Contests: Are they worth it!?


October 22, 2012 by Cory

I am often asked if it is worth the time I take to enter contests.  Well, first of all, the majority of the contests I enter are in the evening after work while I am watching a television show (as I love to multitask!).  Second, perhaps if I share some of the highlights over the last few years, you can decide for yourself whether it is worth the time invested in winning contests.  Please know that the purpose of this blog is not to brag or show off what I have won, but rather to help others to do what I’ve been doing.  Here are some of my favorite prizes that I have won:

  • Disneyland Vacation (2008):  My name was called on the radio, and I had 45 minutes to call to claim the prize (park-hopper tickets and two nights at a Disneyland resort).  Thankfully, I had several friends calling and texting me to make sure I heard my name.
  • Wine-Bottling Experience (2007):  I entered an online radio contest where I was selected to receive a gift certificate good for a batch of Green Apple Riesling wine.  I bottled them, created labels, and brought thirty bottles of wine home for friends and family.
  • Super Bowl Party Extravaganza (2011):  One radio station was playing a game, and I was the first caller to get through.  As a prize, I was invited to a night’s stay at the Carefree Resort.  I got to know the radio station staff and radio personalities during the game itself, where there was complimentary food, drinks, and more prizes (which I walked away with an iPod and dinner for two).  It was like the prize that kept going and going…
  • Barenaked Ladies Concert Experiences (2010 and 2012):  BNL is my favorite group, and this past July, my friend and I were already heading to the concert.  We saw a radio booth and got to pick slips of paper with some prizes written on them.  My friend won us a pair of front row tickets!  Only two years earlier, I read a code word on that same radio station’s Facebook page, and when I was asked for it the next day, I made it through to win BNL concert tickets and a sound-check prior to the concert.
  • San Antonio Vacation (2012):  I went to the Goode Company’s Facebook page and clicked “LIKE” before entering its national sweepstake.  That is all I had to do to score a trip to San Antonio including two nights at the historic Menger Hotel, several tours, and amazing meals!  See pictures of the trip at the barbecue company’s webpage:
  • Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Staycation (2011):  A local magazine had a contest on its Facebook page where there were posts about vacations.  The post with the most “likes” would win a one-night stay at an unbelievable resort plus breakfast.  Thanks to friends and colleagues, I was the lucky recipient of this big prize!
  • Plain White T’s Concert and More (2011):  I had registered to play “Battle of the Sexes” on a radio website and got randomly called by the station to play in a trivia game.  I lost in a tie-breaker yet still scored a great consolation prize:  Plain White T’s concert tickets, Plain White T’s meet & greet over lunch the day before, and a $50 gift card to a great Asian Fusion restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale.
  • Sade & John Legend Front Row (2011):  A radio station was asking for sound bites to determine its “Smooth Operator.”  After submitting my own voice, I was one of 19 finalists, and thanks to friends, family, colleagues, and general voters, I was the winner!  I got to be on the radio and score front row tickets to a concert.
  • Diamonds! (2011):  One particular radio station was giving out a “Prize of the Week” whether electronics, great seats to a concert, or much more.  I heard the “Prize of the Week” song and called in as caller #25.  I scored $500 in diamond earrings, though unfortunately, it was the first time I ever made the mistake of winning two prizes from one station in less than 30 days.  No diamonds for me.  😦
  • iPod Touch & Bose Docking Station (2010):  As mentioned last week, I have won most of my prizes through loyal listener stations though most of them are only $20 to $50 in value.  Every now and then, there are great prizes worth much more!  One example was when I entered only a few entries into a loyal listener raffle contest for an iPod Touch and a Bose docking station.  Definitely a great win!

I can go on but I figure this is a good enough start (and I shared some examples of how someone can win different types of contests).  I feel that it is definitely worth the effort to enter and win contests, especially as it doesn’t impact work or my personal life in any way.  Please feel free to share your own success stories on winning contests of your own as I would love to hear your own stories.


One thought on “Contests: Are they worth it!?

  1. Lisa Banen says:

    So this is what I miss by listening to NPR. No flare; no resorts; No concert seats.

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