a little luck & a little giveaway

Contests, sweepstakes, raffles, giveaways. . . I cannot get enough of them!  Here are some of my simple tips and tactics.  Keep reading for a chance to win your own little giveaway.

I've had a lot of "luck" with contests for as long as I can remember.  In elementary school I won a coloring contest (I used the school's colors, blue and gold, in the design) that earned me lunch with the principal, including a Nestle Crunch ice cream bar for dessert (strangely memorable).  I've also won $100 and an art tote bag in two different writing contests in the past couple years.

  • Tip:  Skill contests draw far fewer entrants, increasing your odds, so look for those that match your talents.
  • Tip:  Consider your audience when entering a skill contest and tailor your entry to appeal to their preferences.

Two years ago I attended the annual Christmas party at my apartment complex and was the grand prize winner - $500 off a month of rent!  The next year I won a free carpet cleaning and this year I won a $50 gift card to a fancy Portland steak house.

  • Tip:  Enter local contests!  These are some of your best odds.  Check the websites for radio, newspaper, and local businesses for even more opportunities.

Just yesterday I won a new casserole dish, pasta fork, cheese grater, and a jar of steak seasoning from a small cooking blog!

The About.com Contests & Sweepstakes page is a great resource for contests across the internet.  These are often for the biggest prizes like cash, vacations, and vehicles, but there's also a page for instant win contests with more prizes and better odds.

I'll also search Google on occasion, looking for contest, sweepstake, blog giveaway, or some similar search terms, and then restricting the results to the last 1 hour, 24 hours, or 1 week.  I'll try searching for the word giveaway along with a specific item I want to win, too (like an iPad2 or a Silhouette Cameo).

Now, for a modest giveaway of my own.  

For your chance to win a Powell's Books mug and a copy of Coffee Time with Perk Up Puzzles, Brainteasers, and Trivia, comment below with your answer to the following question AND make sure you're a follower of SaraPDX.  U.S. residents only, please.  Entries will be accepted until midnight PST on Wednesday, January 11th.  Good luck!  

What's the best prize you've ever won in a contest?


  1. I remember as a young teen I won a free game of golf at the Lucky-Putt. I had never won anything before and I was sooo excited, you would have thought I won an Academy Award.

    Deana Ortez

  2. I used to say I had never won anything. And I still think that's kind of true. But now I'm realizing that I won tickets to Devotchka in Boulder, CO, about a year ago on Halloween. That was pretty cool. And, I think, the first thing, and best thing, I've ever won.

  3. Missy Moore meemer68@frontier.comJanuary 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I used to sell Pampered Chef. I went to my very first convention with my upline consultant. I bought $5 worth of raffle tickets and won a full set of Pampered Chef pots and pans. My hubby was so proud!

  4. Lunch with the principal? Where I come from we called that detention! Lol

    I'm entering.

    And when ya win that iPad are ya offering that up? :)

  5. I went into a department store (Sibleys) in Rochester, NY to pick out my silverware set.. My mother-in-law to be said I would need to do that if I ever hosted parties.. At that time I did my bridal registry and picked out my silverware pattern. The company, Oneida, was having a contest to win a serving set to match the pattern I picked out. I WON! I also recieved a wooden case to keep my new silverware and serving set. That was 32 years ago!. I also won some free genealogy software 2 years ago for you and me at a family history expo.

  6. I won a $500 gift card from Safeway's Facebook page... I totally agree the odds are better with local contests.

    -autumn henderson

  7. I won a large big wheel when I was 13. I was too old and too big for the prize. I gave it to a younger neighbor, but that didn't diminish the win. What a feeling to be a winner!