My hobby is sweepstaking. I specialize in the kind of sweepstakes you have to enter by mail, the old fashioned way.
Have I won anything? Yes. I've never won any of the big prizes--yet! But one of the great things about entering sweepstakes is that your odds of winning increase the longer and more you do it. Someday I may win big. But meanwhile...
I have won numerous small but fun prizes, and a few valuable useful items, over the years. (I've been doing this since I was 35). I have won coupons for all kinds of free stuff, boxes of candy, lots of hats and tee shirts, and two tote bags, one of which I still have and get compliments on although it's over 20 years old.
My most valuable win was a deluxe space saver electric can opener, something I needed and wanted but never bought because it was priced out of my budget in the stores. I had it for 25 years before it broke down.
But my real reason for entering sweepstakes goes beyond winning prizes. Sweepstaking is a hobby that fights feelings of depression and hopelessness by forcing you to think positively. While you are filling out forms or writing the required information down on the piece of paper, you are daydreaming about what you'd do with the giant sum of money or how much you'd enjoy that new car or a trip to Maui.
Maybe It's only a fantasy but it beats feeling cast down by fate. With your sweepstakes entries in the mail, you always have a chance.
I also enjoy the strategy side of it, figuring out how to have the best odds of winning. Some types of entries do better than others.
If I am up to it, I make my own decorated envelopes or decorate purchased envelopes with stickers and stamps. That turns it into a small fun craft project.
I subscribe to a sweepstakes newsletter so I can have plenty of mail-in sweepstakes to choose from and so I can keep up with the adventures and wins of other sweepstakers.
It is relaxing for me to address the envelopes and fill out the forms or pieces of paper or cards. It's an antidote to daily stresses.
I highly recommend this hobby as a way to learn to think happy thoughts about the future while relaxing.
And when you win that first prize, even if it's just a can opener or a tee shirt, you can feel like what you are every time you look at it-- a WINNER!