Almost two years ago, I ran a contest on my site.
My site give retail stores within a certain niche a place to advertise their products and services.
The contest was a drawing: all a participant had to do was to print out the page for one of my subscribing retail stores, go to said store, and have one of the clerks sign the printout, saying that this person had been to the store. I even went further by saying that, if the participant didn't have a printer, all he/she had to do was write down on a slip of paper the name and address of the store, and have a clerk sign to say the participant had visited the store.
The prize was a $1000 shopping spree at the store the winning participant had visited.
I ran banner ads across my site, and promoted the contest on numerous other sites that are within the same niche.
When I visited some of the online forums, I heard complaints. "What? $1000? That's chump change." And on and on.
Please bear in mind that my site is national, and draws a large number of visitors.
At the end of the contest, only four people had bothered to submit entries.
I think that, with all of the "win a million dollar" promotions going on, the public is skeptical of any prize amount that's realistically winnable.
The guy who won the $1000 shopping spree had a 1:4 chance.