You are a guaranteed winner of $5,000.00 every week for life if you return the winning entry number. I have been receiving notifications of that type since I turned 18 and I have always taken all the steps to submit my entry. It occurred to me the other day that this is a type of mind-control on the part of the sweepstakes company. With as many entries as I have submitted in the past 35 years, shouldn’t I have won something by now? Is this a ploy to get me to purchase something from the mailing? While it says no purchase is necessary, is there a difference in what pile my name goes into since I haven’t made a purchase? Would I have won if I were purchasing things like 100% Egyptian Cotton Bath Sheets, 3-Piece Magnifying Sets or Floral Fantasy Bangle Watches?
The temptation to pitch the envelope into the trash as a lost cause and waste of time has occurred on more than one occasion. There have been a few I didn’t return on time or did throw away, but then the mind questions the intelligence of that decision. What if that was the one mailing with the winning entry number? Did I just toss my opportunity to have a substantial weekly income into the trash?
I tried to reason the throwing of those envelopes away by commenting to my husband that had I not wasted all that money on postage I would probably be a lot wealthier now. He didn’t help. He pointed out that at the most I probably had spent maybe $100 in postage. When I started doing this in 1978 first class postage was only 0.15, now it is 0.49. Using today’s rate of 0.49 if I mailed in six entries per year for the past 35 years my total investment is only $102.90, and we know based on the variations in postage over the years that is a high estimate. Figuring this out simply gave legitimacy to my investment in time and postage. Is it worth losing the chance at millions if I fail to invest a few minutes of time and a postage stamp?
Realistically what are the chances I will have my doorbell ring and find a prize committee standing on my porch presenting me with a huge check? I would say next to none, and yet there I sat on Sunday morning painstakingly attaching entry labels to a form, searching the sales flyers of the mailing for the appropriate entry pieces and attaching little stickers to the combination code on the back of the entry-order form. Then after making sure everything was appropriately attached to the entry form placing it into the “official reply envelope” so that my official entry number shows through the little window, attached a postage stamp and mailed in my entry.
Why do I continue to take the time to follow the steps and submit my entries? Because I have been warned that “Many winning number holders lose out on big sums of money for not entering as instructed.” and that “Failure to reply within specified time will result in loss of any prize monies that could be won from response to this notice.” The mailing contains a notice that the transfer of weekly prize checks will take place if I timely return my entry number and it is selected as the valid matching winning number.
The power of persuasion has locked me into this mind game. After 35 years I cannot escape its power. Who wouldn’t like to win huge amounts of money so they can spend, travel, share, and enjoy the rest of their life without giving it a thought? While some underlying desire to win pulls me in, I know I am not alone. It is a powerful mind game that has probably locked in thousands, more likely millions of others like me. How do I know I am not alone? Because if I was the only person submitting those sweepstakes entries I certainly would have won something by now.