All About Text Message Sweepstakes

Want to Enter SMS Sweepstakes? Read This First.

Winning quick and easy with text message sweepstakes.
Winning quick and easy with text message sweepstakes.. Image © Getty Images / Urs Kuester

What Are Text Message Sweepstakes?:

Text message sweepstakes are one of the hottest new methods of entering contests. If you're at your grocery store and see an interesting sweepstakes that you'd like to enter, you don't have to wait until you get home and find the website on your computer or send out an entry by mail -- all you have to do is whip out your cell phone and you're entered. Sometimes you'll even find out seconds later if you're a winner.

How Do Text Message Sweepstakes Work?:

To enter text message sweepstakes, you'll need a type of telephone number called a short code and a keyword to text to that number. You can find this information in the sweepstakes' rules or in advertisements for the giveaway.

Use your cell phone to send an SMS Message containing the code to the telephone number. For example, AT&T's Where Legends Live Sweepstakes (now expired) asked entrants to text "the word 'SEC' to 567890."

How Do You Send Text Messages?:

In general, you only need to compose a text message containing the keyword and send it off to the short code. For more details about how to do this, see how to send texts to short codes.

Does Entering Text to Win Sweepstakes Cost Money?:

Depending on your cell phone plan, it might cost money to send and receive text messages. Before you enter any text message sweepstakes, be sure to find out whether your plan includes SMS charges.

Furthermore, some sweepstakes charge "premium fees" to enter by SMS. These can be quite expensive. Be sure to read the rules carefully to find out whether you have to pay to enter by text. For more information, see Standard and Premium Text Message Charges.

Are There Any Other Issues with Text Message Sweepstakes?:

By registering for sweepstakes with your cell phone, you may also be agreeing to receive advertising messages texted to your cell phone. This can be not only annoying, but also expensive if your cell phone plan includes a charge for each message you receive. Be sure to read the rules and the privacy policy before entering.

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