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Last week we announced that Marriott’s 29 Ways to Stay game was live and ready for you to test your luck. You could win instantly anything from 50 Marriott Rewards points to larger prizes including 20,000 points, or even four-night hotel stays at each of the 29 various SPG and Marriott brands.

This online game celebrating Starwood and Marriott’s newly combined 29 brands is set to run for 29 days from Oct. 11 until Nov. 8, and Marriott is actively encouraging members to come back and play once per day for all 29 days.

With most of the prizes coming in at just 50 points, the contest was never likely to be as rewarding for most as, for example, the 1,000 Marriott Rewards points available to those who tweeted last year during NFL Sundays. However, the idea of trying to win something each day for up to 29 days was fun and should have amounted to at least several hundred points by the end of it all, if not more. But apparently Marriott had something different in mind.

Based on tests within the TPG offices, and more than 200 responses to our question in the TPG Lounge, it is very likely that once you win anything at all — even just 50 Marriott Rewards points, worth 45 cents — the rest of your up to 28 days of playing won’t result in any additional instant prizes. Instead, all you get on subsequent days of playing are extra entries into the grand prize drawing.

The grand prize is cool, consisting of 29 two-night stays, one at each of Marriott’s 29 hotel brands, but only one person is going to win that. We aren’t trying to talk you out of playing each day to try and win the grand prize, but don’t show up hoping for an instant win prize every day — even if it feels like that is the implied intent of the promotion.

In fairness, the 13th paragraph of the sweepstakes’ terms and conditions states that “Limit one (1) Instant Win Prize per person.” That comes after explaining there is a limit of one Game Play/entry per person/email address per day and listing out that more than 83,000 instant win prizes are available each day.

After some back and forth attempting to clarify with Marriott whether this is a “win once” or “win up to 29 times” situation, Marriott ultimately told TPG that “Members have the chance to win only one instant prize per day.” Take that to mean what you wish. Update: Marriott continues to insist that members can win more than one instant win prize.

If you haven’t played yet, perhaps you will be able to win a decent prize since a certain number are available per day. My husband played for the first time over the weekend (after most of us tapped out with 50 point prizes on Day 1 or 2) and he instantly won 3,000 Marriott Rewards points.

Despite what Marriott seems to imply, if 200+ data points are any indication, this is a one-and-done instant-win situation. That’s really too bad: winning one 45-cent prize over 29 days of daily playing is a touch on the low side, and Marriott had a great opportunity to keep people returning to its site daily for almost a month.

Featured image courtesy of the author’s daughter’s piggy bank.

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