Competitions – my secret hobby


Competitions are often ran by brands to promote their business. Finding and entering these competitions is one of my secret hobbies. There are literally thousands of competitions running at any one time, allowing you to win anything from a years supply of dog food to a dream holiday. I have won some brilliant prizes over the three years that I’ve been comping but I am still waiting for the elusive dream holiday win.

Some of the best things that I have won include:

  • A mascot experience for Lottie at the Etihad when Manchester City played Dynamo Kiev. She got to walk out on to the pitch with Otamendi and is now a dedicated Blue. Hubby supports the red Manchester team and wasn’t overwhelmed by the experience. I very sensibly met up with a friend who moved to Manchester while they went!
  • Tickets to V festival. This was probably one of my favourite prizes because it was such a great experience. We got to see Rihanna, Justin Beiber, Corinne Bailey Rae and loads more people. We had a brilliant weekend
  • Theatre and concert tickets to various shows including Romeo and Juliet, X Factor and Shrek!
  • An electric scooter – that Lottie was petrified of as it went too fast so we sold it for £70 and she brought herself a Barbie castle that she still plays with all the time.
  • Toys – I can’t actually remember the last time I paid for a Christmas or birthday present for my nieces and nephews. I have 10 of them as well so you can see this is quite an impressive haul of toys each year.

Where do I find competitions?

There are loads of ways that you can find competitions to enter. When I first started I was using the Competitions Forum on the Money Saving Expert website. However, I have found that I actually prefer the layout of the Loquax website so I tend to use that instead. I have also paid to subscribe to The Compers News magazine. It’s about £30 a year but as most of my wins come from competitions I only find in this magazine I think it’s money well spent. I’ve probably won about £1000 worth of prizes through this alone.

You can also find competitions of twitter as well by searching for the relevant hashtags. These include things such as #competition #win #prizedraw. Just make sure that they are UK based competitions though. I’ve only won twice on twitter competitions and both of them required a little bit of effort rather than the usual follow and retweet, which will have literally thousands of people entering for a bottle of fizzy pop or something small value!

Are there ways to increase your chances of success?

A competition is essentially a lucky dip, unless it’s a creative one that specifically states entries will be judged and a winner chosen from them this way.  In this sense there isn’t much you can do to increase your chances other than enter ones that less people are likely to enter such as those you email into rather than complete an entry form. Anything that requires a little more effort tends to get fewer entries, and local ones often get overlooked so if its for something near to you then you might be one of only a few entries.

Get Creative. These competitions tend to have a lot less entries than standard form filling competitions because they require effort. The prizes often tend to be better as well, and often this is the entry method for those dream holidays. I obviously must lack any creativity because I’ve never won anything this way! And I’ve entered a fair few over the years. Perhaps it’s time to start getting a little more adventurous and putting a bit more effort in.

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