can be mistaken as spam by your email provider. In order to be sure that you really receive your wins, set your spam filter as low as possible and be sure to check your spam folders regularly. Check out  how to unsubscribe from sweepstakes emails to keep the amount of emails you receive from sweepstakes companies at a manageable level.

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You Simply Aren't Being Patient Enough

This is probably the hardest advice of all, but sometimes you're not winning because you simply haven't waited long enough to receive your prizes.  Some people win after their first week of entering sweepstakes, but for most people, it takes much longer. Everyone goes through dry spells, and it's important that you don't give up. Stick to your strategy and keep entering, and the wins will follow sooner or later. If the frustration feels too much, read these tips on what to do before you give up on winning sweepstakes.