Win Radio Contests: 10 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Winning on the Air

Trying to Be Caller Number Ten? Here's How to Win Radio Contests

Do you ever listen to the radio and hear ads for upcoming giveaways? Do you stop and take notes when those ads come on, or do you just ignore them? If you usually ignore them, you could be passing up the chance to win prizes like concert tickets, unique experiences, and piles of cash.

Call-in radio contests are worth entering because they usually get fewer entries than online sweepstakes. Only people in your area who are listening at the right time will be able to enter, and a good portion of the ones who are listening won't bother to try to win. This means that your chances of winning are comparatively high.

You can boost your chances even more by entering intelligently. Here are ten tips to help you win prizes on the air.

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Listen to Various Radio Stations

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Want to Win Radio Contests? Try These Tips. Adam Hester / Getty Images

In order to find radio sweepstakes to enter, listen to different radio stations whenever you have the time. Get to know each station's patterns, such as when they announce their "song of the day" and which DJs are most likely to hold giveaways.

Remember that some stations offer streaming audio, which lets you listen to them on your computer even when you aren't near a radio.

Some radio stations have better odds of winning than others. For example, radio stations on local college campuses may have more giveaways and fewer listeners than national radio stations, so prioritize listening to them.

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Jot Down Information That Can Help You Win

Good organizational skills give you an edge over the other entrants in radio contests. For example, taking notes about current contests helps you avoid missed opportunities.

For example, when you hear an announcement about an upcoming giveaway, write down the date, time, station name, and telephone number in a paper calendar, or keep track of the information in an online app like Google Calendar.

Other useful notes to jot down include how you'll know when it's time to call (sometimes, it will be a specific song or sound that plays), what you'll have to do if your call is answered, and any hints or tips the DJ might offer.

Some call-in giveaways ask their entrants to answer trivia questions or to gather clues to win the prize. Write down the clues or the answers, if you know them.

Keeping good notes means you'll be fully prepared if your call gets through and you're given a chance to win.

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Remind Yourself When to Call for Each Contest

Once you have your calendar in place, set up reminders to notify you 10 to 15 minutes before the sweepstakes you want to enter are due to start. This gives you plenty of time to turn on your radio and get your phone ready.

If you're using an online calendar to organize your notes, you can easily set a reminder in the app. This is handy because it means you have everything in one convenient place.

If you prefer to keep paper notes, set up reminders on your cell phone, download reminder software for your computer, or use a paper planner.

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Add Radio Station Phone Numbers to Your Speed Dial

Most radio stations ask listeners to call in to the same telephone number for all of their giveaways. You can give yourself an edge by adding those numbers to the speed dial of your telephone or cell phone.

Not only will you dial more quickly, but you won't run the risk of entering the wrong number when you make your call and losing your chance to win.

It's a good idea to cross-reference the phone number you have on speed dial with your notes ahead of time, though. You don't want to call the wrong number if the giveaway happens to use a different line.

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Keep Calling Until You Win — Or You're Sure You've Lost

A common mistake people make when entering radio giveaways is to call once and give up if they hit a busy signal. It's likely that you're calling at the same time as many other entrants, but that doesn't mean that you don't have a chance of winning.

When you get a busy signal, hang up and call again immediately. And again. And again. Even if you get through and find out that you are not the right caller, try again. Many people have redialed and won the next time their call got through.

Don't give up if it seems like a lot of time has passed; some stations wait a while before they start picking winners. Keep calling until the winner is announced on the air.

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Use Flash and Redial or Continuous Redial

Since your goal is to get as many calls through to the station as quickly as possible, reducing the time it takes your phone to dial boosts your odds. If your phone has flash and redial buttons, using them will speed up your call time.

Flash hangs up the phone more quickly, and redial saves you from re-entering the number by hand or scrolling to your saved speed dial every time.

Just be sure that you don't hang up so quickly that you mistake a ring for a busy signal!

Some phone companies offer a continuous redial service for a low fee. This service continuously calls in the background until you reach a ring instead of a busy tone. It then calls you back to answer the call.

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Use More Than One Phone

If you have two telephones, such as a house phone and a cell phone, call in with both at the same time. This doubles your chances of getting through.

Using your phones' speaker function will make it easier to keep track of which phone is getting through or reaching a busy signal.

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Land Line Phones Are Faster

Cell phones usually take longer to dial and to hang up than regular phones. If you have to make a choice between the two, enter with a regular phone. However, it's better to try to enter with a cell phone than to have no chance of winning at all!

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Cancel Extraneous Phone Services

You might have extra services, such as three-way calling, available on your phone line. Even if you never use those services, having them available can slow down your redial time.

By all means, keep any services that you find useful, but it's not a bad idea to talk with your phone company about canceling extra features you don't use. Doing so may speed up your connection and hang up times.

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Get a Little Help From Your Friends

Team up with your local sweepstakes club or with interested friends to help each other win.

For example, if you are trying to win a pair of concert tickets, convince a friend to try to win, too. Whichever one of you wins can invite the other to go to the concert with their extra ticket.

Another idea is to set up a group on Facebook of local friends who can help each other win on the air.

Your radio sweepstakes group can share information about sweepstakes and listen for announcements of winning names, greatly increasing your chances of winning.

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Bonus Tip: Be Picky About What You Enter to Win

Radio stations give away a wide variety of prizes, ranging from CDs to thousands of dollars in cash.

But before you enter to win any prize they offer, consider this: nearly every station has a limit on how often people can win from them. For example, they might say that each person can win a prize only once every 30 days.

Some networks even limit the number of wins you can get across all of their radio stations. That means that winning once could disqualify you for a month from lots of other giveaways.

As fun as it is to win any prize, it's a good idea to avoid trying to win anything that you aren't excited about. It would be a shame if winning a CD from a band that you don't really like prevented you from entering to win a $10,000 prize, for example.