Is There Such a Thing as Sweepstakes And Contests Addiction?

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Entering sweepstakes and contests is a great fun hobby for almost anyone, but like many pastimes it presents the possibility that the player could become addicted. You would think the more a person wins the higher the possibility that an addiction may develop, yet this isn’t necessarily true.

Like a compulsive gambler, the addiction increases with the knowledge that a win is “out there,” so they keep playing and playing. Luckily, those entering sweepstakes and contests are gambling with their time, and not their money. So there will be no expensive trips to Vegas and Atlantic City, with gamblers desperately withdrawing cash from ATM machines on the casino floor. Nevertheless, addiction to sweepstakes and contests has its own characteristics. Here are a few examples of addiction danger signs that should be noted:

Household and family neglect

Demographically-speaking, the typical player of sweepstakes and contests is a “SAHM” (stay at home mother) who uses part of her day to enter giveaways to win additional income and merchandise for her family. In fact, entering sweepstakes is a fine way to do this. There’s no harm in spending an hour or two contesting, especially in front of the TV.

Once this becomes an issue, it’s time to reassess contesting and cut back entering to what is manageable. When the house isn’t being cleaned, and the children go unattended, friends are being ignored and personal grooming goes downhill — it’s definitely a problem. When Mom (or Dad, or anyone) is busy entering for prizes, there is a definitely a problem. Sometimes kids get into trouble when supervising themselves, and husbands may complain about the mess (sometimes implicating the hobby).

The urge to constantly enter sweepstakes and contests is a compulsion that some people fall prey to, even though this is a behavioral addiction, and obviously not a chemical one. But the urge to enter and enter and enter can be very powerful. You need to be smart and sane and remember to keep the hobby sustainable and fun. It’s possible to win by entering a modest amount, and these wins can actually be more fun because you weren’t stressed to pieces over not winning when entering all the time.

Sweepstakes and contests always on the mind

A fun hobby is an addiction when it’s constantly on the mind of the addict. If you begin framing most situations in life around entering and winning, you are obviously hooked. Instant win sweepstakes in particular are very addicting because of the immediate gratification they offer.

sweepstakes and contests

Entering too much?

If you find yourself becoming angry, frustrated, demoralized and incensed by the constant “sorry” screens when playing instant win sweepstakes you have a problem. Or if you find yourself checking emails 10 times a day for a winning notification, or if you are angry and upset when the UPS passes and the package was for your neighbor — you have a sweepstakes and contests addiction issue.

Helping your sweepstakes addiction

If you have any of the above signs, it’s time to back off and stop entering for a while. Reassess your entering volume and habits and plan a schedule for when to enter, what to enter and stick to it. It’s always best to enter for things you really want and can use the most. After a while, your compulsion to enter constantly should subside, and returning to contesting will probably be safe for you.

Remember: Even if you don’t enter for things all day, every day, you can still win plenty. Entering giveaways as a hobby can be very safe and fun when not indulged to excess.

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