Receipt Surveys: Does Anyone Actually Win?

December 31, 2013

If you’ve ever shopped or dined at a popular establishment, you might have noticed a request to take a survey at the bottom of your receipt. Or, maybe the friendly cashier pointed it out to you as he or she was checking you out (no, not that kind of checking out...mind out of the gutter). You might be inclined to simply ignore these requests—our staffer here at The Dime always did. That is, however, until he heard on the radio that someone actually won one of the mysterious sweepstakes offered. Intrigued, he set out to take every survey he received over the course of a month to see if any actually paid off for him in the end (or if they ultimately just ended up being a waste of time). Here's what he found.

Here are the surveys I’ve taken in the past five weeks:

Store/Restaurant Prize Number of Winners
Babies R' Us $500 gift card 5 winners per month
Bath & Body Works Coupon for $10 off a future purchase of $30 or more All respondents receive a coupon
Chili’s $1,000 sweepstakes Daily winners
Cracker Barrel $100 gift card or Cracker Barrel rocking chair 6 winners per year
Home Depot (receipt) $5,000 gift card 1 winner
Home Depot (submit a product review online with photo) $1,000 gift card 1 winner
Lowe's $1,000 gift card 4 winners per year
Red Lobster $1,000 sweepstakes 1 grand prize winner and 6 winners of $50
Old Chicago Coupon for free appetizer All respondents receive a coupon
Old Navy Coupon for 20% off your next purchase All respondents receive a coupon
Panera Bread $2,000 sweepstakes 1 winner
Safeway $100 gift card 4 winners per month
Target Instant $25 gift card or $1,000 sweepstakes Instant: 6 winners per state, per month. Sweepstakes: 1 winner per month
Toys R' Us (write an online product review) $250 gift card 5 winners per month
Walgreens $3,000 sweepstakes 1 winner per month
Wendy’s Coupon for $2 off a full-size sandwich or salad All respondents receive a coupon

On average, each survey took about five minutes to complete. The places offering a coupon for feedback are definitely worth the time; in fact, I wish more places would offer a coupon instead of a prize.

So far, I haven’t won any gift cards or sweepstakes (surprise, surprise!). The odds are certainly stacked against you, and I worry that by choosing to fill out a survey, all I really ended up doing was signing up for endless amounts of spam. In the future, I’ll probably forego taking these surveys unless I receive exceptionally awesome—or terrible—service.

One interesting fact I found:

It appears that Canadians have to take a test in order to claim a prize (should they win one of these sweepstakes). No joke. Check out this excerpt from one survey's rules and regulations:

If any winner is a resident of Canada, the winning entrant will be required to first correctly answer a mathematical skill testing question without assistance of any kind (whether mechanical or otherwise) within a 2-minute time limit in order to be eligible to win prize. The question will be administered by phone within ten (10) business days following the drawing.

Needless to say, I hope all you Canadian respondents out there have been brushing up on your math skills...

Have you every won anything as a result of taking one of these surveys? If so, we'd love to hear about it!