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Some of my favorite places to spend money include TJMaxx, Panera, and Moe’s. Sure, I like their products, but there’s another plus: the receipt surveys. I’m convinced that if I’m diligent about completing those surveys, one of these days I’ll win a $500 TJMaxx gift card or $2,000 from Panera.

And they’re not for just cash or gift cards. At our local Moe’s, each receipt offers a free taco for completing a survey. That offer, combined with their generous Wake Forest student discount, resulted in a braggably cheap $1.88 meal for Kevin and me one evening a few months ago:

And, while incentives like a free taco are well and good (and delicious), I’m holding out for a “big” win, like Walgreens’ $3,000 prize.

Despite my optimism, I’ve been a compulsive receipt survey completer (CRSC) for a couple of years now without much to show for it (besides a Mellow Mushroom $5 discount here and there). I began to wonder: do people actually win these things, or are all the CRSCs out there being duped into giving companies our feedback and contact information for nothing? It was time to hit Google for some research.

The good news: According to a 2011 news report from CBS Boston, they are indeed legit.

The bad news: Many more CRSCs exist than I’d counted on. As many as one every 25 seconds even, as this Illinois NBC affiliate reports.

A bit discouraging, I’ll admit. I was kind of counting on being one of the few people who paid attention to the surveys. After all, I don’t know anyone else who’s a CRSC. (Most people toss receipts after finding them balled up in pockets or purses, right?) Still — I’m going to continue with my quest, and hope to one day be the proud recipient of a mega gift card or thousands of dollars in cash.

Are there any other CRSCs out there? Does anyone know a receipt survey winner to help give me inspiration to continue with this endeavor?

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