The Winning Attitude to Sweepstakes - Part 2
by Craig McDaniel, President of Sweepstakes Today LLC
Second rule about having a winning attitude: "No one enters to lose time, but finding no time to enter and you will lose."
For many veteran sweepers, the hardest part of sweeping daily is doubt will play games with your mind. You will doubt whether you will win again. This happens to everyone. There are win streaks and there are streaks where you don't win. That's just a very simple way of putting it. I don't look at this with rose colored glasses. I had several years where I had 4 Affy wins back to back then the third year nothing.
Third rule about having a winning attitude: In this hobby, you will be both the biggest winner and loser you know. This is strictly about the sweeping hobby. Losing is never fun but when you get your big win, the memories of the loses will leave and the euphoric memory of that one moment when you find out you have won will stay with you the rest of your live. The time you put into this hobby and the wins that never happened will be minimized.
In the sweeping hobby, some of the biggest doubters who think you are crazy for entering sweeps are the people closest to you. I have heard in the hundreds of stories about family members that "think your new hobby is a waste of time because no one ever wins the prizes." What happens is many sweepers take a very determined attitude that they will win not just a prize but a big nice prize. But they also have a desire to prove those relatives wrong which drives their motivation even higher.
There was a member whose first big win was a new car. her husband gave her a bad time about entering the sweeps for a while and no big wins. I remember when she won, she talked about having the last laugh. This leads to the next rule:
Fourth rule about having a winning attitude: Don't let others change or influence your positive attitude and to mix their negative thoughts as being superior to yours. The worst entry you can make is one where others will say you have no chance at winning. Ignore the negatives.
There was a person who one said, "If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't." This person was a former Viet Nam prisoner of war and I apologize for not remembering his name during a seminar in the late 1970’s. He shortens the quote from another writer. In my mind this was the ultimate positive attitude story I ever heard because he was talking about just staying alive.
Fifth rule about having a winning attitude: "So when you do lose, remember that you or someone close to you will may lose something far more valuable or important than a sweepstakes or a prize. Make those people feel like winners today and not tomorrow." A winning attitude is contagious. Share it with every one you know.
In the spring of 2003, I was still sweeping in my spare time and doing some consulting work with some big companies. Then out of the blue, I get a telephone call from a lady with Don Jagoda and Associates. She introduced herself and ask If I remember entering online the Firestone Indy League Sweepstakes? My mind was racing and no pun intended. I said vaguely. She gave me the story about I was one of 5 winners to the Indy Car Race at the Michigan 400 race. All 5 winners would be given the opportunity to pick a key that would start one of two Chevy vehicles. The Grand Prize was the Chevy 4x4 Silverado double cab with all the features. The other Chevy was a Malibu. The other 3 prize winners would win in car video players. All 5 winners would receive air travel, 5-star hotel rooms and accommodations and more.
Before the race trip all the paperwork and Affy was filled out and sent back. It was official I was going to Michigan to the Indy Car race. The race wasn’t going to happen for another four months and it gave me a lot of time to think about how I got to this point in my life and what might happen. At this point I heard the word “Luck” quiet often. During this four month and the future 13 years after this point to when I wrote this article, I developed a whole different understanding about “Luck”. The word “Luck” is then and now probably one of the top 25 words in the dictionary that is used by nearly everyone. However, what does it really mean? You can’t really see it, taste it, smell it, hear it, buy it or sell it. “Luck” is totally invisible yet we believe in it. At this point, I started to compare what the opposite to “Luck” and that would be “Unlucky”. Unlucky does not exist either yet there is belief in it. I came to the conclusion that if one exists then the other must exist also. I choose at this point NOT to believe in “Luck or Unlucky” completely. I will say I do believe in fate, destiny and mathematical odds. This leads to my next rule.
Sixth rule about having a winning attitude: Winning does not coexist with “Luck or Unlucky”. Winning is more about skill, talent, persistence, desire, motivation, preparation, belief in one’s self and soul and last fate and destiny.
Why do I believe this? From the day I was born, some would say I was “Unlucky”. I was born deft in one ear. I have an identical twin who had perfect hearing in both ears. Was my twin brother the “Lucky one” and I was the “Unlucky one”? This is an impossible question to answer. At best it could be said it was fate while others might say it was God’s will. No matter what conclusion you believe the destiny of this event would follow both my brother and I for the rest of our lives and the impact it had on each of us but mainly myself.
All five of the winners showed up for the Michigan Race. The night before with the Firestone marketing people and the staff of Don Jagoda, we each drew for numbers to find out who would be picking the five keys to the two Chevy vehicles. I picked number two. Being good in math, this was actually the best number to pick. However, luck didn’t matter then and not the next day at the pre-race event.
The Sunday and day of the race was the turning of the keys event to determine the vehicles winners, I wasn’t nervous or excited. I convinced myself just to enjoy the moment and whatever fate brought me to happy accept it.
The key turning started with a lady in the Silverado first then the Malibu. Neither started. Then it was my turn. Neither started. However, I had a funny feeling but didn’t know what that was. Well it was down to the other three people turned their keys and one lady’s key started the Malibu. She was honking the horn and obliviously very happy. The Silverado didn’t start. The Firestone people were shaking their heads. I stepped forward and said I might have used the wrong key. One of the four of us had the starting key they knew so they said try it again.
Well I tried the second key and the Silverado started. I started to laugh for one reason then one of the promo people and ABC Sports camera guy said “Honk The Horn!” I did but I think I was pushing every thought and emotion I had at that second instead. I was numb, speechless and more. People were cheering and making noise and happy for me. Then I knew this was a life changing event for me.
I did a photo op with the Indy Car driver Sam Hornish Jr. We talked for a moment and I wished him well today in the race. I distinctly recall not using the word luck. I recall that there was a race before the main event race and there was a big crash between a group of cars and one of racers was hurt bad. For some reason I thought about that when I was talking with Sam. Was that other driver simply “unlucky” or was it fate. Nothing mechanically broke and the wreck was cause by driver error. In the my back of my mine while talking with Sam and I was cloud nine from winning the Chevy Truck, I was thinking of Sam’s safely at that moment. At the same time, I truly wanted to see Sam to win the Indy race.