Thursday, November 17, 2011

Top Six Myths about Online Sweepstakes

1. You're just asking for an inbox full of spam

This may be true if you're clicking on any flashy popup ad that you come across.  But if you rely on a reputable prize games directory like, then you'll only be playing legitimate prize games.

These games are run by brands who care about their reputation and who follow national laws such as "CAN SPAM" that prevent them from emailing you unless you check the box giving them permission.  Even if you do give them permission, you will have a chance to revoke that permission in every email you receive.  (Look for the "unsubscribe" link, usually at the bottom of the email).

2. No one really wins

Legitimate prize games post official rules and in many cases file these rules with certain states and post bonds against the prizes, etc.  And they all contain a section in the rules to find out who the real winners were after the game is over.

3. You'd have a better chance winning the lottery

For some that's true.  For others, you'd be surprised how good your chances are of winning a prize.  That's the whole foundation for -- knowing one from the other makes all the difference.

4. Automated submission services are the way to go

It's possible you might snag a win or two but these services are not only expensive, they also break the rules of nearly every promotion.  Don't waste your time, you could quite likely actually win, then be disqualified without ever knowing it.  Don't waste those wins, register legitimately to make sure you don't get disqualified.

Besides, modern browsers like Chrome come with auto-complete functionality that makes it very quick to enter and still be be very safely within the rules.

5. You can't trust the companies running these games

Again, if you are using a reputable games directory like, you are only playing legitimate prize games.  The sponsors are spending a lot of money to try to provide you with a good experience with their brand.  And the administrators live and die by running smooth promotions.  They both have a lot on the line.

6. You have pretty much the same chance of winning on one as the other

You might be surprised at the difference in odds.  There are games out there with such a small chance of winning that you are literally wasting your time by playing them.  And there are often games out there that if you play every day for a month you are almost guaranteed a prize.

This is why is so useful.  Free members get sneak peaks into the odds every day.  If you've opted for our email updates, you'll get the Number 2 and Number 3 best odds games delivered to your inbox each Monday morning.

And of course premium members get access to all the rankings all the time, including a nicely sortable list of the games with the best odds.

One thing never changes--you have to play to win.  Go to right now and get in the running for cool prizes.  Good luck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Just Won a Prize! Now What?

First of all--congratulations!  It's always fun and exciting to win prizes online.  If you're using, get used to it as you should be winning a prize or two every month if you keep up with it.

If you've won something relatively small (under $600), things are pretty simple.   You may receive an email or a phone call asking you to provide or confirm your home address.  Or it may just arrive at your door if you've already provided your address during registration

Hint:  Be sure to mark your wins on the toolbar so you can track them and make sure they show up.

Considerations for Bigger Prizes - Do I Even Want the Prize?

If you've won something bigger you'll need to first think if you really want the prize enough to pay the taxes on it.

You'll be asked to sign an affidavit and the sweepstakes administrator will file paperwork with the IRS along with the value ("ARV") of the prize or prizes you've won.  This means you'll owe taxes on this as if it were extra income you've earned.  (When tax time rolls around you'll receive a 1099 form).

Only you know what tax bracket you're in, so consider taking that percentage of the ARV and knowing you'll need to pay that to get the prize.  Is the prize still worth it?

And also take into consideration that big prizes, like cars or extravagant trips, can push you up into a higher tax bracket.

So the 21 day trip around the world seems cool, but is it worth paying $7,000 in taxes for?  That's up to you.

Some Other Things to Consider

For cash prizes you should obviously always take the prize.  You can pay the taxes out of it and keep the rest.  No decision there.

For prizes with a good resale value you should also consider taking the prize.  For instance, a car or truck.  You might owe $10,000 taxes on a $40,000 car, but you could most likely (depending on the specifics of the vehicle) sell the car for more than $10,000 and keep the difference.  Of course, as long as you're willing to put up with the hassle of the whole process.

What if my Prize Never Shows Up?

This does happen sometimes.  Sweepstakes administrators make mistakes just like everyone else.  This is why it's important to track your wins so you can follow up if they don't arrive.

If you're looking at your list of wins in and see a prize that never showed up, you'll need to find a person to contact.  The better sweepstakes administrators will still have a page up that says the game is over, along with a link for someone to contact for support.

If there is no support link, and the rules are still available, try looking towards the end of the rules. There generally should be three sections there.

  • Sweepstakes Administrator:  This is the company hired to run the promotion.  Google them to find their phone number and call to ask them about your prize.  Since they are being paid to run a smooth promotion, they are usually very helpful.  Most of the time the issue is something as simple as a delay in receiving the prizes in order to ship and they can get things straightened out quickly.
  • Sponsor:  Every set of rules should list a sponsor and this is where you should go if you can't determine an administrator.  The sponsor is the company who actually decided to run the promotion and is generally paying for it.  Sometimes they can be a little more difficult to navigate than the Administrator, since they are often much larger corporations, but if you are persistent enough to get to the right people you can usually get helpful responses here.
  • Winner's List:  Any well run sweepstakes will supply an address to write to for a winner's list after the sweepstakes is over.  If it's a different address than what' you've tried and you are still not getting anywhere, it's at least worth a shot.
Winning is Still Fun...Right?

These are suggestions to help with rare situations.  It's important to keep in mind that these circumstances are rare and the majority of the time your prizes arrive easily (although not always so quickly).  Be patient for at least eight to twelve weeks after you've won before pursuing a follow-up call.  If you're really antsy, check the rules -- they should specify the amount of time you need to wait for your prize to arrive.

Any Good Stories?

If you have a story about winning a prize, please post it to the comments.  Your experience could be very helpful to other players.

You Still Have to Play to Win

All this talk of prizes should have you chomping at the bit to go out and try a few.  Go to now and start playing.  The prizes will come as long as you keep playing.

Good luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Updated site design

So we rolled out an updated design last night.  We moved a bit away from the open and white look to have a little more structure and definition.

But it's not just a a visual improvement, we've also optimized many areas so you should see faster page loads and a generally quicker feeling experience.

These changes are hard, because there are always a group who've grown to like the old look, but we're confident they will grow to like the new one also.

Let us know what you think?  As all those who have provided feedback in the past know well, we listen and respond.  If you have a good suggestion you just might see it on the site a week or two later.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome TLC's "High Stakes Sweepers" Viewers, Here's How You Can Win Prizes

Welcome New Sweepers

Well, has had a flood of new visitors and new registrants since the airing of TLC's new show, "High Stakes Sweepers".  If you are one of these new Sweepers, read on.  We want to tell you how to win prizes without spending the four to eight hours a day that the sweepers they profiled in the show are putting on.

But first we wanted to say, we think this influx is a really good thing.  Because new Sweepers can bring a fresh new perspective and aren't stuck with old habits they developed before tools like were available.

It still amazes us that people are spending so much time.  If you consider the hours involved, it's somewhere between a part time and a full time job. 

Winning prizes should be fun, not a monotonous job that uses up all your time. 

How to win prizes without wasting your time

The philosophy behind is for regular everyday people, who may not have an extra 20 to 40 hours a week to spend entering thousands of prize games, to be able to enter and win prizes and have fun doing it.

Here is how it works: actually pulls in dozens of different statistics from various sources, regarding prizes, people playing, etc., and then calculates, very accurately, your estimated odds of winning each and every game.

So really does know which games you'll probably win, and which games are a total waste of time (and there are a lot that are a total waste of time).

If you're a free user, you'll see all the games along with some sneak peeks into which games have the best odds.  This is a great option if you're just getting used to or sweeping in general and deciding on whether a Premium membership makes sense.

Premium users get a full list of the top 100 games, with the best odds at the top.  All you need to do is start at the top and work your way down as far as you like.

Even if you only have ten or twenty minutes to play, by entering all the games with the best odds you'll have a better chance to win a prize than someone playing for hours and entering dozens or hundreds of games that they are so unlikely to win that they are a complete waste of time.

So for about the price of a cup of coffee each month, you can enjoy all the thrills of wining prizes without the cumbersome time commitment.

And to make it even easier to try out, we guarantee your monthly payment.  If at any time you decide that you aren't getting your money's worth out of, you can cancel and we will refund you your full months' payment.

So yes, you can play for a full month in Premium and if at the end you are unhappy for any reason, you won't have paid a cent.

So again, welcome aboard new sweepers.  We're glad you found the smarter way to play. Click here to get started winning prizes and having fun doing it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Features for Free Members

We've been working hard to roll out some new features over the last couple of weeks and wanted to give an update on what we've done.

Free members can now get a couple of "Sneak Peeks" into the Rank (WR) that premium members enjoy.

The Rank

As you probably know, one of the coolest features of is the Rating Engine which compiles stats for all the prize games and estimates your odds of winning a prize.  The Rank (WR) is the number that shows the result of that rating.

Generally ranging from 0 to 10 (but sometimes over 10) the WR is a quick indicator of your odds to win a prize.  (Click to read more on the Rank).

Icons also help you to visualize the Ranking, with a "Green Ball on Fire" ...

being the best odds all the way down through yellow and then red balls ...

which are a waste of time.

Premium members have full access to all the Rankings and can play games starting at the highest WR and work down.  A powerful tool.

A Sneak Peek (or Two)

But for those still trying things out with the free version, you now have a couple of peeks into the WR.
  1. Three free sneak peeks a day.  When browsing, you'll see a big number at the top of each page letting you know how many Sneak Peeks you have left.  Whenever you are interested in seeing the WR for a given prize game, just click on the gray ball with the question mark and it will temporarily update to reveal the Ranking.  Make sure you remember it or jot it down because it's just a peek and it won't be there the next time you look.
  2. Weekly update email.  If you're opted in for our email updates, you'll now get the Number 2 and Number 3 highest WR games delivered to your inbox each Monday morning.  (Sorry, the Number 1 WR is reserved for premium members).
If you are not already signed up for email updates, click on the "My Account" button at the top of the screen and check the box for "I would like to receive emails..." then press the Update button.  The weekly update also has reminders on your favorites and your wins so it's a great resource to help your game play.

We hope that this provides more value to your free membership and also helps you decide whether a premium membership is worth it for you.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Win More Prizes with Facebook Sweepstakes

Facebook sweepstakes are becoming more and more popular as more people join the Facebook platform.  With such a wide audience to promote to, and such a great means for sharing and spreading, prize games and Facebook seem to be a perfect marriage.

Why is this happening?

There are three main factors involved with the flourishing of sweepstakes on Facebook.
  1. Audience.  Any platform that has a lot of users is going to attract these games, because the whole reason they run them is to raise awareness for their product or brand.  The bigger the audience, the better the result.
  2. Social sharing. The holy grail of these promotions is to gain "viral lift", where people tell their friends and they tell their friends.  Facebook is built around this kind of viral sharing and so is the perfect tool for viral lift.
  3. Sweepstakes platforms.  A number of companies have launched recently that allow companies to quickly and cheaply run sweepstakes on Facebook.  Now companies that in the past could not have afforded a web site and a full sweepstakes can quickly and cheaply set up a Facebook page and put a sweepstakes on it.
What does it mean for me?

Well, more sweepstakes and instant win games means more prizes available, so this is a good thing.  A very good thing.  And a lot of these are very small, meaning not that many people know about them, meaning the odds of winning prizes are better.

Unfortunately for us, Facebook did a number of things that made it hard for to work with it. 
  1. First of all, it wouldn't allow us to put the toolbar at the top.  
  2. Secondly, since all these promotions happened on the same website ( we weren't able to get an estimate on how many people were playing.
Problem solved

Luckily, we had a series of breakthroughs recently that now allow us to work with Facebook prize games.  The biggest was an innovate way to estimate traffic to each game.  We can't tell you how, as it's a trade secret, but it works and we now can closely estimate how many people are playing each of these games. 

Once this discovery was implemented we devised a way to allow you to still rate and remember wins on Facebook pages that don't allow the toolbar.  If you notice when you play a Facebook prize game now, instead of placing the toolbar on top of the Facebook game, it shows it back on the page. 

So once you return from the game and your results are still fresh in your mind, you can simply check of your like/dislike and whether you won right there and then close the popup and return to browsing.

We hope all the new Facebook prize games will make winning prizes with even more fun.  If you don't have a Facebook account, it's very easy to sign up and it's free.

Good luck!

P.S. Do you think we should mark Facebook games in the directory so you know before you click?  Let us know...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Looking to Win a Ford Focus Sweepstakes Prize?

If you're looking to win a Ford Focus, then now is the time to do it.

Ford is really taking the sweepstakes route with its Ford Focus.  There are no less than seven sweepstakes running now with a Ford Focus as their prize.

The list

If you're interested, don't forget to log in (or register) first so you can track your play. And for the daily entries, add them to your "likes" so you can easily get back to them every day.

Click for more info on how to win prizes with

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Does 'When You Play' Have Anything to do with 'How Often You Win Prizes'?

Does time of day matter?

If you're trying to win prizes online, chances are that you're on the lookout for any way to improve your odds of winning.

If you're already using Premium, then you have a big head start, since you are playing games with better odds to begin with.

But that doesn't mean you still shouldn't look for further ways to improve your odds.  Every little bit counts.

One thing to consider is time of day.  Does playing a game at noon provide less chances than playing at midnight?  Does playing when your first get to work make it harder to win than playing at 3:00 am?

Sweepstakes and Contests

Let's examine what's involved.  First, let's consider sweepstakes and contests.  The general structure of games in this group is that you enter (either once or daily or such) and then at the end, either by random drawing or by judging, a winner is selected.

Since every valid entry is taken into account at the end of the promotion (or the period) it seems obvious that time of day of when you entered would not play a factor.

But how about Instant Win Games?

Instant Win Games

Virtually all instant win games these days are of a type that is called "time seeded".  This means that prior to the promotional period, all the prizes are assigned a random time during the play period.  The first person to play on or after that time is awarded the prize.

One of the key ideas that drives is that if you're playing a game that fewer other people are playing, you have a better chance of winning.  This is universally true for Sweepstakes, Contests and Instant Win Games.

But Instant Win Games have a further twist -- since the prizes are awarded instantly, you also can consider how many people are playing just at that moment.

Less competition equals better odds of winning

So even if you're playing an instant win game that has a high volume of players overall, as long as you play at a time when they are not playing you could improve your odds.

Take for example a game with a prize seeded around noon and one in the middle of the night.  If there were tens of thousands of people playing during the day you would have very little chance of winning the daytime prize.  But then everyone goes to bed and there are only a dozen people playing at the time of the night time prize, so your chance of being the winner are quite good.

Night time is the right time

There is data to show that for most games, fewer people play at night (which is understandable, since people do tend to go to bed and sleep).  So to win prizes online playing Instant Win Games, you're generally better off playing at night than you are during the day.

The actual times vary from game to game but generally speaking, following that pattern will improve your odds to win prizes.

Time Zones and Coasts

Something to keep in mind with this is where you live.  If you're on the East Coast, even though it may be 1:00 am for you it is still 10:00 pm for folks on the West Coast.  You may consider getting up early to play instead of staying up late.

And on the contrary, for West Coasters you'll avoid more East Coast competition by staying up late rather than trying to rise and shine and beat the rush. 

Wrap it all together for more prizes

So we know that time of day does matter and you're better off playing at night (if you can).

Keep in mind that all these strategies to improve your odds work in combination.  So, the more you employ the better your overall odds. 

And likewise, if you can't stay up late don't sweat it.  Try and compensate with some other tactics. Time of day helps, but remember that the strongest tactics are:
  • Playing the games with the best odds to start with (from Premium)
  • Playing as often as you can.  (Playing every day for a month gives you 30 times better chance of winning than playing once).

Be sure to use's "Last played" tracking and "Like" lists to easily make sure you play the games you are targeting every day.

The better your odds, the more you win.  But a little luck always helps too.  Good luck!

Thursday, March 31, 2011 is up - but it's down

All of our web servers are up, operational and live.

Unfortunately, "" is not resolving to our web servers so you probably will not be able to get to them.

As some of you may know, the ".ly" extension is managed by Libya.  We are suspecting this has something to do with the current unrest there as we also can not contact the Libyan company that manages the name server.

We are on top of this and will keep you up to date.