All Second Chance Sweepstakes Are Not Created Equally

by Susan Donahue

Sponsors hold second chance drawings to give away prizes that are not awarded during promotional games. They don't always hold second chance drawings, but when they do, there are certain games that will give you better odds of winning one of those left-over prizes. Actually, left-over isn't an accurate term, because usually 70% of the prizes go unclaimed! For all the money that the sponsors use to set up the game and promote it, to think that 70% of the prizes are left over just amazes me! That's probably why I've had such good luck winning second chance sweepstakes.

There are three types of games that are the most popular with the major sponsors: instant-win games, collect-and-win games, and match-and-win games.

  • For instant-win games, all you have to do is look at the game piece on the package to see if you are a winner. Easy.

  • For collect-and-win games, you need to save multiple game pieces until you have a full set.

  • For match-and-win games, the game piece will have a symbol or code on it, and you need to go to a store and match it to a product display.

It takes a lot more effort to win the match-and-win or collect-and-win games than to win an instant-win game. Those are much harder to win and require much more effort, therefore, there are usually more prizes available to win in a second chance drawing.

When entering second chance sweepstakes, evaluate how many entries you are going to send in by the type of game that was used. I send a few entries in for those that had instant-win games, and I send in more entries for those that had the match-and-win or collect-and-win games. Also, even though there may be tons of prizes in the promotion, be sure to check the rules carefully. Sometimes a sponsor will give away only the grand prize in a second chance drawing and then use the other prizes in a future promotion. If they are drawing for just the grand prize, I'll send in a few entries. If they are drawing for lots of prizes, I'll send in a lot more. Second chance sweepstakes are where I usually get a lot of TVs, stereos, bikes, rollerblades, shopping sprees, and cash!

Susan Donahue publishes Winning Ways, a monthly sweepstakes newsletter, filled with hunts, tips, and hundreds of sweepstakes to enter every month. You can reach her at winningways

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