Following Instant Win Sweepstakes Rules

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Whatever you’re entering for, sweepstakes rules need to be followed.

Of all the fun sweepstakes and contests in the world, none are as fun and gratifying as instant win sweepstakes. Not only are they usually quick to play, the graphics and games are fun if you like that sort of thing.

Best of all, there is instant feedback, letting you know instantaneously that you won. Or not. The sweepstakes rules tell you when you should expect prize delivery. That’s what sweepstakes rules are for.

Sweepstakes Rules

(Where’s my prize?)

This is a common question, especially those new at the games. If you take a minute to read the sweepstakes rules, they usually state that prize delivery will occur in 6 to 8 weeks, but to be realistic expect your prize to arrive in 10 to 12 weeks.

If you’ve been in the sweepstakes game long enough, you see all kinds of variations in prize delivery. Even if the rules state a winner will be chosen on a certain date, the winning may not be chosen, and notification may not occur for months.

The slowest notification in my personal experience was a trip win that ended 10 months before I was notified (even though the sweepstakes rules said 6 to 8 weeks!). So if you’re hoping to win a particular contest or giveaway, you may be notified that you’re the winner long after you had forgotten about it. And by the way: sponsors can generally run things as they please, because the sweepstakes rules allow them total wiggle room.

Sweepstakes Rules

(Mail carriers bearing gifts)

The best part of entering and winning instant win giveaways is the novelty of never knowing when you will be getting a prize. Very often unexpected things show up via the US mail, FedEx and UPS.

Most of the time, you will know that you won because you received a winning notification email. Winners aren’t notified that they won something more often than you would believe, so this is the reason for the unexpected win. Judging agencies just don’t have the time and resources sometimes to tell the winners they won, so they just dispense with the job of getting the prizes out.

One thing we know is important: Make sure it’s easy to find you.

If you move, make sure your wins move along with you. The US Postal Service has a change of address form that you should fill out so your prizes will be delivered to the right address. Expect a delay in any case if your instant win prizes need to be rerouted.

sweepstakes rules

UPS prize delivery

UPS and FedEx are also popular delivery methods for judging agencies. You would be able to reroute a package on its way to your new address should you move, but this is not possible if you haven’t been told to expect one.

The sweepstakes rules may disallow PO boxes, so be sure not to use one if you are moving.

Sweepstakes Rules

(The best practices)

Your best bet would be to notify the judging agencies of your change of address if you know that a package is on its way. If the person running the prize distribution is on the ball, he or she will make the change for you, and send the gift to your new home. Most people working for judging agencies who are administering prizes are smart and accommodating, so don’t be afraid to ask for a needed address change.

As far as post office boxes are concerned, they are mostly not allowed as a mailing address when sweeping, so avoid using them when you enter sweepstakes. Using a post office box may disqualify you from winning entirely, so be sure to use a permanent, legitimate address if you’re going to enter instant win sweepstakesand contests. And before you enter anything, read the sweepstakes rules to be sure you qualify for that great prize.

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