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Readers Respond: Reasons for Declining Sweepstakes Prizes

Responses: 13

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We all enter sweepstakes dreaming of that perfect win, but every now and then, we win prizes we just can't use. Have you ever had to decline a sweepstakes prize you won? Share your story by telling us what you won, why you had to decline the prize, and how you felt about it afterwards.

Decline Vegas trip

After entering contests for about two weeks, I was just returning home from same-day surgery on my foot, when the phone rang with the news that I had won trip for 4 to Vegas. They needed an answer within 3 hrs and papers faxed by noon next day. Since the event was only 2 weeks away, I reluctantly had to turn it down.
—Jp9999

Turned down L.A. music experience

I won a trip for four to Los Angeles to a music concert. I offered the trip to my ex and her three kids, but she hadn't heard of the band and declined. Rather than take on a $2,500 1099 expense - at least $1,000 in taxes - I declined as well. But, these things are negotiable. If I had wanted to go with just one other person, the prize value would have been half as much.
—Guest mcrosson

Car

This summer I received a phone call from unknown name & number. The man did not identify himself but told me I was a grand prize winner & won a luxury car. I could not understand him & declined. First, I did not know if it was legit, nor could I have afforded the taxes. So I try to stay with either cash or small prizes.
—Guest Linda

No NASCAR DRIVING for me

I got a call at work one day saying that I had won a trip to Charlotte, NC for a Richard Petty Driving Experience. The grand prize winner had declined the prize and I was next in line. If I didn't want the driving experience, I would get a NASCAR cap. I had no idea that anyone I knew would want such a prize, and I knew I couldn't climb through the window of the car, so I said "I think I'll take the cap". When I told several people, including my son-in-law, I thought I was going to get killed! It seems that I was the only one who DIDN'T want the driving experience.
—Guest phyllist

Turned Down Event Tickets

I got called for Federal Jury Duty - and don't you know I win tickets to an event in an adjacent state ~ Any other time, we would have went. When I entered I did not know I would be called in that week, but I was!
—Guest JO

Turned down free hotel room

Early in my sweeping I'd signed up for a vacation giveaway that was just a hotel room in a distant location for three days. I got an email notification shortly after entering that I'd won, but realized hubby and I would have to pay for airfare and food, plus transportation from the airport. I emailed to tell them I wouldn't be accepting the prize, but the email bounced back as undeliverable and the 888 number was a hard-sell outfit -- so it wasn't really a giveaway.
—mp1061

It can't hurt to ask

I recently entered a sweep from Sunny-D with a different prize every day. I got a phone call from the fulfillment company that I had won a prize. Unfortunately, it was a family membership to YMCA, because we live a long way from any YMCA. I explained that to the lady and asked if the sponsor would consider a substitution. She called back within 15 minutes and said they would send me a $500 American Express card instead! WOW!! It can't hurt to ask.
—dblu0104

Only one time

Last summer I entered a contest from Hertz, hoping to win one of the lower prizes of a gift card. When they notified me that I was the grand prize winner of $500.00 in hertz coupons, I explained that we do not travel and that I was entering to win a lesser prize. I asked if they would chose another winner. After some decision making they were kind enough to give me the cash equivalent of the coupons.
—bellestory

Trip to Hawaii

I recently won a trip to Hawaii and was very excited! However, after talking to the sponsors I realized that it did not include airfare. So now I have a decision to make- cough up the airfare for my self and my daughter, or decline the prize? At this point, I did accept the prize...and now I am checking airfare prices, hoping to get a good rate. I will be more careful in the future to about which contests I enter. Entering sweeps has a learning curve, and I am still learning. :)
—ladyoflarkspur

Cathy

I received a gift valued at $25. This contest was for children aged 6 to 18. I did not realize this when I entered. So I replied to the sponsors and told them that I had made a mistake by entering the contest and asked if they could pass my prize on to the next person on the list.
—cw19ez

trip won/ declined

What timing! This happened to me just this morning. I entered the contest never expecting to ever win "the grand prize" of a trip for 4 to Disney World. I thought the "other" prizes - dollar general gift cards would be great! To say I was stunned to get the "winner" phone call this morning is an understatement. I was excited! Thrilled! And I also knew that this trip was really best for someone else (i"m single, an "auntie" to 7 great kids -- so how do you "choose" who should go with you?). So I declined. I know that someone else will be sooo excited to win this trip. In the future, I'll be more careful about which sweepstakes I enter.
—luckygirl8008

Taxes were too high

We turned down a $6500 trip because we didn't have the $1500 to cover the taxes in addition to the money we'd need for food.
—Guest Susan

I Declined a $25 Cash Card

I was on vacation in Spain when I received notice that I had won a $25 cash card, but that I needed to return a notarized affidavit within 2 days to claim the prize. I went to a US embassy, where there was a notary, but it would have cost more than the cash card was worth to get the notarization done, so I declined the prize win.
—Guest Sandra

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