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What happens when you win?

Dear Mr. Sweepy,

What happens if I win a sweepstakes? How will I know?


Dear JM,

Nothing beats that moment when the UPS or FedEx truck pulls up outside your house, and the deliveryman hands you an envelope that is the ticket to your dreams! It doesn’t matter if the prize is as big as a car or as small as a DVD. It’s as if all the stars are smiling on you.

If you win a grand prize, what will most likely be inside that overnight envelope is an affidavit. (Some hardcore sweepers call it the “affy.”) The company giving away the prize wants to be sure you are the actual winner and you will be asked to provide indentifying information about yourself.

Your job is to fill it out according to the instructions. Usually that includes having your signature notarized – signing it in front of a notary. Your bank is the most likely place to find a notary easily.

Once you mail it back. You’ll soon either be receiving your prize, or if it’s a big one like a truck, negotiating for the details of delivering your prize!

Note too that you’ll also be receiving a 1099 reporting the value of your prize for income tax purposes.

Be aware that lots of sweepstakes notify their winners through e-mails – so it pays not to delete all those e-mails too quickly. You might want to check your spam folder too, depending on how good your spam filter is.

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Craig McDaniel, aka Mr. Sweepy is the creator and owner of

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