Contest America Publishers
Contest America Publishers makes it sound all too easy – answer a simple question and you could win thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
Contest America Publishers send out slick letters promoting a number of contests including Mr Cashman, Hit the Jackpot, Strike it Rich, Money Matches, Cash Game, and Triple Exposure for Cash.
Contest America Publishers is affiliated with North American Award Centre and Opportunities Unlimited Publications and has Kansas City, Missouri address.
The letters give the impression that you have been selected or nominated to be in the running to win big money by entering their contests. In fact, you are just a name on a mailing list.
Some letters give the impression that you have already entered and are currently tied to win thousands of dollars.
The letters all have a sense of urgency claiming you have to respond within days to participate.
The letters bandy around different cash prizes but you’ll have to read the fine print to really find out how much money is really on offer.
Each contest starts with a simple puzzle and the initial entry fee is relatively low, around $5 USD.
There will be a number of tiebreaker rounds (up to four) with the puzzles increasing in difficulty and a further nominal cost. You will also be offered bonuses to increase the grand prize amount – always at a cost.
For example, it will cost $15 USD to compete in the three tiebreaker rounds for “Hit the Jackpot Contest” which has a total prize pool of $21,000 ($7000 per game). But it will cost $225 USD to play for all advertised prizes in all games totalling $34,500 USD.
Even if you get through all the rounds, don’t think that you are guaranteed the entire grand prize. The game’s conditions (detailed on the back of the letter) state that the grand prize can be shared with other contestants.
The rules go on to state that Contest America may send out different versions (including fees and graphic presentations) of the same contest. So how do you know what game you have or have not entered?
Pay no heed to the claims that you need to respond within days because often the contests do not close for a further 12 to 18 months.
And the real kicker: The prizes are not awarded for up to two years following the initial mail out.
Is it worth paying money to enter a contest outside Australia’s jurisdiction, which offers a relatively small prize which will not be awarded for up to two years? You might be better off trying your luck with Australian Lotto or buying your own puzzle book!