Entries in High Stakes Sweepers (1)


Five Tips for Sweepstakes Success

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- 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,, all devoted to winning things for free.

She's also one of five "sweepers," people obsessed with entering sweepstakes, profiled on the new reality show High Stakes Sweepers, premiering Sunday, Aug., 14, at 10 p.m./ET on TLC.

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 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 shared these five tips with ABC News:

1. Always Read the Rules:  It's the one thing people do the least. You do not want to inadvertently disqualify yourself.

2. 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.

3. Use Social Media:  "Like" and "follow" people and companies on all social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, to hear about new promotions and enter contests on those sites.

4.  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.

5.  Enter!:  Don't forget the obvious: To win, you must enter. The more you enter, the better your odds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio