How Will You Know When You Win Online Sweepstakes?
WinForMe.com takes all of the work out of winning online sweepstakes. However,
it's up to you to collect the actual prizes WinForMe will never notify you about
a prize win; in fact, we won't know if you have won unless you tell us. Knowing
what to expect when you have won will help you be sure that you receive all of
the prizes that you are entitled to.
What is the Timeframe for Win Notifications?
Online sweepstakes vary widely in terms of the amount of time they take to notify
winners. Some sweepstakes have daily, weekly, or monthly draws that take place
while the contest is still running. Others will wait four to six weeks to draw a
winner. If they have trouble reaching their first choice, they will move on to
the next name that is drawn, and so on.
In short, it may take months to receive a win notification, and then weeks or
months longer to actually receive your prize. In some rare situations, we have
had winners that were notified a year or even a year and a half after the
sweepstake has ended! Patience really pays off when it comes to winning online
Prize Notification Methods
US Postal Service
Mail Service, such as FedEx or UPS
Every sweepstake has its own rules when it comes to notifying winners. Once
you have won a prize, the sponsor will usually let you know through one of the
It is important to check your email account regularly, to ensure that you do not
overlook a win notification. Many online sweepstakes make your win notifications
very obvious. For example, the subject line of a Bizrate sweepstakes win
notification looks something like this:
"Congratulations, You've Won BizRate's Daily Cash Giveaway."
However, other sweepstakes notifications have been nearly indistinguishable from
spam or regular newsletters. It's better to be safe than sorry. Opening up your
mail in the email account that you use for sweepstakes entry and unsubscribing
from the newsletters that you do not want to receive, will help to keep the amount
of mail you receive manageable, and will keep you from overlooking an important
You should also be sure that sweepstakes sponsors are able to contact you by
double-checking your entry information in the Member Area. If you change your
address, email address, or telephone number, be sure to update it there.
What Happens After Notification
Depending on the sweepstakes rules, the sponsor will ask you for a response or
could even ship the prize to your door without prior warning. If a response is
requested, it may be a simple acknowledgement of the prize and confirmation of
shipping information, or it may be in the form of a notarized affidavit.
An affidavit verifies that all of your information is correct, and that you are
eligible to participate in the sweepstakes. It may also request your social
security number so that the sweepstakes sponsor can report your win to the IRS. If
your prize win is valued over $600, the sponsor is required by law to report the
winnings to the IRS, and you are required to report the win on your taxes. For
more information on reporting wins, see a tax professional.
Many banks offer notary services free of charge to customers. Notaries may also
be found at UPS and other mailing stores, government offices, real estate or
legal offices, and credit unions. Check your local Yellow Pages for assistance.
If you are asked to send your response by mail, it's a good idea to get delivery
confirmation to verify that your affidavit was sent before the prize deadline. The
USPS offers a variety of delivery confirmation options, as seen on the
After You've Received a Win Notification
If you've won a sweepstakes prize, we'd love to hear about it! Be sure to let
us know about your win through an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, or by clicking
on the Report a Win link in the
We'd love to add your name to our Winner's List!
It is also a nice idea to send a Thank-You note to the sweepstakes sponsors. Anything
that encourages sponsors to continue to offer great giveaways benefits the entire