1. DID YOU WIN?: We won’t leave you in the rain on this one. You actually receive an e-mail notifying you that you have won something. If we have a moment to announce the winners to the world, we also display your real name in the Producer’s Note blog and/or you might get a mention in an episode of Today on the Spot.
2. WHY ENTER YOUR MAILING ADDRESS?: Make sure you are filling out the trivia form with the mailing address. If you do not use the trivia form but prefer the TOTS e-mail address, include your real name and mailing address. I would have to believe that 90 percent of the users who contact us through the TOTS e-mail are ineligible for a prize because they forget about this tiny little detail. If you are curious about why we don’t select winners and then contact each of them for their mailing address, this is a time-consuming process and there can be a variety of answers to this question. First, let me share why we have you enter your mailing address in the trivia submission form ahead of time.
Reason 1 - If you are a long-time registrant you might not have updated your mailing address in years. We have had packages returned in the past and we’d prefer being completely certain this prize will not get returned to us.
Reason 2 - New GameSpot registrants no longer have to enter their mailing address, which means many new accounts won’t have a mailing address for us to send the prize to.
The other question I receive is about why we don't randomly select users and then contact each of them about their mailing address rather than randomly select users based on them filling out their mailing address.
Reason 3 - Some countries have limitations on what can be won or mailed. Each country has rules and regulations. We have to consider the item and the value of the item, and then we gather a list of users who are eligible to be randomly selected.
Reason 4 - We also deal with three days' worth of prizes. The volume of prize mailouts has increased to three times what it was before and there is no staff member dedicated to prize mailouts. We take shifts out of our own work schedules to mail out these prizes, and fewer e-mails back and forth saves us time and effort.
3. DO YOU HAVE A GAME LIST?: There have been occasions when we give away different platform accessories for the DS, Wii, PS3, or Xbox 360. If you don’t tell us what you’d like, we might take a peek at your GameSpot game library. If you don’t have a game library (collection or tracked list) filled out, we won’t know which accessory to send you. We rarely e-mail winners with a selection of items because there are too many of you to contact for the day (once again, a time-consuming back-and-forth effort and how unfair would it be that we contacted you and not all of you with a selection of items?). When we e-mail you we might be delaying the entire shipment of other GameSpotter prizes, and we'd like to avoid that if possible. If you don't have your game library filled out, you might end up with what was left over if other users told us what they wanted or we took a peek at other GameSpotters' game lists. Check tip 4 if you’d like to also save us even more time by allowing us to skip a peek at your game lists in your profile.
4. WHICH ITEM?: When answering the trivia, don’t forget to share what you want if you see numerous items available for a specific trivia question. Tell us the T-shirt size you prefer, the platform for an accessory, item (wristband, hat, etc.), and games that you are interested in. Some users have sent us their order of preference, which helps if the item you originally wanted has been given to another winner. There have been occasions when we have a variety of items and if you don’t share what you want we will make a judgment call for you. Why not increase your chances of getting what you actually wanted?
5. BE SELECTIVE: Remember, when you win one item you will not win the second, third, or fourth trivia item for the day even if you are randomly selected for all of them. If you don’t mind winning one item over another, then you are welcome to answer all of the questions for the trivia session of the day. However, if you really want to win a certain item, answer only that trivia question. That item you really wanted might be overlooked if you already won another trivia item for the day. For an example: User1994 answers trivia question 1 for a T-shirt he doesn’t care about. He also answers trivia question 2 for a platform accessory he really wants, and then he answers trivia question 3 for a stuffed animal he doesn’t care for--all in the same e-mail. If he is randomly selected for the T-shirt and already wins that item, he won’t be eligible for the other two trivia questions even if he is randomly selected for all three items.