My dad was big into sweepstakes, taking advantage of every offer that came in the mail.  I’ve entered a few in my life…even purchased a few lottery tickets…but never to the extent he did.  It became an obsession for him after my mother died, which explains how he was scammed by the man who called to tell him he had won the Canadian lottery.  Dad wired a boat-load of money to Canada, supposedly to insure the delivery of a million dollar check, and never saw a dime in return.

But the sweepstakes were not much better.  Daddy believed that by making a purchase he would increase his odds of winning, so purchase, he did.  He bought book after book after book that he didn’t read or need.  Even purchased multiple copies of some books.

He had stacks of unopened boxes from the big two, Publishers’ Clearing House and Readers’ Digest.  He had piles of unopened mail as well, but Daddy made sure he opened all the sweepstakes entries and followed their intricate instructions (pasting stickers, etc.) to make his selections.

He became obsessed with winning, though God only knows why.  He was alone, in his eighties and no longer traveled.  Why would he need all that money?

Maybe it was simply a hobby for him, though an expensive one.  He was spending hundreds a month on those entries.

Perhaps he didn’t remember from one day to the next what he had entered or ordered.  Dementia can do that to a person.

I sent letters to Readers’ Digest and Publishers’ Clearing House, finally convincing them to take my dad off their mailing lists.  But their commercials are so appealing.  Who wouldn’t love it if someone with roses and balloons rang the doorbell with news that they had won ten thousand dollars a week for life?  The commercials make you long for that scenario in your own future.

But I just saw a commercial that didn’t evoke longing in me at all.

CBS, advertising its Colonoscopy Sweepstakes.

That’s right.  Colonoscopy Sweepstakes.

Makes you want to jump right in line, doesn’t it?

I know.  I know.  They’re promoting health and the importance of screenings.  And who knows…the winner of this sweepstakes might just find that it saves his/her life.

I think I’ll live dangerously and pass on this one….


  1. susie
    Mar 24, 2014

    You really should take a chance on this one. You might turn out to be the biggest winner ever. I’m entering this year. The last year I entered was almost 10 years ago. It’s worth the entrance fee. My Dad lost big-time, so this is a chance we never pass up. I’m going to look into that CBS sweepstakes. Who knows??? I could be a double winner!

    love your blog old karen.

    • Karen Curran
      Mar 25, 2014

      I love you, Susie! You are too funny! I think you should enter the CBS sweepstakes! I’m rooting for you!

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