Is It Really Free? You betcha! A sweepstakes is no more than filling out your NAZT (name, address, zip code & telephone) on an entry form/or 3x5 paper alternative. They may ask you to print your age or the name of the sponsor on that entry form, but they are free. There are in store drops- boxes that may show the store is giving away a Bike or a Canoe. And all you have o do is take 2 seconds to fill out your NAZT. Most consumers don't even notice the box. Life is so hectic, they zoom right by, get whatever they came in the store to get, & zoom out again, never noticing the drop box. Others see it & think, "I'll never win", so they don't spend the 2 seconds time filling out that slip of paper.
Sweepstakers do....that's why "you all" say, (NO!! I take that back!!!) That's why you all "w h i n e", "You're so lucky." HELLO!!!! We entered! Did you? That's why we're so lucky. There are store Grand Openings! This is usually a dead giveaway that there's a...well, a...giveaway, that's going on in that store during their grand opening! Stop in & check it out. And of course, there are also the free call-ins to the radio stations, as radio stations give away fabulous prizes!! Remember this, if nothing else: Legitimate Sponsors (that's names you know & trust), give away real prizes. Companies like Anheuser-Busch, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Univision, ABC TV, Hachette Filipacchi, Kraft Foods, Inc., Tropicana Club Casino, Southwest Airlines, Sony, American Greetings, Sears Roebuck and Co., Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola, MTV Networks.... These companies are "for real". If they say they're are going to give away a prize, they are going to. Why would they risk their name by not doing so? On the other hand, if you get a phone call or bulk mail from some company you do not know (e.g. American Sweepstakes Company, USA Promotions Worldwide, etc...), it could be a scam. If they ask you to call a 900#, that's a dead giveaway to steer clear. If they tell you to pay taxes "in advance" or pay shipping & handling or buy their vitamins or books, etc... Walk away. Do not pass go, you will not collect $200 :)
If someone calls you & says "You Won!" And you never entered any such sweepstakes, that should be a tip off that the person on the other end of the phone is a scammer. And lastly, read the fine print on a sweepstakes form as the latest scam will change your phone company. So just play it smart. When you say "sweepstakes", the average consumer thinks "Publisher's Clearing House" or "American Family Publishers", etc. Yes, they do give away their prizes. No, you do not have to purchase a magazine to enter. It's real. BUT......BUT!!! If you do not purchase a magazine & you are not a rocket scientist, don't expect to win in of these. It's a waste of my stamp money. Because, if you do not read all the fine print 10x over then you will surely disqualify your own entry. Because, stamp a has to go on page 374 & the car stamp has to go on page 98 (providing you can ind the car stamp mixed in with those magazine stamps), put the yes sticker on the inside flap of the envelope at a 45 degree angle, and you do the hokey poke you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about!
Sorry...I got carried away, but you get the point. 1 slip up & your "Non-purchase" entry goes in the shitter. BUT AHAH! Buy a magazine & you can skip all other 3,896 steps previously mentioned. And thanks to the media, we consumers have been well informed as to not fall for any of the above scams anymore. So, if your grandad is flying off to Florida to collect his millions from PCH, do grandad a favor & LOCK HIM UP!