October 19, 2004

You may already be a weiner

My pal Fred Meyer investigates the strange subculture of Sweepstaking.

Outsiders view sweepers—insofar as they notice them—as sad sacks grubbing for handouts. Especially in its extremes, the hobby earns its low reputation. "Karen Evers," who is out of work with a disability, toils 40 hours a week on the sweeps and pays acquaintances to fill out entry cards for up to 20 more hours per week, because her disability makes it painful to write. She credits her dedication to sweeping as a factor in the dissolution of her marriage. She spoke only on the condition of anonymity, for fear that the prizes FedEx and UPS deliver to her house would be stolen from her doorstep if neighbors knew of her hobby. Whether paranoid or wary of scorn, many sweepers speak only to each other about the hobby, hiding it from friends, co-workers, and even family members.

Posted by Daniel Radosh

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