On Winning Stuff

I just saw a tweet from someone who said “I never win stuff.” I would have tweeted back, but there’s really no way to make “I win stuff all the time!” to someone you don’t know except slightly through twitter sound like anything but massively bad manners.

But it’s true. I do win stuff all the time. I have a strategy and it works. I SWEAR TO DOG this is not a spammer post. It’s also not a get rich quick post because, right. Still have the day job!

Back when my RWA chapter was having raffles of baskets of stuff, I won quite often. Enough that when I came home with yet another haul, my mother remarked, “You win a lot of stuff,” and I almost said, No, I don’t. Because I was thinking that I have never won anything big like mega millions or what have you. I realized that, in fact, I did win a lot of things. Because, unwittingly, I had a practice that lent itself to good odds.

Last October, I won a Kobo Aura from Kobo. That was a neat win. In November, I won a $50 Amazon gift certificate by attending a SQL Server event sponsored by Dell. That was handy! I don’t think I won anything in December, but I had to cancel a couple of plans due to day job horrors.

Lucky Jewel?

I actually do think I’m luckier than most. One time I won a pen that would take dictation– that was for participating in an email list or something. It stopped working after a few months, but it was fun while it lasted.

Another time, out of the blue, British Airways sent me a voucher for 2 free RT airfares from SFO to London. I went to London that summer. I have no idea why I received the voucher from BA, as I was really quite poor at the time, but I have LOVED BA ever since. And I fly them whenever I can. As far as I know, that was pure luck.

I won a beautiful handmade quilt once. There was a raffle at a Walk for Cancer event I was walking at and I dropped the raffle tickets I bought into the buckets for stuff I thought it would be fun to win. If I didn’t win anything, well, it wouldn’t have been a lot of money, and it went to a good cause.

With the Kobo Aura, I thought I had a good shot at winning when I entered, and I was right. Why? Because the contest was announced in the middle of a podcast. The guys wanted someone who actually listed to them to win, so they didn’t put it in the show notes. They just announced it toward the middle (of the podcast I was enjoying during my afternoon run) and gave the instructions and I thought hey! I’m that listener! So I made a quick note on the iPhone so I wouldn’t forget the instructions, finished up the exercise and went and entered. As a surprise, Kobo decided to award a second Kobo device to an entrant with a Kobo Writing Life account and that was me!

The gift card for the SQL Server webcast was a surprise, too. I didn’t even know it was a thing they did. But at the end, they announced my email! SCORE. Plus I learned a lot about SQL Server indexing–might have been the Hekaton webcast come to think of it. Also a neat technology. In-RAM indexing on SSD drives. Could be scary. But early word is it’s blazing fast.

At my RWA chapter meetings, I always buy the 10-tickets for $5 or whatever the buy more, get a couple extra tickets deal was, because, hey, the chapter needs to raise money so if I don’t win, it was for a good cause. But for the several months they were doing that, I won several times. You have to be at the meeting to win the raffle. My local chapter is a fairly large one, so there can be 30-60 or more people. But the raffle odds are pretty decent with multiple tickets.

My Winning Ways

I do not set out to win stuff the way some coupon clippers set out to walk out of the store with 5 bags of groceries and no out of pocket money. That’s too tiring. I’m just not that organized. But when an opportunity presents itself and the conditions are right? You bet!

If there’s a contest or raffle with a limited entry pool, those are good odds. And if it’s for something where your money does some good, why, that’s even better!

See the pattern? Dumb luck and putting small amounts of money into raffles with limited entrants. Go to meetings! Do stuff! Listen to podcasts. Or whatever. When there are multiple things to win (money going to a good cause) buy multiple tickets at your budget amount for having your money go to a good cause and then decide if your strategy is all your tickets in one basket or spread out over many. But do it.

When you hear about a contest where the entrant pool is likely to be less thousands? Better odds than the lottery.

Pardon me, off to play with my Kobo Aura.

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One Response to “On Winning Stuff”

  1. Landra Graf says:

    Smart tips and I plan to employ them. Congrats on the winnings. 🙂