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1. Not Reading the Rules

Sweepstakes rules can be lengthy and full of legalese; you should still read them, however. After you get the hang of the terminology and typical layouts, checking the rules will go much faster, and you will not waste time entering contests you can’t win.

2. Not Following the Rules to the Letter

Sweepstakes sponsors are very serious about their rules, and they will disqualify any variation from their guidelines. If a mail-in sweepstake says to send an entry by postcard, don’t mail it in an envelope. If an online sweepstake demands a code, don’t assume that your entry was accepted just because the form went through.

3. Lying about Eligibility

Sponsors offer sweepstakes to their target audience, to increase the success of their marketing. If you lie about fulfilling the qualifications, such as non-smokers entering a contest for smokers only, or saying that you own a small business when you don’t, the sponsor will catch and disqualify you. Even worse, you have made it less likely that the sponsor will make the effort to offer sweepstakes in the future. There are plenty of great sweepstakes out there; if you don’t qualify for one, find another to enter.

4. Entering for Prizes You Don’t Want

Many sweepers get carried away and enter every contest they can find. The result: they are deluged with wins that they can't use, that clutter up their houses, that boost their sweepstakes tax debt, and which waste the sponsors' advertising dollars. Concentrate your efforts on sweepstakes with prizes that you’d really like to win.

Some USA Facts

  • Phoenix is a popular desert retirement community

  • CaliforniaThe Golden State

California is located on the western coast of the United States. It extends along the Pacific Ocean from the Mexican border in the south for nearly 900 miles (1400 km) to its northern border with the state of Oregon. The state is approximately 200 miles (300 km) wide from its western beaches to its eastern deserts bordering the states of Nevada and Arizona

  • The Grand Canyon is nearly a mile deep

The rock layers were created at the bottom of a vast sea millions of years ago when sedimentary deposits accumulated to a thickness of nearly a mile. Later, a collision of tectonic plates raised the entire region thousands of feet to form the great Colorado plateau that now lies 7000 to 9000 feet (2100 to 2750 meters) above sea level. The Colorado River slowly formed a basin to carry away water from this region and over the millennia it eroded down through the numerous sedimentary layers. Eventually the river cut this mile-deep channel that we have named the Grand Canyon.

  • Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the desert

    A broad flat valley runs down the center of the state east of the Coastal Mountains and west of the higher Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Known as the Central Valley, this once arid desert plain is now some of the richest farmlands in the USA thanks to the liberal use of irrigation. The Central Valley is 50 to 100 miles wide (90 - 150 km) and is covered with farms, orchards and vineyards.

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