How to win anything but a Vespa.

My love affair with sweepstakes started young.  I was an avid enter-er of the Publishers Sweepstakes, back in the day when it involved licking lots of little stickers that looked like magazine covers.

I never read the rules, but I was entering these as soon as I could read the enticing promises on the envelopes my mother so carelessly tossed in the trash.  I’m sure Ed McMahon would have awarded the cash to a child; he seemed nice.

To this day, I love entering giveaways of all sorts.  Sometimes I have to stop myself as I am filling out yet another entry, because I realize that, not only do I not want the prize, I cannot think of a single person to whom I could give it.

It’s more the thrill of the chase than the having of stuff.

Were it not for my natural frugality, I could be one of those casino addicts.  Well, my natural frugality, combined with my aversions to cigarette smoke, loud places, and making physical contact with strangers.

This year, I did not win a Vespa in three different contests.  It was my holy grail of contest entries.  When I told my husband that I had not won the third Vespa, he consoled me with the idea that we could buy a Vespa, if I wanted one that badly.

Buy a Vespa?  Buy?  I thanked him for the offer, but told him that it wouldn’t be the same.  I want to win a Vespa.

Maybe next year.  I’m not giving up.

Ikea mug

I had a spring fling with Pinterest contests this year.  Among many other things, I did not win a Vespa, but I did win a gift card to Ikea.  It never expires, so I’m saving it for when my college son gets his first unfurnished apartment.  With inflation, it should buy a coffee mug by then.

The Pinterest contests were fun, but time consuming.  You would think pinning 20 images to a board would be easy, but it’s not.  Each entry took most of a day, some took more than one.  It’s an exercise in obsessing over curating the perfect board, writing engaging taglines, willing the judges to award you the Kate Spade Vespa.

(If you ever see a contest for a Vespa, please let me know.  Seriously.)

At the end of summer, I joined Twitter and discovered a whole new world of contests thrown at me all day, every day.  I have resisted entering many most many of them, for the aforementioned, “Who could I give this to?” reason, but who doesn’t want a water purifying bottle in case they get stranded and injured by a dirty stream?  It could be the difference between life and death.  I’d be crazy not to enter that one.

One of the first things I did on Twitter was participate in a fundraiser for Aflac’s Pediatric Cancer Research Center.  For every tweet, Aflac donated $2, so I spent an hour tweeting like crazy, losing a few newly acquired followers.  At the end of the party, I had won an ipad.   An ipad!  I’ve been debating for a month over keeping it or putting under the Christmas tree for one of my kids.  My husband and friends are all advocates for me keeping it.  I’m almost convinced.

Twitter also introduced me to many new bloggers, and last week I won a necklace from one of them.  It was a complete surprise because I didn’t know I’d entered.  I know, you are thinking I’m out of control if I don’t remember entering contests.  You might be right, but in this case I’d commented on an interesting post, not even thinking about the giveaway.  It was rather embarrassing, especially as the first notification went into my spam filter.

So apparently, the way to win prizes is to not notice you’ve entered contests.

I’m going to recheck my spam filter.  Vespa may be looking for me.

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12 thoughts on “How to win anything but a Vespa.

  1. A Vespa would be nice. But I agree that winning one would be quite a bit more exciting. I understand the draw toward contests. I am very impatient and usually don’t take the time to enter them. My recent obsession has been with baby wraps, slings and other carriers. I feel like I have to keep entering until I win one. This week is international baby wearing week and I’ve entered three.

    Ooh the iPad is a tough call. It may be really useful for your writing but would be a nice gift to bestow.

    • International baby wearing week? I didn’t know! For your sake, I will not enter any of those contests, even though I have several friends who could use them.

  2. I love my ipad and am typing this comment on it – using the bluetooth keyboard Wookie and kids bought for me. Means I can be downstairs with him rather than up in the office.

    Necklaces are easier to store and take less looking after than a vespa… one of my building tours last week was with a techy guy who rebuilds really old beatles and vespas 🙂

  3. Hmm, your inspiring me to enter more contests so I can win my “Dream Home!” which would make me feel like “Queen For A Day.” I think there was a TV show called that once upon a time.

  4. Oh my goodness. I have been entering PCH for decades upon decades. One day the Prize Patrol will roll up to my house. So thankful it no longer takes licking stickers. I once had my daughter (the one who is now parent to my grandchildren) absolutely convinced the Prize Patrol would be arriving on Super Bowl Sunday, that I was definitely the winner. She was in college at the time and seriously cried that night when she called to see why I’d not called her with the news of PCH’s arrival. I realized then I needed to stop being quite so darn-spanking-sure of my impending winner status (tho really, I do know I will one day win PCH…feel it in my bones). My biggest winnings so far: $800 in airline tickets and a year’s worth of Barilla Pasta and Sauce (coupons, not goods to store in the garage, thankfully). No Vespas…at least not that I know of. Maybe I should go check MY spam filter.
    Love the post. Thank you for the smile…and the confirmation I’m not alone in my obsession with entering sweepstakes.

    • That is so funny about your daughter! I’m sure it will happen for you one day, though. And that airfare is nothing to sneeze at!

  5. Haha! I would love to win something that I forgot entering to win! It is like finding a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of an old pair of pants that you are getting ready to donate to charity! Congrats. The necklace is beautiful!

  6. Pingback: Dogs on the Furniture (on Pinterest) « A Faded Ginger

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