Service of How Much Will You Do to Win a Prize?

May 5th, 2016

Categories: Coupons, Games, Prizes, Promotions, Surveys

winning raffle ticket

It’s fun to win a prize which is why raffles are so popular, lucrative for charities and an easy way to gather business cards at events, at retail, restaurants and other businesses. It’s one thing to pull out a card from wallet or handbag and another to work for the prize. The question is, how hard will you try?


coupon 4A friend hoped to receive a $75 coupon from a major retailer. First she posted something about the brand and the offer on Facebook; next she sent it to 15 friends and after doing that, learned she had to share it with groups. She wrote, “That’s when I gave up.”


After a major or minor purchase I’m willing to fill out a survey and several times have stopped after only a few questions, even if there’s promise of a major prize for one of the respondents. I’m happy to share my impressions of a product or service, and to provide additional comments to flesh out why I clicked 10 or one to indicate “great” or “lousy.” SurveyHere’s my limit: I don’t want my personal information flying around the Internet any more than it already does, nor do I want to land in that brand’s metadata pool to receive every advert popup it deems perfect for me. Ask me my income, age, weight and lock me on that question so I can’t move to the next one if I don’t respond, and you’ve lost me.


A grocery store I go to on occasional Saturdays was conducting a Monopoly game. You’d be given tiny pieces to stick on the game board depending on how much you bought. It was easy to match the pieces to the board while watching TV. I never came close to winning any of the many prizes as most of the new pieces duplicated ones I already had. I never bought anything I didn’t need in order to get more pieces so the store and I came out even: neither won. The game–the first I remember playing–was over this week.

Have you received generous coupons for completing tasks or won any of the prizes online surveys tempt you with, or stopped when you didn’t like the personal information survey takers asked for or won a grocery store game? How much will you do to win a prize or do you never bother? Do you think survey takers care less about how you rate their products and really want to know more about their customers?

Acme winning Monopoly game board


8 Responses to “Service of How Much Will You Do to Win a Prize?”

  1. hb Said:

    Shortly after I came to New York over a half century ago, somebody invited us to a charity ball. I have no idea in support of what charity, and I don’t think I knew even then. But what I do remember is the raffle.

    The tickets were expensive, but every ticket was a winner. If you won nothing else, you got a bottle of premium Scotch, at net cost, factoring in the tax deduction, well below retail. We spent more than a month’s rent, money we really didn’t have at the time and walked out with a couple of cases of Scotch, and stuff like a Hermes scarf, some good jewelry, dinner for two at “21,” and a mink muff. We thought we had made a killing, but, of course, none of the loot was stuff we really needed.

    I had always known that New York was all about money, but that experience really brought the message home to me. I haven’t forgotten it.

  2. ASK Said:

    I’m with you…I will abandon an online survey if they insist on asking personal questions; I am more than happy, however, to give them input on products and services.

    Oh, and I don’t play that Monopoly game either, once I discovered on a grocery store’s website, the odds of getting that last winning piece. I rarely do coupons because I notice some companies jack up the price a bit on a product after they extend coupons to consumers.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What a story! That has never happened to me but then I’ve not “invested” the equivalent of a month’s rent on tickets. I’ve clearly not attended such a glitzy event either as I’ve not seen everyone win something because they bought one ticket! No doubt, the Scotch company donated a tremendous amount in hopes of winning over wealthy new customers. Smart of them. You still remember their largesse.

    Once I bought what for me was a great number of raffle tickets. A friend arrived late to the event, I tore the tickets I had in two, gave her half and she won two great prizes. That was a thrill! I’ve won other, smaller things than what you described–framed art at a Brooklyn Museum fundraiser. I always love winning!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I will know not to play a grocery store-sponsored game again–thanks for the results of your research which corroborated my experience. I was insufficiently engaged to bother to look to see if they posted the names of any winners in that store. My guess is that there were none or so few they figured it wasn’t good PR for their promotion.

    I haven’t been a successful coupon person as the coupon is never with me or I forget it’s in my wallet…however, when I can send a 30 percent discount offer to my CVS card, I do.

  5. Hank Goldman Said:

    As much as I hate to admit it, in the “early” days of the Internet, I used to try for the coupons. No more, thank U. Just too much of a waste of time, for me. However, that’s not to say that there are those who will go really far for a small coupon for a free T shirt. Not me.

    And yes, I agree with you, it’s more like they want your demographic.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You were always ahead of the curve. In the early days, I bet you had a far bigger chance of winning something good than now.

    My friend’s experience that I mentioned in the post shows that those with tons of time on their hands–a receptionist at an office with few clients or assistant at a retail shop during off periods–can take advantage of the many steps required to “win” a $75 coupon and even then, my bet is that participants who fight to the end might be told “Thanks, we’ll add your name in a drawing,” and that will be that.

    Given that customer service was the inspiration of this blog I hope that in addition to noting that the respondent is 53, makes $180,000/year and owns his/her home or apartment that somebody is looking at what they thought of the product or service. There goes my Pollyanna tendency again.

    And I just thought of something I should have added to my already too long list of questions: How many people lie about themselves when responding to such surveys?

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    With odds running several billion to one when it comes to winning big, I enter when I remember. It’s supposed to be a contribution to the state education fund, so there’s a positive side. Learned years ago to avoid online coupon come-ons, and profit mainly by taking advantage of sales & voided shipping charges at trusted retail sites.

    The same applies to grocery coupons, which I use only for desired items when I remember. One could easily spend a working day tending to all these big win contests, and coming out with a flat 0. Life is short and there are much better things to do!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    ASK wrote that she noticed some companies that offer coupons jack up the price at retail so the result is a wash so maybe my misplacing coupons hasn’t affected my wallet. I notice that unless I am buying something a lot and therefore know what the price range should be, such as bottles of seltzer or a pound of butter, I am very careful when seeing a tempting in-store “sale” sign because right next door can be another worthy brand [especially when it comes to seltzer or butter and other commodities], that is even cheaper than the item on sale. There’s no flexibility for me on some items, such as paper towel or ice cream where it’s Bounty or Hagan-Dazs or nothing.

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