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Radio Full of Win in Salt Lake City

Most people nowadays drive to school or work while listening to their iPod or a CD, knowing they can choose exactly what song to listen to and when. But who can blame them? The radio is frequented by advertisements, talk shows, and cheesy radio DJ humor.

I used to avoid the radio myself. I would perhaps listen to one song on the way to work, and then switch to my iPod the instant a tacky advertisement came on about selling my gold jewelry or financing a car. However, I gave the radio a chance a few weeks ago after it played three songs I loved in a row. My iPod on shuffle can’t even do that, so I figured hey why not.

Then came the inevitable and dull talk that plagues the radio. As I instinctively reached to turn the volume off, the DJ announced that the tenth person to call the station would win $500. I dialed the number and after three rings I was greeted by “Caller nine, try again!” I didn’t win that contest, but it sure got me hooked on the radio.

Since then, I have come close to winning several contests ranging from having my bills paid to free concert tickets. My new preset stations all play great music and have daily prizes. Some of them are trivia questions, which are not exactly my forte, but most of them are the “first caller” type of contests.

The X96 Alternative Rock station has a little something for its fans called the “Workers Union.” At five after every hour from 9:00 to 5:00, or a typical workday, they pay one lucky “worker” $96 an hour. If they announce your name, you just have to call and report to work to receive your cash prize. This station has several other contests as well, all of which require membership. Needless to say, I signed up as soon as I could. The best part is it’s free!

Most other stations give away money or concert tickets on a daily basis. My 99.5 gives away $500 three times each weekday. They tend to play decent music too, considering they actually have a voicemail for listeners to call and leave song requests.

I suppose you could make a schedule of when to listen to which station in order to optimize your odds of winning, but that would be silly. I prefer to listen for enjoyment, although if I hear the cue for a contest I jump right on it. I save my iPod for nighttime driving now, just to make sure I don’t miss my chance to win. Since you can’t play the lottery in Utah, why not give radio contests a try?


by Contributing Writer / Lauren Cousin (October 17th, 2010)
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