If you've been entering contests with huge prizes, winning them could leave you poorer. Using the Wall Street Journal Travel contest I mentioned in an earlier post as an example, which by the way, I am no longer able to locate on the web since WSJ travel has suspended operations, Financially Fit points out "the trip includes airfare from New York to Paris, hotel and ground transportation and half a day of sightseeing. But don't assume you could afford this trip; if you don't live in New York, you will be responsible for travel expenses to get there, all your food costs (which will be sizeable in this city of gourmands!), sightseeing, tips and all other spending money. Needless to say, these expenses could easily add up to the $4,200 the contest provider is shelling out... When the prize isn't cash, the tax burden and additional expenses associated with your winnings can really add up. Before you accept any prize, find out what it's worth -- and what it will cost you."
Granted, this is all accurate, but forewarned is forewarned. Besides, you must know someone you can stay with for a night in Manhattan. It also depends on what your priorities are. No matter which city you're in, you still have to eat. How much you want to spend doing so is another matter. Do your homework, and make sure you have the real story before deciding if you're going to take that trip.
Now you understand why I often highlight contests with cash prizes, like today's The Real Story Sweepstakes. The Grand Prize is $5,000. After taxes, you will still have enough for a historic trip to Paris. Forget about this taxing situation and enter.
Voilà - the link to The Real Story Sweepstakes on Charter.net: