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FAQ List

- click on an item to expand.
The trade your prize section of conversation corner is a service for our reader togive you a forum to trade prizes that you may not want or need.

Here are a couple of best practices to follow:
  • Please only list prizes that you won in a sweepstakes. If possible mention the name of the sweepstakes you won the prize from.
  • Only post the offer once.
  • When you agree on the details from another reader please follow through on sending the prize and sending the money immediately. Communucation is key.
  • readers who do not follow through on the trade will be suspended from their subscription. We expect a fair trade byall.
  • Please go back to conversation corner and post that your prize has been traded. That is commom courtesy letting people know that the prize is no longer available.

Q. I have noticed that Online Sweepstakes that are listed suggest that you don't enter another person on the same computer. Does that also work for the instant wins by ePrize? I don't want to jeopardize my entries in any way!

Some people have been disqualified by entering more than one person from the same internet connection. Note that two computers using the same internet connection in your house look like the same computer to ePrize.

There was an interview with the ceo of ePrize a few years ago where he made it sound like they mostly disqualify the same computer entering multiple people within a short period of time, but there have been those on this board who have been disqualified with entries on separate days.

Personally, I enter only myself in the ePrize instants until I win. Then, the next day I start entering my husband. There have been sweeps were all 4 family members won instant prizes before it was over, and we were not disqualified. There was also a sweeps where I won instantly and my husband won the grand prize. Everyone needs to decide for themselves how much risk they're willing to take.

  1. Search for sweeps located under sweepstakes listings.
  2. Put in keywords and a date range.


Here are the links to 5 minutes or so videos giving you a step by step process for using the SweepSheet® website

Video #1 How to find and enter sweepstakes on www.sweepsheet.com
Here is the link:

Video #2 How to use the Your list of sweeps feature and tab browsing for quick entering.

To view video click here:
Even the smallest gift deserves a thank you note. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just an acknowledgement that you received it, and that you appreciate it is sufficient. It can be as simple as a one-line email, or as extravagant as full-page letter accompanied by a picture.

There are several methods to find out where to send the note.
  1. Look at the letter accompanying the prize for an address.
  2. Look at the back of their product for an address.
  3. Go to the sponsor's website and look for the "contact us" link.
  4. Look for the address for the judging agency, and have them forward your letter to the appropriate person.
Here is an example of a simple thank you note:

Dear: [insert sponsor's name here]

I was so surprised and delighted to win a prize in the {insert the name of the sweepstakes here]. It arrived today, and I know I will get a lot of enjoyment from it. Thank you for sponsoring the sweepstakes. It was so much fun entering it, and while your product had always been a favorite of mine, now it will always be at the front of my mind while shopping.


Remember: No matter how small the win, politeness is IN!
Q: If I get any prizes at my old house from UPS or others, should I give my landlord my new address so he can give it to whoever moves in my duplex? Or can I call UPS and the others to give them my address?

Some people have luck leaving a forwarding address with UPS & FedEx, and others are told they do not offer that service. Give them a call to find out how they work in your own area.

Your best bet is to make sure you've alerted the post office with a change of address, talked to your UPS & FedEx delivery people in hopes they'll agree not to leave your items on the doorstep knowing you no longer live there.

As for leaving messages with your old landlord, yes, that is a good idea. If you are selling a home, it is also something you can cover with the new owners during the closing.

Another thing to remember is to change your address on your store shopper cards. The kind where you might be automatically entered when making a purchase.

... and finally to try to change your contact info on any websites where there seems to be a way to do that. Pepsi, for one allows for that.
You may use return address labels, but they are not necessary. However, you should know that since the advent of Anthrax, any mail without one will be set aside for further scrutiny, delaying delivery of your entry. If you do decide to use them, you are allowed to use pre-printed return address labels or rubber stamps. Even if the entry requires a "hand-addressed" envelope, a pre-printed return address label will not disqualify you.

The final word on handprinted return addresses
A reader took it upon himself to email D.L. Blair about the age-old question of whether you must also hand-print your return address when a hand-addressed envelope is required. Here is the response he received from Anita Beizer, who is the Vice President there.

"In response to your email enquiry to Brian Conlon, when entering a promotion, it is important to read and follow any directions and restrictions given in the official rules. Deviation can result in disqualification. That being said, instructions to hand-address an envelope are not meant to restrict the use of printed return address labels.
Anita Beizer
Vice President
D.L. Blair"

Reasons in favor of using a return address are two-fold.
  1. If the P.O. Box has closed, your entry will be returned to you, so you know not to continue sending to that sweeps.
  2. If there are thousands of secondary prizes, the sponsor might take your name and address off of the return address label, rather than open the envelope. It could work in your favor if they are drawn to those with labels first. This does ~not~ mean your entry will not be chosen if it does not have a return address on it. It just means it causes less work for the judging agency if they can read your name and address right off of your label.
If the rules state winners will be notified by email, then yes, an email address is required. However, if the rules state to list your email address, if any, then no, you may leave it off. I will warn you, however, there have been sweeps notifications by email in the past where the 'if any' wording had been included in the rules...and no one else, except those who did list their email address won a prize. So, use your discretion on those. You can get a free email address to use solely for your sweepstaking at http://www.yahoo.com. That way you will not clutter up your personal email box with a lot of junk mail.
"Automated entries are prohibited."

You see it a lot, but it is never explained. It is a term used for online entering, but even if you do not have a computer, you have probably wondered what it means. It might even have been one reason why you have hesitated to get online, thinking it is just one more stumbling block to hinder your getting there.

In actuality, it really does not mean anything to anyone we know, because I doubt many of you would know how to set up your computers to automatically enter a sweepstakes for you on a daily basis without your ever having to go to a sponsor's website. That is what it means really. It is a warning for savvy computer experts to not even think about it. Of course someone must have tried it once (or twice), because now you see that rule in almost all of the online sweepstakes.

The trouble with the honest sweepstaker is we take everything to heart and become paranoid it might mean the sponsor is going to disqualify us for using Roboform or Autocomplete form fillers. Oh, oh, now you non-computer readers are going to get even more scared! Let me explain what those are, and why they are not considered automated entries, and why you should not be afraid.

ROBOFORM It is a program that fills out your entry forms with the flick of a button, so you do not have to keep typing it over and over again, day after day. You can download the basic program free at http://www.roboform.com

The reason Roboform is not considered automated is because you still have to go to the sponsor's website every day to enter; because you have to be the one to push the button in order for the form to be filled in. Hopefully for the sponsor, while there, something will catch your eye to stick around longer and read about their product, and maybe even purchase it. Thus, you are fulfilling the sponsor's intent.

AUTOCOMPLETE: This is another auto entry program which is included with your browser. I know Internet Explorer has it (the little blue "e" on your desktop is Internet Explorer). It is just a matter of turning it on. What it does is complete each part of your form once you start typing just one letter of it. Example. I start typing my name, Sandra, but as soon as I type in the "S", it pops in the rest of the name. It completes it automatically, and it does that for every line of your form, speeding up the entry process. Once again, you are at the site; you are being exposed to the sponsor's product; and that was their intent. To turn on your Autocomplete, follow these steps:
  1. On your tool bar, click on Tools
  2. Next, click on Internet Options
  3. Then click on Content
  4. Click on AutoComplete.
  5. Place a check in all the boxes.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Exit the box by clicking the tiny x in the upper right hand corner.
The first time you fill out a form, it will not snap in, because it has nothing to go by yet, but the second time you fill out that same form, that is when your Autocomplete will kick in.

The important thing to remember is you will not be disqualified when using either.
Q: I have heard the term "Beginner Mistakes" a lot. What are they?
  1. Typing addresses when the rules specify hand-addressed.
  2. Using another size envelope when #10's are required.
  3. Using the wrong size card than what is required.
  4. Leaving off required information.
  5. Mailing too close to the deadline, and thus missing it.
  6. Putting all you entries into one envelope rather than mailing them separately.
  7. Entering more than once when you are only allowed to enter once.
  8. Entering sweeps sponsored by the same company where you or a family member work.
  9. Entering sweeps for a certain age group, when you are younger or older than what is allowed.
  10. Putting postcards inside envelopes.
  11. Not putting flimsy 3X5 papers or 3X5 cards inside envelopes, and mailing them as is, with just the stamp right on them.
  12. Entering for sweeps that aren't open to your state.
  13. Writing your info in "script lettering" instead of printing it.
  14. Typing or computer printing your info onto paper or cards.
  15. Photocopying your 3x5's and cutting them up to send them in. (mechanically reproducing them)
  16. Using a return address label on the 3x5 or postcard for your information instead of printing it out.
  17. When you do win - Not getting the affidavit back to the Judging agency within the specific time limit.
  18. Not reading the fine print rules.

Most, if not all, of these mistakes can be avoided by reading the fine print, but that is the number one beginner mistake.

Q. When I fill out cards and papers and it asks for day/evening phone #, I only have one my home phone, can I just put the phone # and not put day/eve in front of it. Since I only have the one # to list, and I figure they can obviously see it is a phone #, would it be alright?

Yours is probably the most asked question in the hobby.  Here is the stock answer.  List your phone number on your entry like this: 

day/eve: 847-555-1212
Q. A lot of the rules for snail mail sweeps will say to print your "full name" or "complete name". To me, this simply means your first and last name. Does anyone out there disagree and think you need to include your middle name? Thanks for your input.

Your full or complete name is the version you use when endorsing documents, such as checks, contracts, and...affidavits.

There are the current rates as of Jan 21, 2020

#10 ENVELOPES: 55¢ 
#6 ENVELOPES: 55¢ 
GREETING CARD SIZED ENVELOPES 55¢ (Will require extra postage after their dimensions exceed 6 1/8"X11 1/2", in which case you would add an additional 21¢.)
POSTCARDS up to 4¼"X6" take a 35¢ stamp.
STANDARD POSTCARDS as purchased from the Post Office are a few cents more (because of the card stock they're printed on)

For oversized items, calculate the postage at: http://postcalc.usps.gov/

POSTCARDS can be the picture variety like you buy at tourist stops, or they can be the pre-stamped type you buy right at the post office. (commonly called "standard postcards") Postcards never, ever, get mailed inside an envelope. The stamp is placed directly on them, and they are mailed as is. Be sure to use the correct postage. (currently 35¢)

How to avoid having postcards returned to you.

  1. First, print the address of the sponsor on the postcard the normal way.
  2. Then...tilt the postcard 90 degrees and print your own entry information along that direction. (picture this as if you were endorsing a check) The reasoning behind this is because the postcards go through a postal machine, and if your own entry information is situated on the postcard exactly as is the sponsor's address, the machine might pick up your own address instead of the one it's supposed to be going to and send it to you. Thus, you get your entry right back.


  1. Cut out as many postcards from your cereal or hamburger helper boxes as you can.
  2. Do not write anything on the side with the picture...only use the plain side for your entry info.
  3. Draw a squiggly line down the middle of it. On the right side, put the word: "TO:" and on the left side, put the word: "FROM:".
  4. The stamp will go in the upper right hand corner.
  5. Any card over 4 1/4"X6" inches will need more than 35¢, so take that into consideration. The smallest size postcard accepted by the post office is 3.5"X5".
PAPER vs. CARD [is there a difference?]

While cards are made out of the same material as paper, they are not the same thing. When a sweepstakes asks for paper use paper, and when a sweepstakes asks for a card, use a card. You do not know what each judge picking your entry feels about the differences, so play it safe and only use what they request in the fine print rules. Both are readily available...

3X5 PAPERS can by purchased at any drugstore, grocer, or office supply store. Ask the clerk for the 3X5 scratchpads, which they are more commonly referred as. Make sure they are unlined.

3X5 CARDS can be purchased at any drugstore, grocer, or office supply store. Ask the clerk for 3X5 index or recipe cards which they are more commonly referred as. Make sure they are unlined.

3½X5 PAPERS cannot be purchased at any retail store. You need to either cut some to size yourself, or buy them from sweepstakes suppliers. Click here: Sweepstakes Supplies to be taken to the sweeps supplies page.

3½X5 CARDS cannot be purchased at any retail store. You need to either cut some to size yourself, or buy them from sweepstakes suppliers. Click here: Sweepstakes Suppliers

Procedures for filling out your cards & papers:
Q. When the sweep asks for your complete name on the entry does everybody put their middle name?
A. Your "complete" or your "full" name is simply the name you use when signing documents or checks. For example, while I generally go by Patti Osterheld, my "complete" name is Patricia Osterheld.

Q. Can I use colored papers and cards?
A. You can, but there is no advantage. The only time you absolutely cannot is when they say 'plain' 3X5
card/paper. They mean white in that case. SweepSheet always points out when they require plain.
ENVELOPE ADDRESSING: While some of you will still want to address your envelopes exactly as the sponsor presents it in the rules, your entries will speed through the mail faster if you follow the U.S. Postal Service guidelines. They prefer you use all capital letters with no punctuation. Blue and Black ink. Click HERE to be taken to the US Post Office's website page regarding addressing envelopes.

#10 ENVELOPE DIMENSIONS: 4?"X9¼" (buy at any office supply store)

#6 ENVELOPE DIMENSION: 6¼"X3?" (buy at any office supply store)

GREETING CARD sized envelopes may vary. The larger the better to create more "grabbing space." Be sure to use the correct postage for each size. The maximum height for 49¢ is 6.5" and the maximum length is 11.5".

Here is an excerpt from the conversation corner, regarding envelope & postcard usage: Credit goes to Char Sonderfan, editor of "Sweeps Step by Step." (see ordering info on the "supplies" page.

" Many use the cheapest plain white #10's they can find and win consistently. Myself, that's boring. I feel strongly that other than white, other then #10 size can be helpful. Greeting card envelopes can be obtained free, by visiting store reps as they are taking down the cards after a holiday. Their oddball sizes, colors and some with designs may help, especially in local sweeps, and the sizes have more grabbing area.

Whether it's the size, color, pattern, commemorative stamp or anything else is what caused you to win or not.....you feel more confident imagining your interesting envelope in a sea of white #10's, spread on a table, when some agencies are taking random samplings for their final drawing drum. Your positive attitude MAY effect whether you win or not.

Give it a try for a reasonable period, say 6 months, and if you find white envelopes win you more, go back to that. Patti's envelope tips are simply telling you the varieties that have won with that particular agency, it's not necessary to follow...she's used figures gotten from many of us long-time sweepers are well as herself to know that agency XYZ often awards prizes say to those using greeting card size....so you can feel confident that if you decide to use those your entry won't be disqualified.

It's a matter of personal taste I guess, for many feel using other than white #10's points you out as a 'pro' sweeper (there really is no such thing, we're all consumers and not doing this for our living), but I haven't found that to be true. In fact, I rarely send white #10's anymore. Imagine even the fun of cutting out pictures of a sponsor's product and gluing them onto an envelope....the positive vibes that will go with that envelope.

But as I always say, experiment and then do what works for you.
This area attempts to dispel common sweepstaking myths.

AGE DISCRIMINATION: While many sweepstakes will ask for your age on the entry, it is not for reasons of discrimination. Seniors specifically are concerned that sponsors are not interested in awarding prizes to them and are hesitant to list their age. That is completely untrue. The one and only reason a sponsor will ask for your age on the entry is for survey purposes. It is called "Demographics". All companies want to know who is noticing their advertising, and this is one method to find out.

BLACKBALLING: You will not be blackballed by a sponsor or judging agency for winning too often or for questioning them about a win. They do not keep a list of frequent winners up on their wall to check against when awarding prizes. If they did, I would have won my last prize years and years ago.

TRICK QUESTIONS: The judges are not sitting around all day looking for ways to trip you up. They will not disqualify you if you do not dot your "i"s or cross your "t"s. They only want two things. a) A legible entry; b) All required information. Therefore, Colors of ink; types of pens; methods or printing...none of those matter to them. Just make your entries clear and complete, and you will be fine.
REPORT: All prizes, no matter how small, must be reported as income on your Income Tax form. The sponsor will send you a 1099 form for any prize valued over $600, and an identical form to the IRS, however, anything under that amount may be lumped together. You do not have to list the smaller prizes individually on your form. Just list the total amount of all your smaller prizes.

If you are also subject to state income taxes, a tax preparer in your own state should be consulted.

EXPENSES: If you itemize on your tax form, you may deduct your sweepstaking expenses, to the extent that they (and your other miscellaneous itemized deductions) exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income, so save your receipts for stamps; supplies; and newsletter subscriptions.
Q If the life of a sweepstakes is several months long, when is the best time to mail most of the entries? At the beginning of the month when less people know about it or at the end of the month when most people may have forgotten?

MK, in NM - "I mail entries all through the life of the sweeps: once a month if it's longrunning, once a week or more often for the quicker closing ones."
Melanie, OK - "I usually spread my entries out if it is long-running, but I find that in the short-lived sweeps, I have been acquiring most of my wins with entries sent in the last week of the sweepstakes.  My most recent win was sent only 3 days before the deadline!"

One Love Caribbean Island Party

Location: Warren, MI
Date: April 27, 2019
For details, email Al Sayward at: mispringmeeting@gmail.com

2019 National Sweepstakes Convention
Location: San Diego, CA.
Date: August 1-4, 2019
Hotel: Town & Country Resort, San Diego.
Website: https://www.2019sweepstakesconvention.com/

SweepSheet® holds a random drawing each issue from the names of readers who submit sweeps to us for publication. 1-awarded-per SweepSheet® issue. $25 cash and a SweepSheet® T-shirt, plus Sweepsheet® branded items.

TO ENTER: On a 3X5 PAPER, handprint or type your name, address, and zip. Include one new sweepstakes you have found, to be published in either SweepSheet®, or any area of the website for possible credit. [look for sweeps on product packages; store tear pads; hangtags on bottles; magazine ads; newspaper ads; sponsor's websites; Sunday ad supplements; store flyers; direct mail; billing inserts; and store displays.]

SweepSheet® Bonus Program Sweepstakes,
2413 W Algonquin Rd - Suite 429,
Algonquin, IL 60102-9402.

NOTE: IMPORTANT! You may send as many sweepstakes in one envelope as you wish, however, there must be a separate 3X5 included for each one. Do not attach the 3X5's to the sweeps. A drawing will be held at press time from all the 3X5's received in the prior two weeks. Whether the sweeps submitted is the first we receive, or use, has no bearing on your entry. All 3X5's have an equal chance of winning. We will prepare a 3X5 entry for all sweepstakes faxed or emailed to us. Please do not use cover letters. Just print your name and state on the sweeps itself. You are permitted to win an unlimited number of times.

BI-WEEKLY ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE SATURDAY BEFORE WE GO TO PRESS. [every other week] Winners will be notified by mail and also published in the issue. Substituting 3X5 cards for 3X5 papers is not allowed, because the sturdier entry would create an unfair advantage. 3X5 cards will be discarded.

You may also email sweepstakes to us. We must have the URL link to the online sweepstakes rules. Only sweepstakes that have the full rules published on the sponsors website may be emailed to us.
Email to links@sweepsheet.comany sweeps you have where the full rules are posted online at the sponsors website. Your email should include:
a) The name of the sweeps.
b) The end date of the sweeps.
c) The link to the fine print rules. (Example for demonstration purposes only) Rules: www.sweepsheet.com/rules
d) The link to the entry form. (Example for demonstration purposes only) Form: www.sweepsheet.com/entry
e) Your first & last name plus your state of residence. (required if you wish to be included in our bi-weekly drawing for $25 cash and a T-shirt. I will fill out your paper for you.

Our fax number is: 847-854-8814.
  Fax any sweeps where you can clearly fax the full set of rules. To conserve our fax paper, please do not use cover letters when faxing sweeps. Just print your name and state on the sweeps itself, not covering up any information. When submitting sweeps by mail or fax, I need the complete official fine print rules along with the actual entry form, plus any other info needed such as UPC#'s; trivia answers; stores names, etc. (Please enlarge the fine print before faxing and do not use a cover letter. Also...handprint the mail-to address of the sweeps alongside the official rules, because 6's & 8's blur together and look the same after being faxed.)

Mail any sweeps to us for publication consideration. Our mailing address is:
2413 W Algonquin Rd - Suite 429,
Algonquin, IL 60102-9402.

IMPORTANT! Please only send us the sweeps you find yourself while doing your daily shopping or while browsing the sponsors' actual websites. Taking sweepstakes from other websites is not allowed. On the same note, sharing sweepstakes you find anywhere on the SweepSheet® product is not to be shared with other newsletters, websites, or message boards. Thanks.

Only if you are the FIRST to send in a sweepstakes that we publish in the Newsletter (mail entry only no online entry), Hot Flash, Restricted, or Text only sections of the SweepSheet® product will receive one  bonus issues.  Sweepstakes that are strictly online sweepstakes or Social Network sweepstakes will not receive bonus issues. They are readily available, and there are just too many out there to give free issues. That also goes for magazine sweepstakes. Our magazine section self populates with every new issue of the magazine. We do not post magazine sweepstakes we have listed individually.
However, these type of sweepstakes do receive an entry into the SweepSheet® random drawing sweepstakes. Please send new sweepstakes to links@sweepsheet.com.

Q: How soon after the drawing date are you notified if you won something? And how long before they send you prizes that you do win if you are a winner?

The drawings dates are almost always "on/or about" type dates and not set in stone. Because of that, they might start notifying winners on that exact date; before that exact date, which is rare; and up to a year after that exact date. The best advice about drawing dates is to ignore them... except in the case of those sweeps where they will be notifying you by phone. With those, you'll want to have an idea of when to be phone available.

As to when to expect your prize once you've been notified? I generally give it two months before I begin an investigation. That advice is for those where you actually received an affidavit earlier. Smaller prizes just tend to show up on your doorstep without advance notice.
INTERNET EXPLORER INSTRUCTIONS: [see Mozilla Firefox and AOL instructions below]

1) Click on the word "favorites" up on your tool bar.
2) Click on the word "organize" at the top of the favorites window that opened up for you.
3) Click on the words "create folder".
4) Look for the "new folder" field over on the right hand side.
5) Delete the words "new folder" and type the name you want your folder to be called in that field instead. Examples would be: Daily; Weekly; Monthly; Daily prizes; 24-hr days; etc. Anything you like.
6) Click on the word: "close".
7) Repeat that process until you have created all the folders you need.

To place your favorite websites into your new folders, follow these instructions.
1) Go to the website you want; preferably the entry form page of that website; and click on the word "favorites" up on your tool bar.
2) Click on the word "add" in the favorites window that opened up.
3) Another window will open up, showing all your newly created folders.
4) Scroll to the one you want to put that particular website in, and click on it.
5) Click on "OK".

That's it. Now you have the website in your desired folder, and when you want to go back to it the next day, follow these instructions.
1) Click on the word "favorites" up on your toolbar.
2) Look for the preferred folder in the favorites window that opened up for you.
3) Click on the folder. A drop down list of your saved websites will appear.
4) Click on the website you want.
5) You will be taken directly to it.
To close up the folder again, just click on it once more. The websites are now neatly stored away in the folder again.


1) Once at the form you want to save, click on the word "Bookmarks" up on your tool bar.
2) A drop down menu will open up with some options. Choose the top one 'Bookmark this Page'.
3)  A box will appear with a field that contains the name of the website. You can type over the name with anything you want. I recommend changing it to the end date of the sweeps. i.e. 12-31-12.. That way you will know when to stop entering it.
4) Next, click on the little down arrow to  the right of the words 'Bookmark Menu'. Find the word 'choose' there, and click on that.
5)  Near the bottom of the box that opens up are the words: 'New Folder'. Click on that.
6)  There is space under the New Folder to name it. Call it 'Daily', Instant Wins', Weekly, Monthly, whatever you prefer.
7) Click 'done'.
8) The next time you bookmark another daily (or instant, ect) sweeps form, designate it to that folder.

That's it. Now you have the website in your desired folder, and when you want to go back to it the next day, follow these instructions.
1) Click on the word "bookmarks" up on your toolbar.
2) Look for the preferred folder in the favorites window that opened up for you.
3) Click on the folder. A drop down list of your saved websites will appear.
4) Click on the website you want.
5) You will be taken directly to it.

To close up the folder again, just click on it once more. The websites are now neatly stored away in the folder again.

AOL INSTRUCTIONS [compliments of Carol, AL]

1) Click on My Favorites
2) Click on New (at the bottom of the screen)
3) Click on New Folder
4) Type in a name such as Daily Entry, etc.
5) Click OK

The first place to check if you are unsure if a win is legitimate is right here on www.sweepsheet.com. Post the information on conversation corner under general discussion. Our readers are very informed and can spot a scam easily. They will let you know if it is real or not.

The FTC also works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit http://www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY: 1-866-653-4261

The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Consumers who believe they have been victimized by fraudulent promotional offers also should contact their local postmaster or U.S. Postal Inspection Service by phone, toll-free, at:
1-888-877-7644; by email at: www.uspsoig.gov; or by mail at: U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100.

If you have a problem with a sweepstakes or prize promotion after participating, and you are unable to resolve the problem directly with the company, contact:

  • The Direct Marketing Association, ConsumerLine, 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036-3603; phone 202-955-5030; fax 202-955-0085.
  • The Better Business Bureau where the company is located.
  • Call for Action, a network of radio and Television station hotlines that offer resolution services for consumers. Call 301-657-7490 or write: Call for Action, 5272 River Road, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20816.
Q. How on earth does anyone ever get through on those things? When I hear the very first note of the song, I start dialing and the line is already busy, busy, busy.

First of all, program your phone for speed-dialing, so you only have to hit a few numbers, rather than all of them. Second, call the phone company and have them put speed dialing on your line. This is different than the speed dialing function on your phone. It costs a few dollars a month, but it will pay for itself almost immediately. While you are the line with them, have them remove any other extraneous features on your line such as three-way calling, call forwarding, automatic call-back, etc., if you have no use for them. They slow down your ability to call out or to hang up. The phone company put all those features on your line without your knowing it, and you are only charged for them if you actually use them. In the meantime, they make your dialing ability very sluggish. Third, during non-contest times, play around with the contest line in order to find the station's "ghost numbers". Let me explain about ghost numbers.

Imagine the disc jockey sitting at his position with a phone board of some sort in front of him. The phone has several buttons that light up. Line one; line two; line three; line four; & line five. When you call the contest number, and you are first, the button for line number one lights up. If someone beats you to it, and you are the second caller, your call automatically flows over to button number two, etc. until all the buttons are lit. At the beginning of the contest, the disc jockey starts at button number one; presses it; says "Your caller number one, please try again" and then goes on to the second button, continuing on until he gets to his correct caller.

If all the buttons are lit before you call, you will only get busy signals. Your goal is get to one of those other buttons before the overflow from the main contest line. Here's how. Even though they are not advertised, each one of those buttons is a separate phone line with its own phone number. By dialing the number, you are taken directly to it. Say you need to be caller number five, and there are five lines available. If you know the number for line five, you can dial it, and go straight to it before all the others who would only get to line five by overflowing from line one's through four. So, how do you find out what the numbers for those other buttons are?

Start with the main contest line and experiment with it. As an example, say the main contest line is 555-1212. There is a good chance line two is 555-1213; line three is 555-1214, etc. When it is a low period at the station, call the other numbers. If the DJ picks up the phone, you know you have hit on one of their ghost numbers. Politely tell the DJ you have the wrong number, and hang up. Do it again during a different show, until you are confident you have all the ghost numbers.

Then, the next time they say "OK, we'll take the fifth caller", you dial the ghost number instead of their main line and you have a better chance of getting right in. The DJ will hit buttons numbered one through four, and you will already be waiting for him over there on line five.

Combine this with the speed dialing functions from both the phone company and your own phone, and you should be able to increase your chances of winning a radio contest.

To avoid confusion, here is how to get your wins posted.
  1. Even though you post them yourself on the message board, if you want it posted elsewhere, you need to email the info to customerservice@sweepsheet.com
  2. Wins originating from sweeps in the issue will be printed in the issue.
  3. Wins originating from the Hot Flashes will be posted in the issue. 
  4. If you send a photo for publication, be sure to include the name of the sweeps; where you found it (issue or Hot Flash); and any other interesting details which will help us form a caption.
  5. Photos may be either mailed to us at:

    2413 W. Algonquin Rd., Ste 429
    Algonquin, IL 60102

    or emailed to Patti directly at patti@sweepsheet.com if you prefer.
Try not to offend or annoy the sponsor. After all, they can choose to spend their advertising dollar in another method. If you like sweepstakes, and would like to see them continue, make the promotion as enjoyable for the sponsor, as they are making it for you.
  1. When picking out your postcard or envelope, pay special attention to your decorations. If the sponsor is Fox Kids, for example, do not send Cartoon Network decorated envelopes.
  2. When attending a sponsor-attended function like a key turn or a pre-game party, do not wear a T-shirt or cap sporting the name of the sponsor's competitor. It's very bad form.
  3. When talking with the sponsor's representatives while on a trip win, pre-game party, or key turn, don't brag about all the other sweeps prizes you have won before. They only want to hear about how much you enjoy their product, and how much fun it was to enter their sweepstakes. If they ask right out if you've won other sweepstakes, there is no need to lie. A good pat answer is: "Never like this before!"
  4. Do not call the sponsor with questions about the sweeps or the drawing. They do not have the manpower or time to answer hundreds of phone calls. Trust that the prizes will be awarded in a timely manner, and your prize will arrive "when it arrives." Learn to prepare your entries and "send them into the universe." What will be, will be.
  5. Never assume that sweepstakes are promoted for the benefit of sweepstakes hobbyists, and that you are entitled to them. There are millions of other consumers the sponsor is attempting to reach, not just the hobbyist-consumer. Put sweepstakes in perspective as a hobby for you, and not something that is your exclusive right.

No mail on  these dates in 2020

Wednesday, January 1 New Year’s Day
Monday, January 20  Martin Luther King Jr. birthday
Monday, February 17 Washington’s Birthday (observed)
Monday, May 25 Memorial Day
Friday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 7 Labor Day
Monday, October 12 Columbus Day
Wednesday November 11 Veterans Day (observed)
Thursday, November 26 Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 25 Christmas Day


SweepSheet® customers may advertise free of charge on the SweepSheet® website as long as you remain a paid subscriber.  Your ad will be exposed to approx. 3 million visitors a month.

In exchange for the free exposure, you agree to abide by these rules:
  1. Your ad must be for sweepstakes supplies or services.
  2. Each change to your ad will result in one issue deducted from your account.
  3. You must not abuse the privilege by posing as someone else in order to endorse your product on the message board.
  4. You must not discredit SweepSheet® or its editor in any way, or in any venue. Abuses will result in your ad being pulled and possible cancellation of your SweepSheet® subscription.
If you enter for trips out of the country, you should go ahead and get your passport ahead of time. They can take months to process, and a delay in receiving yours might mean having to pass up a trip win.  To learn how to apply for a passport, click here: http://travel.state.gov/
Disney vacations are a favorite trip win and inevitably generate a lot of questions.  Here are a few links to get you started, plus I'll add reader comments as I receive them.

CLICK HERE: Disney's official site


ADDRESS OR EMAIL ADDRESS CHANGES: Email us by clicking here: customerservice@sweepsheet.com

TWO BONUS ISSUES are earned by giving a gift subscription or referring a friend/relative for a subscription of at least 13 issues. 4-issue introductory offer subscriptions do not qualify. However, once they upgrade to a full subscription, your bonus credits will be added in automatically.


13 FREE ISSUES: Send in your profile cover story.
13 FREE ISSUES: Send in a pertinent sweepstakes article for the in-box.
02 FREE ISSUES: Refer a friend.
02 FREE ISSUES: Purchase a gift of 13 or more issues for a friend.
02 FREE ISSUES: Send in a sweepstakes that you find. If you are first, and we print it, you get the credits.
02 FREE ISSUES: Send in a picture of yourself or a family member with their win, no matter how big or small. [scanned or digital photos are OK but be sure to email them to  patti@sweepsheet.com].  Your bonus issues are added at the time of publication.

When submitting sweeps, I need the complete official fine print rules along with the actual entry form, plus any other info that might be needed such as UPC#'s; trivia answers; stores names, etc.

Our fax number is: 847-854-8814. (Please enlarge the fine print before faxing)

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Thank you for your consideration.

BILLING: To keep costs down, we do not bill or send renewal notices. You are responsible for getting your renewal in on time.  The number of issues you have reaining are located on 2 places at www.sweepsheet.com. There is a box with your name on it on the member acess page. Also there is a red number on the newsletter download page.When you see you are at "1 issue remaining,"
you should consider your renewal in order not to miss any issues.
Also, when you sign in to www.sweepsheet.com you will see a box with your name and the number of issues you have remaining.

When emailing us, please include your name, address, and zip.

Email customer service at customerservice@sweepsheet.com, to email us with:
  1. Your wins to be published. [include the source if possible]
  2. Email address changes.
  3. Address changes.
Email Patti directly at patti@sweepsheet.com, to email us with:
  1. Subscription discrepancies.
  2. Late issues. [Friday, one week after the issue is mailed is considered late.]
  3. Your profile stories.
  4. Other business
  5. Clearance for the private areas. i.e. Hot Flashes and conversation corner.
  6. Website problems. i.e. broken links, etc.
  7. Specific sweepstakes questions not covered in the frequently asked questions [faqs] page.
  8. Letters to the editor.
  9. In-box stories. 500 words. No attachments, please.
Email Sandy directly at Sandy@sweepsheet.com, to email us with
  1. issues regarding conversation corner.
SweepSheet® is a publication and service offered to our readers which provides evaluation, comment, and criticism of sweepstakes, promotions, and contests available to the public. The content and compilations found in SweepSheet®, and in the Hot Flashes, are protected as allowable fair use under trademark and copyright laws of the U.S. No association or affiliation with any particular sponsor or any sweepstakes or contest is suggested or implied.

SWEEPSHEET® is provided to its readers, viewers, and subscribers for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not warrant or promise the validity or accuracy of any promotion or sweepstakes discussed herein, including whether the party offering the promotion or sweepstakes will actually award or issue any prize, gift, or financial sum or how the party offering the promotion or sweepstakes will utilize any personal information you may provide. Readers, viewers and subscribers of SWEEPSHEET® are solely responsible for investigating, viewing, and complying with any and all rules, restrictions, requirements, or provisions of all sweepstakes, promotions, and offers set forth herein, including eligibility and restriction requirements. Certain offers may be void under applicable local law(s) in your jurisdiction or may exclude certain classes of individuals from eligibility and/or participation. Please read all rules and regulations carefully before entering or submitting any personal information. All third party trademark and service marks, whether registered or unregistered, are owned by the respective party. The trademarks of others are used herein in a purely descriptive sense and as a nominative fair use under the trademark laws of the United States. No association or sponsorship between SWEEPSHEET® and named trademark owner is made, expressed or implied.

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