Thursday, January 21, 2010

Get Premium For Free With Our Referral Program

A program that is proving very popular with online instant win, sweepstakes and contest players is our referral program.  What's different from many other referral programs is that you don't have to actively recruit people, or send emails to all your friends (unless you want to) or really do anything besides get your link out there and see who clicks on it.

When logged in to, just click on My Account at the top and then the Referral Program tab.  You'll see your personal tiny url listed.  Take that url and put it anywhere you like.  In your forum signature, on your Twitter profile, in your blog, email it to friends, post it to Facebook, Tweet it out as often as you like, whatever you like.

Anyone who sees your link and clicks on it and then signs up for a paid subscription will get you an extra free month of Premium subscription to  If twelve people happen to come through you could have full access to which Instant Wins, Sweepstakes and Contests are statistically most likely to win you a prize.

Don't miss out on this opportunity.  It really works.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Anatomy of a high ranking sweepstakes (and a low one)

Looking at two promotions on either end of the Rating Engine scale gives good insight into the advantages that the automated ratings give.

First let's look at "The Dollar General Fresh Start Sweeps", which is currently at the top of the rating list by a wide margin.  Actually one of the highest ratings in the history of the engine.  [The engine has been running since the summer of 2009]

What are the key factors?

First of all: number of prizes.  Holy Moly.  Over 20,000 prizes (Worth almost a half million dollars in total).

Second: duration.  Only about a month.  That's well over 600 prizes given away every day.

Third: traffic.  This site is showing very low traffic estimates.  So there are relatively few people competing each day for those 600 prizes.

That's a recipe for a really good chance of winning a prize.

Now one stipulation here that's an interesting point.  This is a sweepstakes, with a drawing after the end.  So even though your chances are great now, you still have the risk that a ton of people can play after you and reduce your chances before it gets to the drawing.  That's the big advantage of Instant Wins, you are playing against the current traffic, not the total traffic of the entire game period.

[Note, between the time we originally drafted this post until this morning, the traffic has already greatly increased.  It's still at the top of the ratings, but now just barely.]

Now compare this to "Game Z" [name withheld for politeness] with one of the worst ratings on the list.

This is a sweepstakes for one prize.

It runs for nearly eight months.  Prizes per day?  That comes to less than .005 as an average.

And it lives on a site that is getting HUMONGOUS amounts of traffic.

Rough estimate of traffic is about 3 orders of magnitude more than what we were seeing with Dollar General.  "Orders of magnitude" is a somewhat technical term, but for simplicity sake we'll call that about 1,000 times more.

Simplifying quite a bit for a rough estimate, you have 1,000 time more people per day competing for 130,000 times more prizes (on average per day).  So that's (shockingly) 130 million times better chance of winning a prize on Dollar General.

Yes, you read that right.  130 million times better chance of winning a prize.

Now, there are a lot of estimates in there.  The broadest is the site traffic.  It's certainly possible that "Game Z", although getting thousands of times more traffic per day is only getting hundreds, or even tens of times more actual game plays.

But even at "tens of times" more actual game plays, we're still looking at 1.3 million times better chance.

This, my friends, is the value of  Are you wasting your time on "Game Z"?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to use with the free membership

At the free level of membership, you don't have access to the Rating Engine results, but you still can take advantage of the management tools to gain an advantage in your prize hunting.

First a quick summary of the tools available, then a strategy on how best to use them.  The tools:
  • In the main listing:
    • Ability to view by type (Instant Win, Sweepstakes, Contest or Other)
    • Ability to view only your likes, all but your dislikes, or all.
    • Ability to search on keyword.
  • When you're visiting a game
    • Ability to mark contests as "I won", "Like" or "Don't like".
So a good strategy would be this.

On your first day:
  • If you're an experienced player, search for your favorite sites with the keyword search, visit them (and play) and mark them as "Like"
  • For all players, from the main listing, set the type to "Instant win".  Instant wins generally provide the best chances at winning prizes so it's the best place to start.
  • Peruse the listings and play games that interest you. Look for brands that you use and like, prizes that appeal, etc.  Also look for games that are receiving a lot of likes from the rest of the community (as shown in the orange bar graphs).  As you play these games, mark them as "Like" if it's a game you want to continue to play or "Don't Like" if you don't want to play again.  If you're not sure, don't mark either.
  • Return to the listing and do the same for Sweepstakes if you have time (there's generally way more sweepstakes than instan wins) and contests if you're interested ("contests" here meaning games where you have to submit something like an essay or a photo and there is some judging element).
Each day afterword.
  • Return to daily, log in to the listings and set the type to "Instant Win" and the likes setting to "Only my likes"
  • In the listings, for each game you'll see a count of how many times you've played plus a date and time when you last played.  This makes it easy to go through the list and play the daily games.  As soon as you visit the site, your listing will be updated to "Today" so you know you've already played today.
  • Repeat for sweepstakes, contests and others if you choose.
  • Then look for new sites.  Set the type to "Instant Win" and the likes setting to "none of my dislikes".
  • Look through the listings.  New listings (added within the last 5 days) have green borders and are marked "Recently Added".  Also review games that you were undecided on before that you may want to add to your likes.
By using this process you can have a really solid routine for making sure you play the games you like (and just don't forget about them) and work new ones in.

Plus you can see some neat statistics. Like when you do win a prize, you can see exactly how many times you played before you won it.

Planned additional features:

We plan on adding a list of your wins to the "My Account" section.  That way you can track them and check them off when they arrive.  (Or follow up with them if you don't receive it).  It's also a handy automated way of keeping a list of your winnings, as many gamers do, instead of keeping a manual list.

Possible new feature:

Display for each game its entry frequency (Once per day, one time only, etc.).  We're interested in feedback on whether this would be useful.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Q&A: Why join if I already play lots of online games and win?

It's all about time

Remember, is not only a tool to win more prizes, it's also a tool to save time.

Just as it makes sense to play the games with the best chance of winning prizes, it's a waste of time to play games that have astronomically bad odds of winning.  And there are a lot of them out there.

Plus, there's bound to be a highly rated game or two that you didn't know of from your other directories.

So think of as a way to play instant win games and sweepstakes smarter.  You'll win at least as often, but using only a fraction of the time.  And could quite possible win a lot more.

Plus, you'll play more consistently  The tool makes it easy to track when you last played an instant win and make sure you hit it every day.  It also makes it easy to flag a set of games as your favorites and make sure you play them as often as the rules allow.

How many chances to win are you losing because you forgot to play a given day?  Or you forgot that a certain instant win game allowed you to play every hour and you were only playing once a day?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An introduction to, and background of - Part 2

In part 1, I gave a history of how the initial idea behind came about.

Now a little more about how it all came together.  There are really three elements to estimating the chances you have of winning a game.  They are:
  1. Number of prizes
  2. Frequency of prizes won
  3. Number of visitors competing for these prizes.
If you knew all three of these, you'd know the exact odds of winning a prize.

Now #1 and #2 are relatively easy.  All of these games are required to publish rules that specifically state quite a few parameters which can then be used to always exactly determine the number and frequency of prize awardings.

But there is no way to know the number of visitors exactly unless you have access to inside reports from those who run the game.

But in recent years, a number of services have arisen that give some glimpses into traffic.  The challenge for the Rating Engine was to gather these diverse statistics from various sources and then arrange them appropriately to gather a close approximation of the traffic.

That, along with the exact answers to 1 and 2 give us a close approximation of the odds of winning any given game.

And that is the magic of  The rating engine runs every night, automatically gathers thousands of statistical points from various services, rates every single promotion based on estimated odds of winning, then ranks them in order from best to worst.

And the difference from best to worst is quite significant.  More on the odds we've found in a later post.  But promotions at the top of the list have proven to win in less than two weeks in some circumstances.

Promotions at the bottom you could most likely play for several lifetimes and never win.

So the value for is not only providing a tool that might allow a player to win more prizes, but also one that will save a lot of time that might otherwise be wasted on games that have extremely low odds of winning.

Sign up for a month of premium membership at  It doesn't cost very much.  And then let us know your results.  We're pretty sure that you'll be more than impressed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

An introduction to, and background of - Part 1

The initial idea for arose several years ago.  I happened upon an instant win game that had a not uncommon issue, the game was up and live prior to when the marketing around it was really able to get organized.

So the end result?  The instant win game was very hard to find, but once you found about it, every play was a winner.

That's right.  There were so few people coming to play the instant win game that everyone won.

The reason this happened has a lot to do with the way most promotion firms run their instant win games.  (More details on this in a later post).  Suffice to say for now that there is generally an allocation of prizes per day.  So if less people came in that day than there are prizes, everyone wins.

This obviously doesn't happen too often and when it does, it's very hard to find about.  But it leads to another conclusion.  What if a game is getting low traffic for other reasons? Maybe not so extreme as the above example, but let's say it's only getting 500 visitors per day and giving away 50 prizes per day.

Every instant win game play then has about a one in ten chance of winning.  That means if you played the instant win each day you would only have to play for about a week and a half (on average) to win a prize.

That led to wondering how many games are the opposite--getting tens of thousands of visits per day for a small number of prizes.  Making the chance of winning almost zero and any time spent paying a complete waste.

In part two, I'll describe how all the pieces came together and the rating engine got started.

In the meantime, stop by and visit and check it out.  Drop me a note if you have comments, I've been known to give out free Premium subscriptions for valuable feedback. :)