The Key to Winning: Show Up

I won!!

Over the course of a year I once won 11 pairs of concert tickets, five CDs, and $98 from just two radio stations in my city.

Was I lucky?

Maybe a little, but really there was one thing that set me apart: I put out the effort to enter.

What set Lindsey of Connecticut apart, besides getting a little lucky, is she showed up and made it happen. She won a week at a beach house in the Yucatan from the contest I announced on February 20. ¬†The requirements weren’t all that daunting, the instructions not all that hard to follow if you at least finished elementary school. Around 52 people managed to complete the requirements and I asked Random.org to pick a number between 1 and 52. Leslie came out the winner.

The thing is, even though 1 in 52 would be considered pretty good odds for a contest, especially compared to any lottery, this contest actually brought in more entries than the ones I run regularly at Perceptive Travel and Practical Travel Gear. ¬†(You can go win a Mountainsmith¬†camera backpack at the latter right now…)

I’m not saying this will be the case for a photo contest by National Geographic that runs for four months, or something Coke or Starbucks throws out there in TV ads to generate some buzz. But for contests run by small magazines, websites, blogs, and radio stations, your odds are probably much better than you think.

But there’s a catch: you have to show up. And enter. And follow directions.

If you can do those things, you’ll be “lucky” a lot.

Comments
  1. amanda

    That’s hilarious about the radio station—I’m guessing one was a college station, right? The one where I live seldom seems to have more than 20 listeners at a time, so it’s pretty easy to be the 4th caller for tickets or a CD. Sometimes the DJ will say, “Call back again and you’ll be the winner.”

  2. Megan

    Totally agree. This year I’ve won tickets to three concerts, a bike, 4 books (one from you!), 2 nights stay at a NH Inn, Lost Season 6, sailing lessons and $50 at a fancy restaurant.

    • tim

      Nice job Megan. Free stuff rocks—especially a bike! Enjoy the book though.

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