How to increase your odds of winning.

High speed internet access in crucial. Entering sweepstakes is all about speed and the number of contests you enter. The faster you enter, the more you enter. The more you enter the more you win.

Entering less popular or less advertised sweepstakes will increase your odds because fewer people will be entering.

Entering during a time period when most people are asleep will increase your odds as well, again fewer people entering. Many sweepstakes enthusiasts think that entering around 2:00AM is the best time to increase your odds.

The holiday season is the best time of year for sweepstakes. There are more online contests with better prizes from October through December.

The more difficult the sweepstakes is to enter the fewer entries there will be. Finding sweepstakes that require special answers or knowledge or a special skill such as a photo contests will increase your odds of winning.

What to do once you've won.

One of the biggest questions people ask is, "how do I know if I have won the sweepstakes"? You will be notified via phone call, email, U.S.P.S. mail or FedEx UPS when you win a sweepstakes. Be patient, this may take awhile. Sometimes, especially with lower value prizes your prize will just arrive in the mail.

If you prize is big contest win the sponsor will require that you complete an affidavit before you can collect your prize. An affidavit usually requires your signature witnessed in front of a notary public. In this document you swear that you meet all eligibility guidelines and rules and you provide your personal information including your social security number. You are required to provide your social security number because sweepstakes and contest winnings are taxable income. Most sponsors awarding prizes with a value greater than $1,000 will require an affidavit and send you a 1099-MISC at the end of the year. A 1099 –MISC is for miscellaneous income including sweepstakes winnings. The income on this 1099 is taxable income and must be included in your income tax return usually both federal and state. Sweepstakes tip: Sometimes a sponsor will 1099 you for a value higher than the actual cost of the prize you won. If you can substantiate a lower value for a prize using a valid documented sales price for the same item you can claim the lower value as the actual income on your tax return rather than the inflate 1099 value. See your tax advisor for details.

After the sponsor has received your affidavit (as long as you are not disqualified), the sponsor will declare you the official winner.

I am not going to lie to you.
Entering online sweepstakes has become more and more popular.
The more people that enter the harder it is to win.
Remember this is just a hobby, so don’t let it take over your life;