Sweepstake prize includes lifetime trips to the Winter Olympics

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Visa, the credit and debit card company, has announced an automatic sweepstake competition for any US resident using a Visa card between the start of the year and the closing of the 2010 Winter Olympics on February 28.

The prize? Tickets covering air travel, accommodation, local transportation and events at the Winter Olympics from 2014 onwards.

Visa has been involved in the Olympic Games since the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and as such Vancouver 2010 marks their 13th Olympic event as a sponsor.

So though the number 13 is seen as unlucky in many countries with a European heritage, for one US resident and their chosen guest, the ending of Visa's 13th Olympics will mark the start of a period of great fortune.

For Visa itself, sponsorship of the Olympics has worked out quite nicely - a company report from July 2009 claimed that Visa card usage has risen 13 percent among users who were aware of the company's Olympic links.