Imagine yourself at the mall. You’re shopping around and you see a sign that says “win a cruise for two”, it spikes an interest but you’re not really in the mood to fill out a form so you walk away, it’s probably a scam anyway. Then as you pay for your 99th pair of black leggings the cashier says “..and if you complete our survey you’ll be entered in a draw for a $500 shopping spree”, you smile say thanks and think about how you ain’t got no time for surveys.

Well my friends, I’m a contest whore. I am literally on top of every single contest that is open to my city, province and country. I actually have a separate email dedicated solely to contests. It’s a really fricken weird hobby I know, but if you knew me in person you’d know that I don’t get out much, so this to me is my version of fun.

So your next question might be “have you actually ever won anything?”, to that I answer a hell yaaasss. I can’t remember the first thing or two I won as it’s been an quite an assortment of things ranging from small silly things to bigger ticket items, but so far I have yet to win an all expense paid vacation outside of the country.

The dumbest thing I’ve won had to be to a contest that advertised an all expense paid trip to China. When that company called me to congratulate me as a winner I was so close to peeing my pants with excitement, my heart was racing, I was mentally packing my shit and then I came back to earth when the woman said I was actually the secondary prize winner to a SELFIE STICK. What the fuck, I wanted to go to China.

The second least impressive thing I’ve won was this…Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.03.10 PM

The mug was the only thing I really liked, so thanks. Other prizes that I didn’t find too impressive were things like concert tickets to an artist I didn’t really know or like (I actually don’t even remember her name), gift certificates to places I never frequent which I ended up trading in a local gift certificate exchange group, and a few other things I can’t quite remember because they were just quite dumb. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy I even won these dinky little prizes, that I was even chosen out of the bunch. Truthfully when notified of my winnings my excitement was a little forced nevertheless the gratitude was still very much there…but just for now let me be a greedy asshole.

Moving on from less exciting prizes I will now wow you with my bigger ticket items that  if they were rated on a scale of “nice” to “holy shit balls” these prizes would land flat in the middle of this scale at “wow neat”.

The first, and coolest thing (in my opinion) that I won was a recipe contest where I won $100.00 with Butterball (which really helped with the grocery bill) and $1,000.00 with Life Experiences is kind of like a Groupon for really cool shit, like spa getaways, helicopter rides, resort stays with ski/snowshoeing/biking packages, dining experiences…you’ll have to check them out to see what they offer in your area.

With this prize my man friend and I went on quite a few trips to Banff, without the kids I’d like to add, where all we had to worry about was our meals and transportation- not having to pay for our accommodations was amazing. Michael and I made a ton of memories on these little getaways, hands down the best prize I’ve won to date.

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Another pretty neat thing I’ve won was new tires for our Ford Escape WITH installation. I literally had to pay $0.00 for someone to take my tires, bag them and slap on brand new tires. So technically we made money off that contest since we later sold the old tires (they still had a good amount of life left to them).

I also have to mention that the people at Honda were amazing, they were so nice, efficient and really accommodating. As you can see in the picture below I had brought my son with me to the tire swap, and kids aren’t exactly the most patient people, toddlers especially do not take well to being contained to one area for long so I really appreciated their efficiency and efforts to entertain him with toys and free snacks. In the future when new tires are needed I will definitely be going back there. I should probably write a review on their Facebook page…(oh yeah that’s another thing I, but we’ll get to that on another post).

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 9.59.42 PM

Now lastly the most recent thing I’ve won was a custom built doghouse made by an insulation company. I had entered this contest earlier last summer before our beloved dog Genghis passed away. I remember filling the form and excitedly telling Genghis about this beauty of a doghouse as if he understood anything I said. Either way I believe he shared my excitement since he wagged his tail listening to me go on about the house’s many features he would soon enjoy. Winning this was definitely a mixtures of emotions, bittersweet to say the least. But for now the cat has inherited the house until the day comes that we are ready to love another dog.

Along with this awesome doghouse we were also gifted a certificate for $2,000.00 worth of insulation or building products with the company. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll be doing with that; maybe sell it to a builder or keep it for any future plans we may have to build a home, it’s undecided.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 11.01.02 PMScreen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.56.43 PMScreen Shot 2017-03-10 at 9.45.43 PM

Perhaps entering contests might be silly to you or maybe you even consider it a waste of time, but to me it’s so much more than that. It’s the opportunities to make memories that these prizes have; whenever I enter I always think of how it will benefit my family. I think about the smiles on their faces and the excitement we all share together. I live for these moments, plus free shit is cool.

So next time you see a contest please don’t enter it you’ll decrease my chances of winning, thanks.

Your friend and contest winner,


Author: Sara Renée

My name is Sara Renée and I like to share pieces of my life. I live in Central Alberta with my two children, a man who steals the bed sheets at night and a fluff ball named Milo. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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