Debt.com's first #YourSecondChance winner was selected randomly, but she's acting deliberately.

Meet giveaway winner Susan Blackwell. The Illinois resident is only 43, but she recently retired after suffering a stroke.

“I love entering sweepstakes for a hobby,” she says. “It keeps my mind busy.”

It also keeps her bank account full. Susan won $1,000 in Debt.com’s first-ever #YourSecondChance Giveaway. You can enter yourself right now, since we’re doing this on a regular basis, much like our college scholarship. The next sweepstakes deadline is April 17.

I’m usually not a fan of contest for cash. I’ve written before about my disdain for lotteries when I told a reader last year, “It’s the mindset of a get-rich-quick fix to all your financial problems.”

So when we created the Debt.com sweepstakes, I wanted to make sure several things would happen.

First, it costs nothing to enter. I can’t in good conscience advise people how to save money while taking their money.

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Second, you don’t have to buy anything to enter. In fact, our rule say, “A purchase does not increase the chances of winning.”

Third, you can win many small amounts. Second place wins $500 and third place wins $250.

My hope is that winners will use the money to pay down debt. That’s one reason I prefer to give away $1,000 every so often instead of $10,000 at one time. I’m a CPA, not a psychologist, but I’ve noticed that when people come into a hefty chunk of money, they tend to overexaggerate how long it’ll last.

Susan Blackwell is using her $1,000 the right way.

“I will help my daughter Rebecca, with her college tuition,” she says. “She is a photography student. It’s her passion, and she would love to work for National Geographic one day.”

Spending our sweepstakes money to make that happen would be a very pretty picture. What will be yours?

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Article last modified on September 27, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: How To Win Money The Right Way - AMP.