Southwest launches Rapid Rewards sweepstakes

October 03, 2011|By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman | The Baltimore Sun

Southwest Airlines has launched a sweepstakes/giveaway with a grand prize of 3 million Rapid Rewards points.

That's a lotta points. And, yeah, OK, the winner is not likely to be you or me, but there will be a winner, who will be named the "Chief Reward Officer." And 10 lucky folks each will win 100,000 points. That's not bad either.

Locally, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront is launching a promotion to give away 1 million points to meeting planners who book an event that generates 100 consecutive room nights. (There's a drawing with two grand prizes of 500,000 points each.)

In the past I have sniffed at these contests. I've never won anything - and my grandmother was rather obsessed with the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes, which may have forever soured me on this stuff. So I'm just not that game. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be.

Here are a couple of recent examples of Marylanders who have entered travel contests and come out winners:

-The grand-prize winner in Super 8's "Gr8 Escape" sweepstakes was none other than a student at Mount St. Mary's in Emmiitsburg. Derek Hooper, a second-year seminary student, won a 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid Limited valued at $40,000. Hooper, originally from Kansas, also received 88,000 Wyndham points good for free hotel stays. The contest was featured on Facebook in August in celebration of the 8th month of the year. (Super 8 has since moved on to the College Football sweepstakes.)

-Hilton Garden Inn today announced the grand prize winners of its 'Life's Ultimate To-Do List' contest, giving 11 people the opportunity to make their travel bucket list come true. One of the winners is Debbie Beshears, of Cockeysville, who wants to tour New York City with her mother as a gift for taking care of her sick husband. Beshears will receive a 3-day, 2-night trip valued at $5,000.

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