Winning Expectations

It is important to remember that there is no guarantee of winning any sweepstakes, no matter how many times or how many you enter. It is a game of chance, and entries are picked randomly. However, you can maximize your chances of winning, and your winning expectations, by entering as many as possible, as frequently as possible, and entering as many difficult sweepstakes as possible. This will help to guarantee that you have the best chances of winning prizes possible.

If you are selected as a winner, this will let you know when you may expect to win, and the process of claiming your prize.

Time Frame for Winning and receiving a prize

If your sweepstakes entry prize is selected as the winner, generally speaking the process will take between 30-90 days from the time you enter to the time you receive the prize. This is simply because most sweepstakes tend to run for at least one month, then may require 2-4 weeks to select a random winner, obtain an affidavit (if applicable), and then another 2-4 weeks to send out the prize.

It is, however, possible to receive a prize much sooner if your entry was selected just as the sweepstakes closed, the sponsor does not require an affidavit, and mails the prize out right away. Some people have literally reported next day wins, with the prize in their hands several days later.

Affidavits (If Applicable)

Some companies may require you to fill an affidavit as a condition of receiving a prize. Generally, the affidavit will be a general release form - which means you give the company permission to publish your name as a winner. Sometimes, a company may also require proof of who you are, or request a picture of your face. Usually this is to publicize your winning information. (I.e., "Congratulations to ___, our winner who won the ___ prize! Here is a smiling picture of their face!")

Many other times, these permissions will have already been listed in the rules as a condition of entering, so you will simply receive a prize in the mail. Many people report that they will wake up one morning, and see a Fedex truck delivering a new surprise to them, meaning they've received a prize! So it depends on the company sponsoring the sweepstakes.

Potential Hidden Costs

Disclaimer: The following information is provided as general information only in the USA, which may or may not be applicable to your situation. It is not specific tax advice, and is not intended as legal advice. Your tax situation may be different. You should consult a tax lawyer or tax accountant to see specifically what applies to you.

If the prize you receive is worth $600 or more USD, then you will usually receive something called a 1099 form from the sponsor. And you will need to use these forms when you do your taxes. Anything less than $600 USD in a single prize win is usually your responsibility to record and report. However, a couple good things: