Friday, February 13, 2015

Grand Prizes or not so great ideas

I think I alluded enough that last year I was looking forward to enjoying a total splurge vacay in southern california Newport Beach.
It was the most saddest event of my life to spend three days and two nights in a hotel room that was at best difficult to enjoy.
Thus I am hesitant to enter any more drawings or attend events where I may be subject to a $375 deposit fee.

Yet, there is a ton of online and inperson opportunities where I can enter to win a Grand Prize Vacation to different parts of the state, country and worldwide.

While I will have links below to some great events and opportunities I think it is only fair to you to reveal the "hidden costs" of some sweepstakes...

Prize Restrictions
  • Prize not valid weekends or holiday periods. Reservations must be made in advance of arrival, other restrictions may apply. Meals, beverages, tips, gratuities, federal, state and/or local taxes and other costs and expenses are not included.
Yes that means you still have to pay tax on a potentially $500 meal / room / massage package you "won". If you are a local here that tax is just over $50 and the tip on that package for the doorman, bellhop, waitress just a mere $55 more. 

You Won...sorta 
  • The prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. Transfer of the prize is prohibited. All taxes and all other expenses, costs or fees associated with the acceptance and/or use of the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. The Sponsor reserve(s) the right to substitute a similar prize of equal or greater value at its sole discretion. Winner must complete an affidavit of eligibility and liability release, or the prize will be forfeited. 
See that part where I highlighted and remember the Restrictions that is just for the event itself, let's say your prize is a four night five day stay at a four star hotel in New York...yup that is expensive and the Tax of the event is your responsibility now so that $399 a night room times four is over the $600 w9 payment guess what you get to report on your taxes...oh yeah you may receive a nice 1099 for $1800 from a great place in NYC  because they did expense that much on your behalf. 

Next, note the prize can not be EXCHANGED for cash but the sponsor may SUBSTITUTE prize which may after some quick deduction and enticing offer send you a check for $1800 and guess what you still have to pay the taxes on that too. 

Buy Insurance...lots of insurance
  • Winner assumes all liability for any injury or damages caused or claimed to be caused by his or her participation in the sweepstakes and/or the acceptance and/or use of any prize, and releases the Sponsor, the stations listed above and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, agents, and employees, from any such liability.
You did not expect that the Grand Vacation Winner would fall ill to food poisoning, delayed flights, or bed bugs. While the release of liability maybe standard you can't really get insurance for winning a prize but getting travel insurance and having extra personal insurance is. 

You got second prize:
  • If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned for any reason, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, and unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity of the game or sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves its right in its discretion to disqualify any individual it believes has tampered with the entry process, and/or cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the sweepstakes/game.
Isn't blame the Internet our favorite game and what verification do you really have after you signed up for their newsletter after your enter to win your great vacay to the Grand Canyon once or twice but now you get their email newsletter six days a week? As the recent hacks into the financial and healthcare system shows the Internet is still the wild west and a great excuse for not winning the grand prize! Though now your inbox is full of spam because we never hear of the Sponsor website being hacked or them selling the information after a the contest is over right? 

Okay as I promised there is some great drawings out there and while most of what I posted is boiler plate legalese do take a minute to look over the Terms and Conditions along with the General Rules. 

Pismo Beach Giveway on Sunset Magazine

Wendy Williams wants to send you to Disneyland 

Family Vacation paid for ? Go for it ! 

Remember a lot of of these are for a set period of time and you need to enter at least once but the reality is playing the lottery only works if you buy a ticket. 

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