Making Money

Why You Should Envy This Sweepstakes Winner

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Tina Harwood has $2,500 and no debt.

Tina Harwood just won $2,500, in the New Year No Debt Sweepstakes sponsored by and Money Talks News. She’s taking that theme seriously: She has virtually no debt in her life.

“My house is paid for,” says the Central Florida resident. “My car is almost paid off — less than a year on that. I have one credit card, which I use and keep it at a low balance.”

That’s some admirable financial finesse for a retiree, especially in light of the recent news that Americans are outliving their retirement savings. That won’t happen to Harwood. In fact, she’s doing so well managing her money, she has fun plans for her $2,500 windfall.

“I will probably use it for a cruise,” she says. “I average two to three cruises a year and only have one scheduled for this year.” Where will she go? “Maybe Alaska or Panama.”

Harwood can afford these cruises because she’s both thrifty and active. Her hobby?

“I am a sweeps-taker. It’s a full-time hobby for me,” she says. “I put in about two hours a day doing contests.”

She’s seriously organized. Get a load of this: “I have a system with folders of contests that are categorized by daily, weekly, monthly or one-time contests — then sub-categorized by local radio and TV stations, vacation, and must-enter-daily contests.”

That organization has paid off. Literally.

“I’ve been sweeps-taking for six years now,” Harwood says. “I average at least one all-expenses-paid trip per year. I have been to New York City, Los Angeles twice, a trip to Nashville, and an all-inclusive trip to Mexico. I have won several $1,000 cash prizes over the years.”

Still, Harwood says the Talks News sweepstakes has been “my biggest cash win.”

She has time to indulge in sweepstakes because the 52-year-old lives in a retirement community with her mother. You might think someone who spends so much time entering contests would be greedy with her winnings. Not so. She’s donated some of her “smaller prizes,” and she spends a lot of her free time volunteering.

“We have social clubs, and I help with the floor lights for the production shows here,” she says. “I run the bingo games on Thursdays. I’m also the go-to person for the people here for their IT issues — I help them with computer, TV, and Internet problems. I also help them with planning trips, since they are not really proficient with the new technology.”

When we asked Harwood for her advice to other potential sweepstakes winners, it’s no wonder she replied, “My biggest advice is consistency and dedication. If it’s a daily entry, then enter every day from start to end date for that contest.”

The next sweepstakes opens soon, so stay tuned. If you want to know more about finding reputable sweepstakes in general, check out the report, How to enter – and win – a sweepstakes contest. has given away thousands of dollars to four sweepstakes winners so far. You can join  Tina Harwood on that short list very soon.

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