A Sweepstakes Site with a New Twist

19 March 2001
Those annoying slips of paper that seem to serve no purpose but to clutter glove compartments, pockets of trousers and counter tops are turning out to be the key to financial windfall.

A new website, www.receiptstoriches.com, has users making the most out of sales receipts and turning everything from ATM slips, fast food receipts and everything in between into free chances for money.

The system is set up to allow anyone with a receipt that has the zip code, date and time stamped on it--which tends to be any computer generated receipt this day in age--to enter that information into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly drawings for cash.

Receiptstoriches founder Anthony Petrecca said the system is set up to make the total purchase or amount on the receipt meaningless.

"It doesn’t matter if the user spent $5 or $500," he said. "In fact they don’t even have to spend any money at all. As long as it has the information on it, they can turn the piece of paper into a winning ticket."

Petrecca said one such winning combination could even be a speeding or parking ticket issued by the police.

"If the time, date and zip code on the ticket match what was drawn, they can turn that ticket into a money winner," he said.

Under the system users enter the information from any receipt they've accumulated throughout the day. Each day the site then generates a number. If no one has entered a winning receipt with the matching number, the jackpot is then rolled over.

All rollover jackpots are then put up in a big holiday drawing that will take place in December.

"That allows the winner to have all that extra money to spend around Christmas time," Petrecca said.

What does Petrecca get out of all this? He has assured his users that the information about the receipts--consumer spending, ect.--is not given to anyone. That information, with the exception of winning receipts, is not known. .

Users are allowed to enter up to 25 different receipts a day. If the combination of time, date and zip code from a receipt doesn't match the winning numbers, the information is rolled into the weekly drawing done on Sundays. Those who still fail to win in that have chances left in the monthly, yearly and holiday drawing.

"We don’t see the receipts unless they are winners," Petrecca said. "If the time, date and zip code match, they have to mail us the receipt to verify the receipt does exist."

Users fill out a rather brief form to sign up--name, address and e-mail are required to set up an account--and the policy statement included in the site claims that even that information is not given to anyone.

"All of our advertising and promotions are done through us," Petrecca said. "The sponsors that we have send the info through us, so even the e-mail information doesn’t go out."

Petrecca, who has made a living off of inventing things, said the system is patent pending and he hopes to secure the patent within the next couple of months.

Also on the horizon for the site are major sponsors. There has been no marketing or advertising done--all 2,000 users have signed up through word of mouth--in anticipation of securing the sponsors.

"We have kind of been waiting so that they can reap the benefits of any marketing or advertising that we do," Petrecca said.

Right now the daily jackpot drawing is $1,000. Petrecca is expecting the jackpot to increase with more users and sponsors. He predicts the holiday and rollover drawings to rival those of some of the leading state lotteries in the United States.

The New Jersey-based site has registered users in 42 states in America, but Petrecca is looking to expand operations to Europe.

"We have had some inquiries about expanding into Europe," he said. "We are looking to get a global sponsor that would be eager to be a part of that."

Petrecca said being an inventor by nature his mind is always looking for ways to improve things or create new uses for items.

"It seems like everyday I would have accumulated five or so of these receipts," he said. "I was trying to find a way that I could make them into something worthwhile."