Carolyn Wilman of Ontario, Canada, is serious about her sweepstakes. So serious that she has a nickname, the "Contest Queen," a book, "You Can't Win If You Don't Enter," and a website, www.contestqueen.com, all devoted to winning things for free.
Wilman, 44, has won almost $250,000 in cash and prizes over the 10 years she's been entering sweepstakes, ever since she decided to turn a hobby into a full-time career.
"I worked in marketing for 15 years and found myself unemployed," she says on the show's series premiere. "I I read an article about a couple who entered sweepstakes on a daily basis. I thought, 'What a great idea. I won't have to work. I'll just win for a living.'"
To win, Wilman enters an average of 100 to 300 contests per day, often enlisting the help of her 9-year-old daughter, Nicole, to get the job done.
Over the years, she's won clothes, cosmetics, kitchen appliances. She estimates she wins five to 15 sweepstakes per month, including one lucky month in which she won three trips in one week alone.
"I feel so blessed that I won all this stuff," she says.
Confident in her reign as "Contest Queen," Wilman shares these five tips with "Good Morning America" viewers so that they can become super "sweepers" too.
|Always Read the Rules|
This is my No. 1 entry tip, because it's the one thing people do the least. You do not want to inadvertently disqualify yourself.
|Visit Sweepstakes Websites|
Visit online websites that specialize in the hobby. The sites will offer links to currently running promotions, and you can sign up for a newsletter subscription listing new sweepstakes and contests.
|Use Social Media|
|Enter Through Every Method Possible|
Most sweepstakes offer five entry methods: in-person, call-in, mail-in, online and text messaging. Use all five methods to maximize your odds of winning.
Don't forget the obvious: To win, you must enter. The more you enter, the better your odds.