Our Top 5 Sweepstakes From the Past 25 Years

Top 5 Sweepstakes

Top 5 Sweepstakes

Join us as we look back on the top 5 sweepstakes we’ve administered over the last 25 years! As part of our celebration of 25 years working with the world’s top brands to help bring exciting purpose-driven promotions to consumers around the globe, we’re taking a look back at a few of our most memorable sweepstakes from our history. The criteria for the following promotions in our “Top Five” list below range from promotion size, success, and uniqueness to new technologies, to company ‘firsts’, and more. 

Pepsi Play for a Billion (2003)

Program Overview:

Pepsi fans could find unique codes under the cap or on multipacks for the Play for a Billion sweepstakes. Simply enter the code online to enter and have a chance to win 1 of 1 million $20 instant win prizes. 1,000 lucky finalists were randomly drawn and invited to Orlando, FL. where one lucky finalist would walk away with a guaranteed One Million Dollars and have a chance to play for One BILLION Dollars.

The 1,000 finalists appeared in a two-hour live prime time TV special hosted by Drew Carey. One lucky finalist was awarded the guaranteed One Million Dollar prize. Excitement grew as the finalist matched the first 4 of 6 winning numbers but failed to match all six to win the One Billion Dollar prize.

Why we picked it:
The Pepsi Play for One Billion Dollars promotion cracks our top 5 sweepstakes list because it featured numerous ways to play and win coupled with a live game show giveaway featuring a guaranteed One Million Dollar prize and the chance to win the highest ever cash prize offered on a U.S. game show. Customer response was as high as the game show television ratings. Every Pepsi fan got to see the One Million Dollar prize awarded to the winner and join in the excitement live to see if that new Millionaire became a Billionaire.

McDonald’s American Idol You’re Going To Hollywood Sweepstakes (2007 & 2008)

Program Overview:
American Idol was one of the hottest shows on television. Every night viewers tuned in to cheer for their favorites as they competed for the crown. The McDonald’s American Idol You’re Going to Hollywood Sweepstakes gave 2 lucky fans the chance to win a three day trip for four to Los Angeles California to be in the studio to experience the final performances and results live and in person. This unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience was so popular with customers that McDonald’s ran the program for 2 American Idol seasons.

Why we picked it:
Who wouldn’t want to be in the studio to watch the live performances and final winner decision after weeks of anticipation. McDonald’s made this exclusive and unique experience possible for their customers.

Harley Davidson Financial Services Free Ride (2012+)

Program Overview:
Harley Davidson riders are some of the most loyal brand customers on this planet. They go to Harley rallies, Harley stores and wear Harley gear. And they pay for it all with their Harley branded credit card. But everyone’s wallet is filled with credit cards so to encourage Harley riders to always reach for their Harley Davidson Visa card, Harley Davidson Financial Services worked with MRi to create a year-long, annual sweepstakes. The Free Ride Sweepstakes gave cardmembers the chance to win a new Harley Davidson motorcycle every month. The more they used their card…the better their chances to win.

With the goal to increase card purchases, we knew this promotion would need to be as easy to enter as possible. So, no matter how big or small the purchase, cardmembers received one entry into the monthly drawing for each transaction made with their card.

Why we picked it:
We consider this one of our top 5 sweepstakes because MRi has partnered with Harley Davidson Financial Services for over eight years to keep The Free Ride Sweepstakes running as smooth as a Harley Davidson motorcycle. By reminding loyal Harley customers to reach for their Harley branded VISA, MRi has helped extend the Harley lifestyle for nearly a decade!

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Sweepstakes (2014)

Program Overview:
What does the 4th of July mean to you? Independence day, family get-togethers, grilled burgers and Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest live on national television from New York’s famous Coney Island.

Fans were invited to LIKE Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs Facebook page for a chance to win a trip to see the eating contest live. What better way to build a database of loyal customers who love the Nathan’s Hot Dog brand? The first 10,000 entries were awarded discounts on Nathan’s Hot Dogs at retail stores and Nathan’s Restaurants. Ten first prize winners could choose one of two prize packages which featured tickets to amusement parks, a ball game or a unique exclusive Nathan’s Ultimate Beach BBQ Kit. One lucky grand prize winner was awarded a VIP package for the winner to be an honorary judge at the Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Best of all they got to bring along 3 guests to join them at the event.

Why we picked it:
It’s not every day you get to award fans with the opportunity to be an honorary judge in a hot dog eating contest! This was a very fun program to work on, in addition this Facebook sweepstakes had prizes that involved complex trip coordination and prize fulfillment.

The Doctors Healthiest House Sweepstakes (2014/2015)

Program Overview:
When you’re a daily syndicated daytime television show your challenge is to encourage viewers to create the habit to tune in everyday. The Doctors Show worked to achieve this goal with the Doctors Healthiest House Sweepstakes. Programming gave tips to make your home more healthy while also offering clues each week on a random weekday during the show. Viewers could enter the clue code word each week for a chance to win a State-of-the-Art Healthy Home. Excitement grew, culminating in the live on-air drawing conducted by MRi to pick the One Million Dollar Healthy Home winner from the hundreds of thousands of entries that were received, and award the biggest giveaway prize in daytime television history.

Why we picked it:
The Doctors Healthiest House Sweepstakes not only awarded the biggest giveaway prize but awarded a house that was both energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Even better, the house was awarded to a family that had recently found itself homeless. MRi personnel were live in the studio for the drawing while the rest of the office gathered in our lunchroom to watch the prize be awarded together.


Thank you to ALL our past and present clients for helping us achieve 25 wonderful years! Our list of top 5 sweepstakes may be over, but our commitment to administering award-winning sweepstakes is not! It all starts with a big IDEA, and we look forward to continuing to develop even more memorable promotions. In the meantime, take a deeper look at some of our most recent promotions on our case stories page.

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Systems and Network Administrator

About Us

Marketing Resources, Inc. is a leading promotional marketing agency that specializes in purpose-driven promotions. With over 25 years in the business, MRi helps brands Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze promotions and marketing projects that consumers love. We’re a team full of committed, passionate, solutions-driven, hands-on, and innovative individuals who collaborate to bring success to our client’s programs.


The System and Network Administrator plays a critical role on the MRi Digital team, and overall in the success of our company. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and technical support of complex Linux servers, Virtual Infrastructure and Systems Management, and maintenance and support of end-user systems. You’ll be working closely with our teams on client projects and making sure our internal systems are updated and secure. 

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

In this role, we’re looking for that person who does not accept average.

You will help us create the best digital, promotions, products, and campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. MRi takes pride in our ability to constantly push the boundaries of development in the digital promotions space, and you will take an active role in working closely with our client services, business development, creative, and project management team to guide, develop, and deliver exceptional work for our clients and partners.

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Design, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, monitor, and tune performance of Linux-based servers and infrastructure, both internal and client-related promotions.
  • Provide support for problems and issues that come up from our clients, vendors, and internal teams.
  • Examine and audit various server logs and determine if any corrective action is required.
  • Review releases of new operating systems and evaluate the implementation in the enterprise.
  • Install, configure, and maintain server firewall and other security software.
  • Identify and provide technical resolution for potential security breaches, then establish and monitor security and apply appropriate fixes.
  • Implement and maintain technical solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity of enterprise and client systems.
  • Select the ideal server hardware for the company’s needs and administer physical server hardware, including repair and replacement of parts as necessary.
  • Monitor and maintain proper end-user system security by ensuring operating systems and software are up-to-date and applying patches as necessary.
  • Maintenance and support of all end-user service accounts including Office365, Google Workspace, hosted VoIP accounts.

The Essentials

  • 1-2 years of experience in Linux server administration in a small to midsize environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or minimum 4 years of related work experience.
  • Able to effectively plan, deploy and administer Linux servers in an enterprise environment.
  • Strong familiarity with Linux OS, Windows, macOS, application, and hardware troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with VMware ESXi and XenServer/XCP-NG, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, and Docker.
  • Networking and Storage – Familiarity with pfSense (*BSD pf) firewalls, Ubiquiti network gear, Synology NAS equipment, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP file protocols.  TCP/IP, UDP, and VLAN. configurations to manage networking and storage.  
  • Ability to compose thorough and clear documentation on routine tasks, standard operating procedures, and other documents beneficial to team members.

You’ll stand out if you have experience with

  • Debian-based Linux or Ubuntu operating systems, roles, services, concepts, security, permissions, middleware, and facilities required. (e.g. SMTP, NFS, SMB, iptables, LVM, LUKS).
  • Amazon AWS S3, EC2, and ElasticBeanstalk required.
  • Samba4 as an Active Directory Domain Controller, Administering Active Directory through. the use of GPOs and OUs.
  • Supporting Windows and macOS systems.
  • Scripting concepts and methods with competence in at least one relevant language (e.g. Bash, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • Internet clients/servers/protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, MTAs (e.g. Postfix).
  • An ability to explain complex technical processes in a more simplified version to team members, clients, and partners.
  • Experience with IT project management practices and techniques.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

The Perks

  • Medical insurance options
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(K) plan with company match
  • Flexible remote work policy
  • Paid sick days
  • Generous vacation and paid holidays

Interested in applying?

Send Resumes to resumes@marketingresources.com