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cwilman
February 5th, 2006, 2:39pm
Hello,
I am about to begin interviewing the US Judging Agencies for the American Edition of my book You Can't Win If You Don't Enter.

Please email me privately: carolyn@contestqueen.com

For example, here are the questions I put forth to the Canadian Contest Management Companies - they bacame a virtual round-table discussion in the book:

The Burning Questions Contesters would like Answers to:

SKILL TESTING QUESTIONS
1) When answering a skill testing question is the question to be answered left to right (in order given) or using BEDMAS?
eg. 4+8x2= 24 (L-R) or 20 (BEDMAS)

2) By Canadian contesting regulations we must answer a skill testing question in order to win. Is there a standard by which questions are designed or is it up to the contest developer?

AGE
3) A. Is there a rule or regulation that a contestant must put down their correct age?
B. Is there any hard and fast rules to the age a contestant can be?

MULTIPLE ENTRIES
4) If a family shares the same email address (thesmiths@anywhere.com) and the contest is one entry per person, how do you scan the files for duplicates because if both John and Jane Smith entered the only field that would differ is the first name?

5) What happens if someone enters both a husband and a wife then realizes that the contest is one entry per household? Do you disqualify both entries or just remove the extra one?

6) If someone says no to having a company contact them via email or any other means are they also denying them permission to be contacted if they win?

7) In the rules you often see - one per household or one per person or one per email address – why are they not more specific such as one per household?

8) If the rules do not state the number of entries such as one-time only, daily, weekly or monthly, how many entries should a contester assume?

9) If the contest rules state one entry per electronic address how does more than one person per household enter a one entry per person contest?

10) When a contest is daily or has multiple entries do you ever just group the entries together at the end and eliminate the duplicates? - Is it really worthwhile to enter every day?

11) What is the definition of weekly? Someone may enter on a Friday (week one) and then try to enter again on Monday (week two) getting the message "you have already entered this week". Is a week Sunday-Saturday or week to week based to the date and time of the first entry?

12) Do you really check every e-mail to make sure someone didn't accidentally enter twice in a one entry contest?

13) A. If someone forgets they entered a contest, if a warning comes up saying "you have already entered" have they disqualified themselves?
B. If a warning does not come up, what do you do with the accidental duplicates?
C. Why don’t all sites have the polite warning?

14) Sometimes a website is functional before the actual start date. Do you erase all entries before that date and someone can come back and re-enter if they did so previously by error or do you keep all entries regardless of entry date?

15) If a contest offers a tell-a-friend space on the contest page, is telling the friend mandatory to receiving an entry into the contest?

SNAIL MAIL & DRAWS
16) A. Are your chances of winning better with online or snail mail?
B. This one leads to a question on the industry in general – Do you think snail mail or mail-in contests will disappear in time with internet contesting becoming the standard?

17) When the rules state one entry and it's a mail in or ballot box, how is that enforced?

18) A. If someone is luck enough to keep winning various contests, do you discard their name so other people can win or do you actually let those people win over and over again if they are that lucky to have their name picked?
B. Who oversees the drawing to ensure you are following Canadian contesting regulations?

19) A. How do they actually select a winner from the online entries?
B. Is it done with a computer program or does an official randomly pick a number?
C. Is each entry given a number and the winning number is predetermined?

20) If it is a one time only entry, is there a better chance of winning if you enter early or late in the contest?

21) Married or common law, is it the same thing when it comes to contesting?

22) If the mother’s last name is different than the children’s, should she enter the father in as the guardian or can she put her name?

23) A. Many contests have an “optional” questionnaire attached to them. What if someone doesn’t fill it in? Will their entry be disregarded even though the questions are not compulsory?
B. If a contest with a questionnaire is a daily entry, do you expect people to fill out the questionnaire each time or is the first time sufficient?

24) What happens to unclaimed prizes?

25) A. What happens if someone doesn’t receive their prize?
B. How do you ensure all prizes are delivered?

26) What do you do with unreadable entries? Do you try to decipher them, or just toss them?

27) A. How realistic or “nice” does a hand drawn UPC facsimile have to look?
B.Many rules say do not use a mechanical device to draw a UPC. Is a ruler considered a mechanical device?
C. Are both the thick and thin lines required on a hand drawn UPC?
D. When submitting a UPC code are all 12 digits required or just the middle 10?

28) Do UPCs sent in with contest entries get checked?

29) Do decorated, coloured or odd sized envelopes get drawn more often than a standard #10 envelopes?

30) How much mail do you get in a single day?

31) Can a win be altered? Such as if you win a trip for four to Walt Disney World and you have three children can you buy a fifth ticket?

ringois
February 5th, 2006, 2:45pm
How about when they don't specify where the contest is open to people to, does that automatically mean it's open to everyone everywhere in the world?

donnamc
February 5th, 2006, 2:53pm
How About If You Want To Cut Cheaters Out Put 1x Entry Per Household per day

gigi
February 5th, 2006, 2:56pm
making them all 1 entry/person/day (not household)

noey718
February 5th, 2006, 2:57pm
how about just one per person, that would eliminate a lot of headaches

rbuske
February 5th, 2006, 3:01pm
How About If You Want To Cut Cheaters Out Put 1x Entry Per Household per day


OR if you want to prevent cheating (although if the entry states PER PERSON more than one entry from a household IS NOT CHEATING)

allow unlimited entries-thus those with only one person households can enter multiple times if they choose and believe they are being cheated in their chances.

Nana*2*4
February 5th, 2006, 3:01pm
On the Snail Mail entries....When it says 3x5 paper is it the same as an index card.....When it says Plain does that mean white only ...without lines

barbs
February 5th, 2006, 3:05pm
How About If You Want To Cut Cheaters Out Put 1x Entry Per Household per day

YES!

Make every contest 1x per household. And check farther than just the IP address to weed out cheaters. I.E. - match last names & addresses, match last names & telephone numbers, match last names with telephone numbers and addresses.

Most prizes are used by the entire household - unless the prize is a toothbrush or the like - so why should one household be able to enter for every member of that household?

its_inevitable
February 5th, 2006, 3:05pm
Try to get a definitive answer about Roboform.

Also about fulfillment and why does it usually take months to make the drawing and then even more time to award the prize.

And entering from Sweepstakes sites.

Jerrysgirl
February 5th, 2006, 3:12pm
All the above! Please ask! Thank You!! :gvibes:

StarbucksAddict
February 5th, 2006, 3:15pm
OR if you want to prevent cheating (although if the entry states PER PERSON more than one entry from a household IS NOT CHEATING)

allow unlimited entries-thus those with only one person households can enter multiple times if they choose and believe they are being cheated in their chances.

Why in the world should I have to sit here for hours on end sending entries to keep up with cheaters who enter their spouses, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and pets?

tlak
February 5th, 2006, 3:15pm
:grad:

Phildiane
February 5th, 2006, 3:20pm
It would be nice to get rid of the 'SKILL TESTING QUESTIONS'. They make me nervous if done over the phone and time limited.

barbs
February 5th, 2006, 3:24pm
Why in the world should I have to sit here for hours on end sending entries to keep up with cheaters who enter their spouses, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and pets?

EXACTLY!!!

Cajun_Mum
February 5th, 2006, 3:33pm
one per household per day...I like that idea, it puts us all on even ground

Taminar
February 5th, 2006, 3:34pm
Randomly generated times I know is one, but are there ever any
cases when you *have* to pick the right box?

Also, in trivia contests, do they weed out the wrong answers then
pick from the remainder? Or do they pick a potential winner from
all entries, then see if the answers are right? Or something else?

Ask them about specific rules or restrictions that keep them from
offering sweeps in certain states (Florida is a common one, but I
notice Rhode Island a lot, too).

Just out of curiousity, why on the drop down menu for birth year do
they often have recent years in which the person would be too young
to enter? Is it to try to 'catch' kids who would try to enter too young?

For that matter, why don't they stick to month and year instead of
asking for the complete birthday (which concerns some people because
of identity theft)?

And this may not be the marketing agency, it may be the site, but
why all the differences in password requirements? I have a nice
simple five-letter password that I use for all the "non important"
not-a-security-risk sites. Only then some sites started asking for
six letters. Now some make you include a number. I came across
one the other day that was not less than eight letters, not more
than 10. It's driving me insane!

I have another idea, maybe for one chapter in your book. How
about checking with some of the states' regulartory agencies to
ask how they keep tabs on companies who offer sweeps. Here's
the person I've been in touch with in Florida on several occasions:
"Brown, Monica" <brownm1@doacs.state.fl.us>

If that specific e-mail address doesn't work (last response I have in
my mailbox is from 2004), the after-the-@ part is the website addy.
I know they sometimes survey winners to make sure they receive
their prizes; I got a letter once telling me that I'd been listed as a
grand prize winner and that if I had NOT received the prize, that I
should contact the office.

This book is a great idea, and I definitely want to buy a copy when
it's published! I may post again if I think of more questions. :)

rbuske
February 5th, 2006, 3:53pm
one per household per day...I like that idea, it puts us all on even ground

Actually it doesn't. It would mean that either myself or my spouse would be denied our hobby of sweeping. That just turns it around to be against those with more than one sweeper in the family, doesn't it? If the contest states PER PERSON why do some of you insist on stating it is cheating when each person enters? I don't know what the answer is so everyone thinks they have a fair chance, maybe there isn't an answer, but i do think every contest should be specific to that question. Is it one per household or one per person?

rbuske
February 5th, 2006, 3:56pm
Why in the world should I have to sit here for hours on end sending entries to keep up with cheaters who enter their spouses, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and pets?

Your assumption is incorrect and actually insulting. If a contest states one per PERSON, how is it if I enter, and my spouse enters it is cheating? do we share the same body?

I am not posting to this anymore here, as it isn't very nice to the OP.

bcaps10
February 5th, 2006, 4:07pm
Ask if they do the winner will be contacted by phone, to weed out most potential winners. Most people work during the day, have appointments, errands, etc. I myself never want to give a work number because I don't sales calls at work!

Cara

Debberly
February 5th, 2006, 4:53pm
I understand why many people support 1x per household. That makes sense if you are talking about an average family = Mom, Pops, kids. I, however, share a home with my sister. So which one gets to enter for the designer bag? Who gets to enter for the MAC make-up? I would much rather see 1X per IP address. Sharing a residential address shouldn't disqualify me from entering a sweep my sister has entered.

shoppinqueen
February 5th, 2006, 5:39pm
How About If You Want To Cut Cheaters Out Put 1x Entry Per Household per day


My husband also sweeps and I resent the implication of your comment.

Personally I favor a system where if more than one person in a household is also entering that if anybody in that household wins, that everybody who entered must be produced ie:
if both hubby and I have been entering a sweep, if eirther of us wins, BOTH of us must produce legal identification showing we're married and living in the same houshold
both appearing on the notarized affie.

Flyingmama
February 5th, 2006, 5:53pm
Please ask them why - oh why! - on so many of those sites that require retyping a computer generated security code, the codes are virtually unreadable on standard monitors? This forces some of us to re-type the code many times in hopes of guessing right and entering the contest.

toddvb
February 5th, 2006, 6:25pm
why don't I win more? Please ask them that.

stan1162
February 5th, 2006, 6:26pm
My husband also sweeps and I resent the implication of your comment.

Personally I favor a system where if more than one person in a household is also entering that if anybody in that household wins, that everybody who entered must be produced ie:
if both hubby and I have been entering a sweep, if eirther of us wins, BOTH of us must produce legal identification showing we're married and living in the same houshold
both appearing on the notarized affie.

We both know that there are LOTS of cheaters, yes they are cheaters, who enter Bob Smith, Bobbie Smith, B.J. Smith, Robert Smith, Robbie Smith, RJ Smith, Rob Smith, Robby Smith, R Smith.... get my point, are entering assuming that they will not be cross checked. THAT is not one time per person. How do you suggest that is avoided?

susan1215
February 5th, 2006, 6:40pm
Great questions I have always been wondering about. Especially how winners are picked. I'd like to know if a sweep allows snail mail and internet entries how are winners drawn? I have heard they pick a winner from each one and I have heard they open the snail mails and enter the information on the computer and pick a winner from that.

KAnthony25
February 5th, 2006, 6:45pm
If "handwritten Envelopes" is stated in the rules, does that mean computer generated envelopes are discarded. I mean, you can't even tell the difference with some of my fonts.

Stankle
February 5th, 2006, 6:50pm
I understand why many people support 1x per household. That makes sense if you are talking about an average family = Mom, Pops, kids. I, however, share a home with my sister. So which one gets to enter for the designer bag? Who gets to enter for the MAC make-up? I would much rather see 1X per IP address. Sharing a residential address shouldn't disqualify me from entering a sweep my sister has entered.


I understand your point, as well, but 1x per IP address won't work. If you and your sister share the same computer, you both have the same IP address. (At least, it's that way with DSL.) I'm in favor of the 1x per person. Sweeps companies should be smart enough to notice twists on one name and obviously if they are the same mailing address.

To OP, I'm interested as well in knowing how the draw names when there is both snail and internet entries.

Also, just how random are the instant wins.

Why can't they weed out the cheaters with the name twists or hackers?

Why do they allow the SAME person to win four of their sweeps in ONE month? What are the odds of that being legitimate?

Lanne
February 5th, 2006, 6:51pm
On the Snail Mail entries....When it says 3x5 paper is it the same as an index card.....When it says Plain does that mean white only ...without lines

On the brand of 3 x 5's that I buy (Top Flight) the blank cards are called Plain and the lined ones are called Lined on the packaging.

einnhojb
February 5th, 2006, 6:52pm
Why won't some sweeps allow Roboform, its not like it is automatically entering by itself. and can they detect if someone uses a Roboform to fill out a sweeps?

nan20052
February 5th, 2006, 7:04pm
When choosing winners, do companies sometimes profile-such as choosing a specific age or sex? Why do some sweeps disallow adults to enter? I no longer have children in my household, but I sure want to go to Disney World, but am shut out of so many sweeps for Disney trips. and...Why are some states "shut out" from contests? I line in VA-2 miles from a BP station, but can't enter any BP sweeps. I cringe everytime some one posts they have won 50 gas cards and I can't even try for one. These are just a few questions I have.

tlak
February 5th, 2006, 7:22pm
I always thought they were limiting the one time to a household because they got their marketing into that house and don't need to repeat it for each person.
Obviously trying to limit it to one per household poses problems;
I don't think the one time to IP address will work because we have had up to three computers through the same router. So they all have the same IP address.
I never thought one time to a household was fair, since we have four legal aged, qualified contest enterer's living here.
I don't think proving that the people are related living in the same household makes sense since they might not be.

Then I don't think this trend should have got off track since the OP asked for questions for the judging agencies.

donnamc
February 5th, 2006, 7:33pm
My husband also sweeps and I resent the implication of your comment.

Personally I favor a system where if more than one person in a household is also entering that if anybody in that household wins, that everybody who entered must be produced ie:
if both hubby and I have been entering a sweep, if eirther of us wins, BOTH of us must produce legal identification showing we're married and living in the same houshold
both appearing on the notarized affie.
:worry: no implicating here just fact sorry

CathyVeester
February 5th, 2006, 9:10pm
Some great questions have already been asked.

Here are my 2:


1) How do you REAL feel about "professional sweepers"?

2) Is it real ever possible to eliminate cheaters from the instant sweeps?
I applaud your attempts to do so, but think that with the 'instants', such attempts are rather futile.

And I would say to the judges:

1) Who loves you, baby?

2) Thanks for doing a very fine job.

:jump:

mjlj8
February 5th, 2006, 9:19pm
:cheer: :cheer: Why in the world should I have to sit here for hours on end sending entries to keep up with cheaters who enter their spouses, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and pets?
exactly what i want to know or maybe ask them why they dont make all their sweeps just one per IP address

quiltfisher
February 5th, 2006, 9:29pm
I know it would take more time and research, but if there's a book about sweepstaking, it would seem natural to include information about prize taxing. Each state's limit (example Illinois $500, Texas $1000, etc. In Texas I won a $1000 but wasn't taxed on it, had to be $1001 or more), general percentage (can I expect to pay a ballpark 10%, 20%, of the prize value, etc.), 1099's and when they should be received, who to contact if they aren't (i.e., the IRS?), claim the prize if a 1099 isn't received...or not claim, etc.

If I win a $1000 prize and prizes under $500 aren't taxed, do I pay tax on the amount over $500 or the entire $1000? A newbie wouldn't know the answer.

Just some additional thoughts you may or may not consider. Please let us all know when the book is published so we (I anyway) can increase your sales!

Lanne
February 5th, 2006, 9:32pm
At a previous job, I used to enter sweeps on my lunch hour. I worked in a building that housed over 5,000 computers, all on the same server, therefore the same ISP number. When I first heard about companies limiting to once per ISP num, I remember hoping that nobody else I was working with was a sweeper.

momofmandc
February 5th, 2006, 9:53pm
Do they read the notes on OLS for their sweeps? I often wish the sponsors and administrators would check the notes because they would quickly learn of any issues with the sweep (i.e., inconsistent rules, entry form not working, difficult codes).

RockysJewel
February 5th, 2006, 10:07pm
guess some didnt read what OP wrote

Please email me privately

nycphoto
February 5th, 2006, 10:30pm
Do judging agencies make sure that they have equal amounts of male/female judges especially when judging essays and videos? I have always felt there are more women judging these things and that women are more likely to be chosen because of it.

CathyVeester
February 5th, 2006, 11:01pm
guess some didnt read what OP wrote

Please email me privately


OMG, Jewel.

Am I slow or what?

I just read what OP wrote. You are right.

:laugh: :frown3:

bcaps10
February 5th, 2006, 11:30pm
I read what the OP said, but figured everyone else was already answering here and besides why can't they read the questions here?
JMO
Cara

tupik3702
February 5th, 2006, 11:43pm
additional ones for you. Thanks for posting this information. :)

tlak
February 6th, 2006, 8:58am
Why in the world should I have to sit here for hours on end sending entries to keep up with cheaters who enter their spouses, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and pets?
Well Don't, just quit. If you insult people by calling them all cheaters, oh well.
Ain't going to get up, so my wife can set down for two seconds to push the button. :laugh: :sherlock: :laugh:

SillyLilly
February 6th, 2006, 4:45pm
I haven't read all the replies, so this may have already been posted.

If you talk to a sponsor who requires SSN for prizes under $600, I'd like to know why. In this age of rampant identity theft, why ask for an SSN if you're not going to send a 1099? There are other identification methods.

Also, I want to know why they require notarization for small prizes. Maybe they don't realize that in some parts of the country notarization costs $10. I got a $9.95 prize that required notarization, and I didn't claim it even though it's only a $3 fee here. Sometimes the prize just isn't worth the fees.

Third issue. With a few sites banning entries from sweeps sites like OLS, I'm wondering if they don't realize that we're consumers too. There are many products that I buy that I'd never have known about if they hadn't been posted here at OLS. From what I understand, companies run sweeps to get brand recognition and new customers, not necessarily to reward the customers they've already got.

Oh, one more. What's a person to do if they're forced to change their email addy in the middle of a promotion that's daily or weekly entry? Most sites don't have a "profile" page where you can go change your email, so sometimes you're forced to either re-register with a new email, or quit logging new entries. Do promo companies think changing email addys mid-promition is cheating? Are people DQ'd for doing this?

sheiladee
February 6th, 2006, 4:57pm
Sorry if this was already asked. What about do the give preference for those who choose to opt-in? I most always opt-out, unless I'm interested in something...but I have never won anything big...just wondering if this has any impact.

tledbetter
February 6th, 2006, 5:27pm
Not a question, a suggestion. Please keep in mind the tax consequences for the winners when choosing the type/ARV of the prize to award. The majority of people cannot afford to pay taxes on a $20,000 dollar trip win and so may turn down the prize in the end. This causes more work for you. If you wish to award a prize such as this, please include a cash alternative, even if it's for a lower dollar amount. That way, the winner can easily pay the taxes.