Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What's the strangest thing you've ever won?

I've been on a kick lately of entering contests? I've kind of given up on winning the lotto ... haven't had much luck with that one. I guess the real question should be 'Do you feel lucky?' You'll always meet someone who says 'I never win anything' and yet someone else seems to have been blessed with 'lucky gene' because they seem to always be winning something. My husband had an uncle once who won tickets to the Super Bowl. Seriously ... who wins tickets to the Super Bowl? I can't remember the whole story, but I seem to remember it had to do with a nationwide contest through Coca Cola or Frito Lay or some big company. His odds of winning must have been astronomical to say the least.

Whenever I enter a contest I first look at what my odds of winning are. Is it a local contest or a nationwide contest? Through a newspaper or a radio station? It can make a huge difference in whether or not I even have a fighting chance.

Probably one of the first things I ever won (and maybe the strangest) was a hot pink stuffed rabbit for my son. He was probably 4 or 5 years old at the time. We went to a local drug store just before Easter one year. They had a basket next to the cashier with a little stuffed rabbit. The sign said to fill out an entry form and win the rabbit for Easter. My son thought it was cute, so I thought 'What the heck, I'll give it a try.' The store called me a few days later to tell me I'd won and could I stop by the store to pick it up. So we made a quick trip to the store. We told the cashier we'd gotten a call about winning the stuffed animal. She was all smiles then and said she'd get the manager. He proceeded to congratulate us and asked if we needed any help getting it to the car. I told him it was no big deal that I could handle it. He said 'Are you sure?' and then brought me this 4 foot tall hot pink fuzzy rabbit with ears that flopped all the way down its sides almost to his big feet. I think the awestruck look on my face said it all. Apparently it wasn't the 'little' rabbit I'd seen, but this HUGE rabbit that was bigger than my son. Dan loved it and couldn't wait to show it to his dad that night. All I could think was 'Exactly WHAT am I going to do with this big rabbit after Easter?' It sat it the corner of his room for at least a year or two. Then one year when I was working at a private country club the manager was planning decorations for a big Easter brunch they were going to have. Long story short ... my 8 year old entrepreneurial son sold the rabbit to the manager for $50! Now that was a strange outcome (and an awfully good investment on my time).

I've won concert tickets through local radio stations, one time I even became the grand prize winner which included a limo for the night, dinner before the concert, and a private meet & greet (with photos) with the singers. Not too shabby. A few years ago I read a small blurb in the local newspaper about a congresswoman in my area who was giving away a $100 gas card each week to help stimulate the local economy and give people in her area a break. All I had to do was send her an email. I did and two weeks later she called me and told me I'd won. It was great timing. I was taking my daughter up north that summer for a girls' week with my sister and niece. She had a condo for a week. So I drove. It worked out good for everyone.

Last summer I won 4 Ceder Point tickets through a radio station so my husband & I took our daughter and her friend, then the same week I won 2 tickets to a Tiger's baseball game. I couldn't use the baseball tickets so I gave them to someone else to use.

Sometimes it's not so much about what I could win, but more about the fun of it. I always try to share the wealth, so to speak. So what am I entering this summer? I entered a newspaper contest over the weekend to win 6 Ceder Point tickets. My daughter already has it planned who she's going to invite. Guess she's feeling lucky. Personally I'm holding out for the Josh Grobin concert tickets in a few weeks. That's one meet & greet I wouldn't mind. :)

What's the strangest thing you've ever won? I'd love to hear the story.

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