Get Lucky (But Don’t Count On It!)

Unless you were raised by gorillas in the African Congo, you’ve probably seen, entered, and NOT won dozens of billion-dollar sweepstakes by now. Good thing, too, because if you weren’t 18 years old when you entered the contest, the prize would have been immediately yanked out of your hands. But guess what? When you are 18, you probably STILL won’t win!

Take a look around and you will see that there are sweepstakes for new cars, luxurious vacations, and $100,000 shopping sprees. The same is true for scholarships. In fact, there is a lot of scholarship money given away on the Internet. I’m not going to list all the current contests (they come and go, of course), because you’ll find them easily enough yourself, but before your pupils turn into dollar signs, let me share with you…

The Three Worst Plans for Financing Your College Education:

  1. Hope that a man with a strange accent will one day show up and reveal your true identity as the long-lost prince of a small, but wealthy, nation. Use the vast treasury to pay your college tuition.
  2. Save a billionaire’s baby from being eaten by a dingo. Accept tuition to the college of your choice as a reward of gratitude.
  3. Count on winning a massive jackpot from one of the online scholarship sweepstakes.

While none of the above scenarios are very likely to happen, you’d be stupid to turn them down if they DID happen! Don’t call the cops on that strange man and have him arrested for stalking, and, by all means SAVE THAT BABY. Even if the kid’s parents are poor, you may be able to sell your story to Reader’s Digest. And since somebody has to win those college scholarships (there’s a law, I’m pretty sure), it‘s worth entering just on the slim chance that the winner might be you. I can guarantee that the prize money will be well worth the time it took you to fill out the entry form! (P.S. Have a back-up plan, just in case your name is never drawn out of that hat.)

Does the idea of money for nothing make you feel like a lazy good-for-nothing? Good news! Some scholarship lotteries make you work for and earn your unlikely chance to win tuition dollars. Here’s a couple of examples:

  •—Write about the provided topic in the website’s weekly “Three Sentence Essay Sweepstakes.” Answer more questions about yourself. Be entered in the lottery drawing. Hope your name is drawn.
  •—Register for the website. Earn points by doing “fun, simple activities.” Exchange your points for entries into the scholarship lotteries of your choice. Hope your name is drawn.

Another way to make bank off of your friends is to participate on’s student forums. Be nice, and get the other people on the board to like you. Each week, whichever member has received the most popularity “votes” wins a nice-sized scholarship (amounts vary). This is better social networking than Facebook, because nobody ever begs you to adopt an orphaned baby cow like they do when you play Farmville. Oh, and because you can get college money for having lots and lots of loyal friends.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash


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