Recently I started winning competitions again. In the last few weeks I’ve won three. It all started in 2004. One afternoon I received a call on my mobile reminding me that I had entered a competition at the weekend with a text. The caller was from the tv programme Pop Idol and they loved my text and wanted me to take part in an on-the phone head to head quiz battle with another person. Frankly I had no memory of entering the competition, I would have been drunkenly watching Pop Idol. Those were the days when I drank! To this day I have no idea what my witty text was. 2004 was a time of fairly basic phones…
I was on the head to head. I swotted up. I studied previous episodes of the quiz and learned answers of a similar nature. The questions were a lot about the charts of which I had no concept. So I learned! And I won. I won a rather expensive computer and a mug. I was smitten with the competition bug!
Over the next 12 months I became, it is fair to say, obsessive. Every spare waking moment away from work was spent entering competitions. I would buy 100 second class stamps at a time to send all the postcards. I had stickers with my name and address on to save time. I had a special waterproof pen to write the addresses to that the post card didn’t run in the rain. This was probably the early days of internet competitions and I would religiously enter my email address into various boxes. To this day I still get 100’s of emails a day as a result! Keeping on top of my inbox is the bane of my life!
But I won. Boy did I win. I won a trip to Milan, a trip to Paris, a trip to a fancy hotel in Bath. I won electricals, DVD’s, CD’s, toys, beer, I adopted an elephant, I won a four course dinner at a fancy restaurant in London, I won a top of the range Samsung Phone, I won the opportunity to do the voice link to an episode of Extreme Makeover : Home Edition. Some days prizes turned up with no notification. It was so exciting. For the first time the post wasn’t to be dreaded.
My favourite memory of comping was touring the Asda’s of Kent to buy KitKats. It’s a long story but basically I spent £600 on Kitkats. People were certainly staring as hubby and I walked round those Asda stores with a trolley full of chocolate bars. And then I had to unwrap them. I couldn’t eat them again for years!
Perhaps quite inevitably I just couldn’t maintain the level of input I was putting in and I don’t know how to do a little effort. I am all or nothing. So no comping for years. I maybe entered a few if they were obvious. And I won a few because those that I did enter were the low entry ones that statistically I was more likely to win.
And here I am again. Just starting to get the bug. Until you win I think you think it’s all a fraud and I do think the comping world can be quite confusing. Most compers would probably not expect to spend money on entering a comp – unless it was a stamp. I think that is a good rule to go by. Even those tv comps with the massive prices tend to have a free entry option. But those are high entry. Who doesn’t enter them? The odds of winning are minimal although you’ve got to be in it to win it right! But don’t spend money on a competition you are highly unlikely to win. The best competitions to enter are those that are likely to get very few entries. Competitions in a local paper. One of the competitions I just won on Instagram appeared to have about 5 entries. If you put a tiny bit of effort into a competition like that the odds are winning are massive. And I did win it. I wasn’t surprised. Not in an arrogant way. I just guess you come to know these things from experience.
Half the fun of competitions is dreaming you might win a trip to Mexico or £10,000. If I didn’t enter competitions then that wouldn’t happen would it. So get out there. Find some competitions!
I love Compers News which I have subscribed to since 2004. They also have a Facebook page where they post comps. There are plenty of sites out there. Have a look round. You don’t need to become obsessive like I tend to do. Just give it a go. Who knows, you might win something! Let me know if you are a comper and what you’ve won. How did you start???