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enter a skill contest, such as a writing contest, are the entries read each day, or are they read once the contest is ended?
administrator and/or independent judging agency follows their own
guidelines for the way they handle their contests. If the contest is popular, there may be thousands or tens of thousands of entries, in which case, actually reading all of the entries is not practical and would likely be handled in one of two ways:
1) Entries are screened using data queries looking for certain keywords or other criteria and "pre-qualified"
for the actual judges and/or screened by administrators to include or disqualify for final judging. In other words, instead of giving the judges
100,000 entries to read, they may narrow it down to 100. They would begin the process by immediately disqualifying all entries who didn't follow the rules (and this could be done by "scrubbing" the database using queries)
or, they could actually conduct a pre-judging, looking for the "best" entries for the judges to judge. Since they would need to get
the entries to the judges by a certain date, I would assume that
they would be reading the entries throughout the process.
2) It is possible that a certain number of entries
will be randomly chosen to be judged by the judges. In this case,
the entries who are not chosen will never be read (in other words, there would not be a screening process, just a random selection) and none of the
entries would have been read during the contest or at all.
verdict on my chances to win with email entries vs snail mail entries.
Does one have a winning edge over the other? Obviously, I'd love
to save the postage, but I'd rather win!
There is no
definite answer on this one! Some players swear by snail mail; however,
I believe it is the odds that matter, not the means of entry. The
more entries you have, the better your chances of winning.
Often, you will see a sweepstakes that will allow you to enter online
one-time and as many times as you want via snail mail. In this case,
you would certainly increase your odds by using the snail mail method.
Other sweepstakes will allow you to enter one time only, whether by
online or snail mail. In this situation, save the postage and enter
online. It is quick and easy and your odds are slim anyway, as you
only have one chance out of however many entries are in the pool.
If you can enter an unlimited number of times by both means, I would
advise mixing it up and entering both ways.
Just as a side note, there is a chance that the "snail mail" entries may never actually make it into the database, in which case your entry would have no chance of winning at all. A perfect example is a data entry error of your email address or an overworked data entry person who lets some of the entries fall into the trash. In some contests, the snail mail entries are numbered rather than entered into the database and the mechanism for selecting the winners has the ability to draw from the pool designated for snail mail entries.
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