Winning a lifetime supply of gas would be a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Winning a case of tampons? Guess it depends on your age, and sex. But for extreme sweepers, it’s not all about the prize; it’s the constant, steady stream of winning that fuels their obsession. TLC’s new one-hour pilot special High Stakes Sweepers, premiering Aug. 14, turns the spotlight on the extreme side of sweepstakes entry.
Viewers will meet five successful “sweepers” and will get to see their daily rituals, their current and past winnings, and learn their secrets to success.
“Some of these folks are winning prizes every day, and we are seeing them winning,” says Alon Orstein, TLC’s vice president of production. “We’re also seeing the whole process — the ritual, what they go through every day to do their sweeping, whether it’s working with their family to fill out mail-in entry cards and decorate them, or going out to do dumpster diving to find bottle caps. We’re tracking them on their various travels to do this sweeping thing. We’re also seeing the stash they currently have won and the backstory there, how they got into sweeping, and the more interesting and weirder prizes they won.”
And what they’ve won ranges from high-end big-ticket prizes to little tchotchkes.
“What we’ve gleaned so far is that they get excited no matter what it is,” Orstein says. “Obviously the Holy Grail is to win the cars, but every win is a moment.”
But luck has to come into play with this, right? Take Paul in our office — he wins everything! The sweepers’ opinions vary on the luck element.
“It really does vary from person to person,” Orstein says. “Certainly some folks think that it’s all about being smart and strategic, and there’s folks who very much feel that’s important but who also feel there is some luck factor involved. Then there are some folks who are into crystals and they feel they are very superstitious and certain colors are good for them — the way they decorate an envelope can help. We definitely have our more businesslike sweepers and the ones that rely more on superstition and ways to enhance their own good fortune.”
I guess you can learn from the best of both worlds!