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Gwen Beauchamp

I have always told people I started the sweepstaking hobby in 1988 when I won the Wedding On Ice from Disney. But...that's not really true! What about the time I was listening to the car radio on the way home from school. Mom was behind the wheel and just as we pulled in our driveway the radio announcer said to call and tell him the name & artist of the next song. They hadn't played two notes of music when my Mom announced the answers. I ran in the house and started dialing. Oh yeah, we didn't have cell phones when I was a kid! Anyway, I won a brand new sewing machine for Mom. Technically they gave the prize directly to her because I was too young to win, but we know who did the dialing.

Then there was the time when I stayed up late at night waiting for my hubby to come home from working second shift. I would listen to the radio and call in on the giveaways. I became a regular at winning tickets to concerts. A great prize for us, since a young couple with small children and one income cannot afford a lot of extras. Years later I recognized my late night listening as a sweepstakes strategy.

Several more years down the road, I ran to Walmart for a few things and there was an Oreo booth set up at the front of the store. They were having a cookie eating contest for kids to win a new bike. I had Debbie (7) and Robby (10) with me at the time and they wanted to give it a try, so we signed up. The Oreo reps seated 3 kids at a table and gave them each a glass of milk and a stack of cookies. The kids were told to take a big drink of milk after each bite. They had one minute to eat as many cookies as they could. Robby went first and was seated with two bigger kids. When the whistle blew, my rough and tough 10-year old son, whom I had great hopes for, started daintily eating his first cookie. No kidding! Of all the times in his life, NOW he decides to use some manners. Debbie was all eyes watching him and I remember making the comment, "He doesn't have a chance if he doesn't do it faster". Sure enough, when the whistle blew he had nibbled one and a half Oreos while the other two kids demolished 3-4 each.

At that point, I was ready to move on and do my shopping, but Debbie wanted to give it a try. She took her place in the next group of kids. The whistle blew and Debbie popped a whole Oreo in her little mouth, crunched it two times, picked up the milk and swallowed it all at once. She had another cookie in hand halfway to her mouth before the first one went down. I had visions of my little girl choking to death on Oreos. Two more cookies downed. What kind of mother was I to let my daughter do this. With just a few seconds remaining, Debbie popped in cookie number 8, crunched, drank and swallowed just as the whistle blew. She had won herself a new bike by eating 8 Oreo cookies.

Two years later, Debbie's Mom won a Wedding On Ice and started entering sweepstakes and contests on a regular basis. So when did you start entering sweepstakes? I'd love to hear your stories!

Gwen Beauchamp

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I started entering sweepstakes in 1984. Woman's Day magazine was giving away a Chevy Cavalier plus thousands of other prizes. I won NOTHING. My entries did result in advertisements for contest and sweepstakes newsletters. Had no clue that such a thing existed. That was my start of becoming a serious sweepstaker.

First win was a $15 coupon for a certain brand of ham. Hubby insisted that NO store was going to give me $15 off a ham. To prove him wrong (fingers crossed that it would work), we went grocery shopping. Searched through the meat case for a ham priced $15 or more. In 1984 $15 of ham was about 10 pounds of meat. Huge in our eyes. Showed the cashier my coupon before checking out. No problem, the ham cost $15.49 and I had to pay the extra 49 cents. I was thrilled and hubby was shocked. We bought a 10# ham for 49 cents.

I have won many larger prizes as I continue to enter sweepstakes. But I will never forget that ham.

Roseann Moss
Roseann , August 13, 2014
When Did I Start this Crazy Hobby?
Pat Hoffmeister
Loved both of your stories. Thanks for sharing! I don't remember when I started sweeping, but I do remember my first prize. Dave was in school in Gainesville, Florida. I had been on a diet but didn't really realize I had lost any weight. I was browsing in a department store and saw a drop box for a new Easter Dress. I entered the one time and won the dress. That's when I found out I had dropped two sizes so it was really two wins in one.
Pat Hoffmeister , August 13, 2014

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