That being said, there's a difference between thinking you probably have no chance of winning, and actually having no chance of winning. And you're doing yourself and the contest's sponsors a disservice if you're entering the second kind of contest.
So when do you actually have no chance of winning? When you're ineligible, or you don't have an entry that legitimately matches what the sponsor is looking for in the contest. That's a big difference from simply thinking that your entries won't be good enough to be worth trying to win the contest.
Some examples include:
- Contests that aim to reward people doing volunteer work in their community. If you haven't legitimately been working to improve your community, you're not going to win.
- Contests for parents, when you don't have a child. Even if you know a child that you can use for your entry, if the rules state you need to be a parent or legal guardian, you'll be disqualified.
- Contests (and sweepstakes, too!) for business owners, when you don't have a business registered to you.
- Contests asking you to write an essay about a situation that you've never experienced. Fiction usually doesn't count!
- Wedding giveaways for engaged couples, when you're already married.
- And many similar situations.
When the prize is really juicy, what's wrong with throwing your hat in the ring and taking your chances with having your entry disqualified? Well, if you do that, you're doing a disservice not only to the contest's sponsors, but ultimately to yourself. Why? It's a waste of time for everyone involved.
If the contest sponsors have to spend time weeding out a lot of ineligible entries, they may well decide that it's not worth running contests in the future. Not only does that mean you won't win the current contest, but the sponsor may well not hold a contest that you could be eligible to win in the future.
Furthermore, you are taking time that you could be spending entering sweepstakes and contests that you could legitimately win, and spending it on getting disqualified instead. There are so many great chances to win that it's a better idea to focus on winnable contests.
So don't let your self-doubts keep you from entering contests when you have a story you could tell, a picture you could share, or an idea for the perfect recipe that fits the theme. But when you know you'll be disqualified even if you do enter, sit that contest out and focus your efforts on prizes you can win.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Answer the poll question, and click the "comments" link below to share your thoughts.
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