You Are At: AllSands Home > Howto > How to win contests
Based on information published in national magazines and papers, it is believed a minimum of somewhere near FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS is given away each year in PRIZE CONTESTS.

Is it any wonder that smart people, men and women of all ages in about every walk of life, are taking home these prizes? Some devote their full time to solving contests for money (or prizes), usually of extremely sizable amounts and value. Refer to about every magazine you see, a large number of newspapers, about all TV and Radio stations - to name a few - plus some publications which are 100% CONTEST NEWS.

Many persons receive many times larger yearly total earnings devoting their full time or a generous part of their spare time to solving the CONTESTS which come to their attention. They do it year after year as their ONLY occupation. Others like to try their hand solving contests whenever they feel in the mood, but do no have any regular time schedule to tie them down.

An article in the Wall Street Journal stated that many spare time contest men and women receive over $600 year after year. One article I read states that someone they knew had earned in excess of $40,000 and had solved more than 2,000 contests for prizes. Another item I read says some other contest solver won over 80 different contests to receive over $25,000 within TWELVE MONTHS.

However, a study of winning CONTESTS proves for the most part that it is not based on luck. Therefore, it is wise to find out what the true fundamentals are before one starts. That way alone, it is possible for one to compete with the others working on the solution of the same contest. You'll find the necessary (easy-to-understand and follow) instructions in this text.

A. Be sure that you carefully read the rules of each contest - and understand before you start - that these rules must be followed, in every particular, in order to win, or be one of the top winners. Almost half of all contests entries are thrown out, with hardly more than a single "glance" by the contest headquarters, for the sole reason, that the sender did not follow the clearly printed rules. It pays to be extremely careful when working on any contest. Check and recheck it with the rules before you mail it in.

B. Be sure your entry is as neatly presented as possible. This is extremely important. Whenever possible typewrite your entry, as this adds greatly to the neatness requirement. If you do not have a typewriter or a friend who would type it for you, and you are obliged to mail it in longhand, write neatly, and only with a pen and ink - never with a lead pencil.

C. Mail your entry in a suitable large sized envelope, even if you have to go to your nearest store to buy it.

D. If the contest requires a box top or label, coupon, etc., make sure that you do not forget to enclose it in the envelope. (You may be surprised to learn that many do forget - so their entry is discarded - even if in all other ways it is the best,qualifying for the top prize money.)

You'll find that your chances for winning are multiplied ten fold if you own or rent from a library the latest unabridged dictionary as well as a copy of a thesaurus.

Some of the winners of the larger contests are strong in their feeling that one should have a Rhyming Dictionary, an Almanac, Atlas, and one of the many editions of a Crossword Puzzle Dictionary. Most folks have a dictionary and encyclopedia. Both are needed to properly enter most contests. Time and time again, one or the other of the books will come up with the word or answer your seek to solve the contest.

However, for folks just starting, and with limited money to spend, you should confine yourself to the books named above that you may now have and buy the others as you win smaller contests and can afford to.

E. Visit your nearest (or best) public library and ask the clerk to help you locate their various books, magazines, etc.,relating to contests. Make notes on the winners of contests - their style or entry - for your future thoughts and guidance. Jot down in a notebook the things you want to remember or refer to, or think you would be likely to want to consider at some future date. It will most likely prove priceless to you much more quickly than you think. It will help you to think of first prize winning steps to take, etc.

F. An ever-increasing number of larger firms feel contests help them put their items or offers in the right hands with the best results. They therefore often start a new contest almost as soon as their last one is completed. This is especially true in contests where a wrapper, label or box top, bottle cap, etc. is requested. This method is usually very successful in getting more people to try their product than any other form of advertising.

G. Above all else, make a point of having your entry worded as briefly as you can. Many contests even ask for an opinion within an specified number of words. In other words, the advertiser wants you to tell him briefly why you prefer his product to any other


"Wheatne is preferred by me because it tastes better than any other breakfast cereal, has less calories, sugar and other fattening items, with a much higher food value."

"I buy ZOKA soap because it suds best in hard water, and pampers one's skin. ZOKA keeps my complexion youthful looking as if I had used the costly creams."

Always study the product completely and make notes on your scrap pad of all the ways it pleases you, over competitive brands. Make your story clean-cut with clearly understood "selling" phrases. Be enthusiastic, but always sincere and truthful. Whenever possible, tell about your personal results in using the item.

Don't be in a rush to mail the entry to the contest headquarters firm - professionals put their first drafts to one side, then refer to it "tomorrow" or the next day, rewriting it over and over again (usually) until they feel it is their very best work. Then, they mail it in. It pays and pays big to follow the methods of the professionals.

Perhaps just about every entry sent in on any contest is "Point Rated". If you checked your entry, before mailing it in, comparing it to the 8-point method below, you could know in advance if your entry has a far above average opportunity of being one of the winners - perhaps even the top grand prize.

1. References to the accomplishments of the product or item.
2. Expression of thought, new ideas, originality.
3. Effective combination of words, sentences, etc.
4. Truthfulness - or is it believable.
5. Creativeness by fresh thoughts or comments
6. Briefness, easily understood by all.
7. Arouse thoughts, create emotions.
8. Make a sales-promoting image, text creates a "picture".

I think most folks would not need teaching on jingles or limericks, where you are asked to insert the last line of a poem. These are popular and much money could be made adding the last line. The best method would be to almost memorize the lines given to you first, then make your last line either clever, or unusual, (or both). Your rhyming dictionary will be of tremendous help in winning top prizes in this form of contest.

Picture and Number Puzzles are always popular. These contests (in my opinion) do not need instructions beyond one's common sense. The chief thing to remember is to carefully read the rules and to follow the instructions of the advertiser. This type of contest does require considerable time, thought and study. Take your time. Go over all rules time and time again. When you feel confident your entry is your best work, then and only then mail it in. This kind of contest almost always seems to wind up with a sizable number of tied contestants, requiring
another "run off" to decide the winner, and sometimes more than one "run off". For this reason, it is not the most popular with the professionals. Usually "beginners" try their hand at them.

Name contests are always popular - a manufacturer wants the public to select a good name for one of his items, and offers a sizable award for the entry he or his advertising agents regard as the best of all. Remember to tie the sponsor's item or product into your reply of the name you feel is best. Make it catchy and easy to remember for the best possibility of being the winner.

Guessing contests, as the name implies, are in my opinion, at least 90% luck. Professionals rarely enter them. The idea is,of course, to guess how many cans of a specific brand of condensed milk is in a barrel, or how many boxes of a maker's breakfast food is wedged into a telephone booth, etc. These are 90% luck, combined with an estimation of count.

Contests asking for the creation of slogans are always worked out by the professional with the use of a dictionary. These contests are the ideal ones to enter.

Contests in the field of photographs are both interesting and profitable, so enter when you use the instruction and guidance in this instruction text.

Contests for an essay as well as for word building are always of keen interest to the professional. Instruction in this text points the way to become a professional. With this set of instructions to refer to as you tackle each contest, you should have a far above average chance of being a top prize winner in an extremely short period of time. Good luck.