After opening up 3 packs of Upper Deck Draft Edition, I decided to enter the set’s NPN drawing. What are NPN’s, you ask? NPN stands for No Purchase Necessary. Look closely at the fine print of card packs and boxes. Usually, you’ll find a listing of insert cards for that set and the odds of getting those inserts. Well, card companies give you the opportunity to win one of those insert cards without having to purchase the product. Why would they do that? The simple reason is to get around federal gambling laws. If a company like Upper Deck doesn’t offer you the chance to win an insert card without having to purchase the product, they could get in trouble for running an “illegal” lottery.
Follow the Rules
Now, where do you start? Simple. Just follow the rules posted on the card packs or card boxes. If you do not follow these rules, you will be disqualified. If the rules say to print your information on a 3×5 index card, don’t send in a 4×8 index card. Also, you will usually be instructed to send in your request in a #10 (or business sized) envelope. If you use a different size envelope, your entry will be disqualified. Also, pay attention to the number of entries allowed. If only 1 entry is allowed per address, don’t try and send in multiple entries from the same address. They’ll just throow all your entries away. Also, be sure to have your entries postmarked no later than the specified date. Miss the deadline and it’s an automatic disqualification.
Collect Your Prize
Usually, once companies hold their drawings, they’ll send the card out to the winners. So if you never receive a card back, chances are you didn’t win a card. It may take a while before you finally win something. It took me almost 6 months of entering NPN’s until I finally won something (a red parallel card in the 2007 Topps Total Football Set). It was frustrating, but it does have the potential for some really nice mailday surprises.
The Digital Era
When I checked the NPN rules for the 2008 Upper Deck Draft Football Set, I found an interesting surprise. Upper Deck no longer accepts NPN request by mail. You have to go to Upper Deck’s NPN website to register and enter. The main benefit is that you save on the price of postage and envelopes. Also, it makes it easier to enter NPN drawings, since entering is a mouseclick away on the company website. As of right now, Upper Deck is the only card company doing this. Topps and the other card companies still require you to mail in your NPN requests.
Now that you know what NPN drawings are all about, stop throwing away your wrappers and boxes after you’ve busted them open! Take the time to read the fine print about the NPN drawing. Maybe you’ll be able to win some sweet parallels and inserts to add to your collection.