I hate it when contest winners say, "I never win anything!" As the cliche goes, you were once the winning sperm. Millions tried, one succeeded: you.
You won when you passed the first grade. Whichever time you did.
You won a game of freeze tag. I'm sure. Because you made up the rules at least once. And then when you lost, you argued your way out of it.
You won when you got chosen anytime you put in an application for something and got accepted, be it a job or a college.
You've won before.
I didn't mean for this to be a rant. Instead, I just wanted to inspire you to keep doing the little things. I saw a contest somewhere online that asked me to follow a certain Twitter address (in this case @NextMovie) and retweet a very specific phrase. If you did this by the date they said, you'd be entered into a contest. Here were the three prizes:
GRAND PRIZE: A year of movies at AMC!
First place: A year of Netflix
Second place: $50 to AMC Theatres
I thought a year in movies would be freaking awesome! Honestly, any of it would be nice. Let's enter. I entered just before Christmas of last year by following the account and retweeting. I even made a mental note to unfollow their account in about a month or two (gotta give them time to see I did what they asked) in case their posts were bogus.
January 2012 rolls around and I get a message:
You've been selected as the winner of Nextmovie's Movietracker Holiday Giveaway! Email me back at [username]@mtvnmix.com to confirm. Please email within 48 hours to hold on to your grand prize, or else someone else will be eligible to win it.
I emailed him back IMMEDIATELY. "I confirm!"
Seconds later, I went to read up on the three prizes again.
Second prize (5 winners) is actually a $50 gift card to AMC. That makes sense.
First prize (2 winners) is a year to Netflix. Well, I don't really want that. I pay for Netflix now and have a hard time keeping up. I'm a TV person. When I'm home and I see a movie and a TV show, I go for the TV show because it's only 30 minutes or an hour. I can get entertained and move on with my life. And besides, would I have to cancel my paid account, open up a new account for a year? It seemed to not be a gift card, but an actual subscription. Sounds complicated.
The grand prize (1 winner) is actually a $299 gift card to AMC! Of course, that would be awesome. But there's only one winner.
I look at the message again and it said GRAND PRIZE!! Wait.....what? I look again. DID I GET THE GRAND PRIZE!? The message sure did read like a copy and paste kind of thing. I email the address to see what I really won. Was it the grand prize? His reply.
You did indeed.
I GOT THE FREAKING GRAND PRIZE!!!! It took a month to arrive (.....the longest month EVER), but it's here!!!!
(Of course, I didn't trust it, so I checked the balance online. $299!!!!!!!!)
LESSON LEARNED: Always enter contests. You never know when you're going to win!!!
Side note: So I got $299. A year in movies, right? Well, sort of. In Manhattan, a movie costs $13. So if I wanted to take a friend with me, and then I got a drink and popcorn, guess what? I would get to got to the movies EIGHT TIMES. Okay, so no drinks and popcorn. ELEVEN TIMES (plus one time alone). WHAT?! What would really allow me a year in movies? If I go to the matinee (which isn't a matinee anymore: just the ONE show at or around noon) by myself, THEN I would get 48 movies. Now THAT is a year in movies!! :)