A while back I mentioned "Dumb Stuff I'm Trying To Get Out Of Debt," or something like that. I said that in addition to all the smart things I'm doing, like coupon clipping and budgeting and debt snowballing, I was also trying some not-so-effective things like entering lots of contests.
Not the lottery, mind you. Not Vegas or online casinos. Just the free stuff. I use iwon.com for all my searches, that sort of thing. The way I saw it, at the end of the year, I'd be able to say, "Total raised by me: $____.__. Total raised by contests: $0.00."
Well, it looks like that may be wrong. But I say that with a caveat.
Over at the website of a local radio station, there's a contest page that shows all the contests Clear Channel has going on right now, and for the last few months there's been a contest for free Lasik, one free surgery a month, and I've entered my wife's name each month.
(While we both have vision problems, hers are far worse than mine. To get her Lasik has been a goal of mine for a while now, hence why I kept entering her in this contest.)
Well, she won. To be specific, she won a $2,000 gift certificate to Custom Laser Center in Los Angeles.
Now marketing is part of my job, too. So I have this underlying suspicion that while the ad says "contest" for "free" Lasik, this is really some kind of bait-and-switch technique, where it turns out surgery really costs $3,200 and they bring you all the way down there and butter you up and convince you to fork over the other $1,200.
When we asked them about it on the phone, they said procedures run from $800-$5,000, depending on your vision problems.
So I am extremely interested to see how this goes, and I will definitely be making a full report here. We're meeting the guy with the letters after his name a couple of weekends from now, so watch this space for exciting developments.