Instant Wins

The other week I noticed a comment in the Forum asking whether anyone ever has had any luck with instant win competitions. I thought that was a good question.
The most common instant win competitions are the Instant Scratch-its. My father loved Scratch-its and for just about any family gathering would but a heap of them and give them out to everyone. Some of us won small prizes from time to time but I think it was more about the anticipation of a prize that made it fun. We all got to love that family tradition.
The odds of winning a prize with an Instant Scratch-it are about 1:4 but that doesn’t mean that if you buy four tickets you will win with one of them although if you are going to indulge in buying them, buying a few of one kind will certainly increase your chance of a small prize. The odds of winning one of the top prizes however can be quite different. This can range from 1 in 700,000 to 1 in 1,500,000 or more depending on the size of prize, which means in broad terms, you are probably more likely to win an Olympic medal (1 in 662,000) or date a supermodel (1 in 88,000) or have your car stolen (1 in 340 cars) although I am not sure whether these statistics are accurate as I am not sure where they came from.
When all is said and done there is nothing much you can do to increase your chances of winning with Instant Scratch-its except by buying more than one ticket. If you do buy tickets, buy the cheap ones as you are then more likely to at least win a prize, even if it is a small one. Instant Scratch-its, like Lottery and Lotto tickets are simply ways of raising money for the government; other instant win competitions are more about raising brand awareness or increasing product sales. I fondly remember nagging my parents into buying Streets paddle pops as a child in order to uncover instant prizes printed on the wooden sticks, although I don’t remember actually winning anything of note.
So what about some instant win competitions being run at the moment? PayPal just recently ran a “Win a Million Cents” competition and I know a couple of people who won small prizes. I didn’t. It simply involved watching a promotional video and entering through your PayPal account. It’s closed now but I am sure we are likely to see more like these in the future as they certainly attract a good following.
McDonalds Monopoly Game runs until the 21st October so if you are interested and like McDonalds you still have a week or so to try your luck to win a number of prizes including a holiday, a car, a home entertainment system or a million or so food prizes. The only hitch is that you have to get a game ticket by purchasing particular McDonalds meals. According to their promotional material and terms and conditions, there are 1 in 5 chances of winning something. By collecting property sets (i.e. by buying even more maccas) you can also try your luck at winning one of the top prizes but you will also need to register the tickets and create an account. Here is the best place to go to get all the information you might need if this appeals to you – www.maccasplay.com.au.
When looking around for more instant win competitions and scratch-its, don’t forget that like a lot of other competitions out there in cyberspace, some are simply scams. The more outrageous the promises of big wins the more likely they are not legitimate. So take care. Don’t be fooled into giving away over too many personal and financial details to untrustworthy sites or individuals and always take steps to keep your computer or smart-phone virus resistant.
But good luck if entering any of the real ones!

Photo Attribution – Senorhorst Jahnsen

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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