I’m not a contest person. I’m really not. My mother-in-law is – she sends 4×6” cards and self-addressed stamped envelopes to just about every contest and Sweepstakes she finds, not only in her name but in my father-in-law’s name, my husband’s name and my name, too. I wind up with a lot of stuff in my Spam box that I usually eventually unsubscribe to but every once in a while one of us will hit something, albeit not necessarily something huge. A $50 gas card. A vase. Mascara. A baseball card. However Joe did win a bicycle once (it says “Got Milk?” on it). And my mother-in-law even won a Jeep a few years ago – but she took the money ;-). So she’s the big contest person in the family. But me? Not so much.

When I was a kid, things were different – I LOVED the games of chance at the carnival, although I only remember winning something twice…a kid version of a blender that worked (I remember making a chocolate milk shake and adding about 10 Pixie Sticks to it, for added flavor. Not recommended, by the way) and a 12” red parrot toy animal. I was always entering the kids’ puzzle or coloring contests in the newspaper (I don’t think I ever won anything more than my name in the newspaper – but when you’re 9, that’s still a pretty big deal). My big thrill of 5th grade was, while learning the concept of approximation, having to guess how many M&M’s were in the jar on Mrs. Gilmore’s desk and I guessed 372…which just happened to be the EXACT number. So I won the jar of M&M’s. But on the whole, I entered MANY more contests than I actually won.

When I was 13, I entered the annual “Huck Finn & Becky Thatcher Costume Contest” that a local fishing club sponsored every 4th of July. No being a girly girl, I entered as Huck Finn and won Third Place! Well…until the bastards judging the contest disqualified me when they found out I was a female. That rather sexist rule was eventually changed in the years after I entered but I think that was the beginning of the end of my interest in contests. If nothing else, I started being much more selective in what I would enter – if I thought I had enough talent or ability, or if I thought the judging would be fair, or if it was more than just “pulling a name out of a hat,” I’d give it a try. Especially if it was a prize that I really, REALLY wanted. But otherwise I’d pass it by. And that’s pretty much been my rule of thumb ever since.

Who knew there would be THREE contests that I’d want to enter in the past 6 months???

First there was the “Bring the Grease Sing-Along to Your City” contest – the 10 cities that got the most amount of votes would have the honor and, well, Grease is one of my Top 3 favorite movies EVER…so I HAD to try to get it to Orlando. Enter my 700+ kind-hearted Facebook friends from around the world 😉 (I have a lot of singing friends in England – if the promoters ever looked at the IP addresses of those who voted, I’m sure they would have wondered why so many people from the UK were voting for Orlando, LOL!) And yep, we won. The event ROCKED, by the way.

Then last month the local Flowrider place, Ultimate Indoor Wave had a “submit a video of you on a Flowrider and the person with the most amount of people who “Likes” their video wins two 30-minute sessions, plus lunch” contest on Facebook. Well, the lunch didn’t impress me so much but the Flowrider thing is FUN and decent exercise, to boot (and, ahem, almost $30 per half-hour) so I gave it a shot. And again, I won “with a little help from my awesome friends.”

Now, just about on the heels of the Flowrider contest, there’s another one I really want to win. Our local newspaper is hosting a contest for Valentine’s Day: Write the story of how you and your sweetheart met and the person with the most votes win. Winner gets a $200 gift card to Seasons 52, which just happens to be our #1 favorite restaurant of all time – wholesome, fresh foods, healthy portions (TRULY healthy portions. Not McSized ones), local/sustainable ingredients whenever possible and oh, did I mention DELICIOUS? So I’m trying to win.

Would you help me? Voters must be in the United States (thank-you anyway, oh fabulous UK friends!) and only 1 vote per computer. Contest ends February 7th. Here is the link to my story (which, by the way, is all absolutely 100% true), “A Romance A Long Time In The Making”: CLICK HERE FOR LINK.  When you get there, I think you have to register but the website is generally not “spammy”. Once you’re registered, click on the green “up arrow” next to our story and it should then say “VOTED!” where the green arrow had been. If you have any questions, please let me know. Oh, and reply here so I know who to thank. And hey, if you forward this on to some friends, I’ll thank you even more. 😉