Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Lucky" or "How Much Will the Grand Prize Cost Me?"

A few months ago, I reluctantly went to a travel show with my sister. I had no intention of going to the show. I went because my daughter asked (begged) me to go. We arrived at the show a half hour before it ended. We walked in the hotel lobby and was immediately given a bag and a sweepstakes form. The woman working the registration desk told us to fill out the contest form first so we could be included in the drawing for a 4-night Bahamas cruise.

I neatly folded my entry and dropped it in the box. We walked around the travel show but something told me not to leave until the Grand Prize drawing. I sat in the lobby waiting for my daughter and sister. I am not sure how but I knew I was going to win the cruise. We waited for the announcement of the winner. I saw my neatly folded entry pulled from among the thousands of entries.

The announcer read the paper and wrote down some information. There was a puzzled look on his face. Anyone with a long last name would be familiar with this look. My name was announced as the winner of a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas. I was handed a certificate and told to call the office in a few days.

I did not have many details. The only thing I knew for certain was that my daughter was thrilled. I was in shock because I don’t usually win anything.

The Details
The prize is a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas for 2.
There are 3 people in my family.
Cruise leaves from Florida.
I live in PA.
Transportation to Florida is not included.
Passports are not required on a closed loop cruise but highly recommended.
We do not have passports.
I will be issued a 1099 for the value of the prize.

I feel lucky to have won such a nice prize. Despite feeling excited and grateful about winning, I started adding up my out of pocket cost…$375.00 for passports…$900.00 plane transportation to Florida…or $??? drive to Florida….$450.00 for additional person…taxes on the prize.

I better start saving!

Although I feel "Lucky",  the practical me still can't help wondering "How much is the grand prize going to cost me?"  :)


Sis said...

I should have totally won that prize!

Michele said...

Next time...crinkle don't crumble your entry form! :)

Rick Matz said...

My late mother's hobby was entering contests. There were certainly enough where she didn't win anything; and there were more t shirts and baseballs hats than I could count, but she also won quite a few large prizes including trips, entertainment centers, etc.

The 1099 will be for the full retail value, by the way.

Michele said...

Hi Rick. Thanks for the 1099 info. My daughter wants me to enter to win the HGTV Green Home. I told her that if we won...we could not afford the taxes. :)

Sue C said...

I'm afraid I'm always cynical about these prize draws - there's no such thing as a free lunch! I've had several holiday companies cold call me at home to tell me I've won a holiday (I didn't even know I'd entered the competition but apparently they get information about you from any consumer questionnaires you might had filled out in the previous few months for some other company). I always refuse these holidays because there is always a catch (and a cost!). Just make sure you don't sign anything that means you've bought a timeshare appartment!.

Your prize sounds a bit more above board than the ones I've received so I hope you have a great time.

Michele said...

Hi Sue: Thank you for commenting. I am cynical about give-a-ways too. I have received many "prize notifications" in the mail with a lot of fine print. :) These notices get tossed in the trash.

I won the cruise from the local chapter of AAA. Despite the grand prize being from a reputable source, there is still a cost to winning.