Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have created an account. Why can't I log into the website for MyContests?
A: If you have created an account successfully, the most likely cause of this is that you have cookies disabled in your browser. When you first create an account and whenever you log in, the Contestgirl website sends a cookie to your browser. A cookie is simply a text string that your browser will send back to the website each time you access a page - why it's called a cookie, who knows? Cookies are harmless and there's no need to disable them. To re-enable them do the following:

If you're using Internet Explorer, from the Tools menu, click Internet Options. From there, select the Privacy tab and set your privacy settings to one that allows cookies. If you're using the Firefox browser, from the Tools menu, click Options. From there, click the Privacy icon at the top of the window and make sure you check the box labeled Accept cookies.
 
Q: When I login and I'm looking at the MyContest listings, why doesn't the Presto button work?
A: It probably does work but likely your browser is not setup properly. Click here for an explanation of what's happening and a solution.
 
Q: How can I add a sweepstakes or giveaway to your site?
A: If you have a website that is running an online promotion or if you find a contest on the Internet that you think would suit this site, the best way to tell me about it is through this link. There are a number of people who do this on a regular basis and it's a great help. I think everyone who uses this site knows that I'm picky about the kind of things I list so please don't be insulted if I choose not to include everything.
 
Q: Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings?
A: I'm not a tax expert, so don't believe anything I write here. Having said that, I believe that in Canada, the answer is no there is no tax on sweepstakes winnings. In the United States, I believe tax is due on all winnings. The contest organizer will generally require you to fill out appropriate forms to be sure the win is recorded and that the government gets their cut. There may also be duties to be paid if a sweepstakes is run from a foreign company and the prize is shipped across the border. These duties would likely be collected by the shipping company.
 
Q: Some sweepstakes say you are not allowed to use a form filling program to enter. Is there a way for these sites to tell if you're using a form filler like Roboform rather than manually typing the answers?
A: There are some things a website could do to try to identify that a form filler is being used but it would take some effort. For example, they could include a hidden question on the form by changing the text color of the question to be the same as the background color. A person wouldn't see the question and so wouldn't answer it but a form filling program would fill in the answer just as it would for any other field in the form. Let's say, for example that a form asks for your name, address and email and then has a hidden question asking for your name again. If any response includes the name twice, the contest organizer could reasonably guess that it was generated by a form filling program and not entered manually.

Having said that, I don't think there are too many contest organizers who are that concerned about automatic form fillers like Roboform or the Google tool bar. These tools speed up the filling of forms but they still require that the user bring up the sponser's web page and spend some time there. The goal of running a sweepstakes is to bring people to the sponsor's website and to promote brand awareness. This happens whether the user types in the values of the form or clicks a botton to do it automatically and the sponsors know this. What contest organizers don't like are those services that try to enter you into multiple sweepstakes without you having to do anything. This defeats the purpose of running a contest and is the reason why many sites require you to enter a code, which is typically a string of letters read from a distorted graphic. The idea is that a human can understand the distorted letters but a machine likely can't.

The bottom line is that you need to make up your own mind as to when you should use a form filler and when you should do it manually.
 
Q: Is your husband some kind of genius?
A: This is probably the most frequently asked question. The answer of course is yes.


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