Japanese Lucky Waving Cat Symbol

What’s luck got to do with it?

Make your own luck

On hearing my long and impressive list of prizes, a lot of people say to me, “Wow, aren’t you lucky!”. Well actually, no, I’m not. I mean in a very loose, ‘I live in the developed world’ sense of the word, then sure, you could say that I am a lucky person. But actual luck, the suggestion that some people will always win more competitions than others?Nope! I don’t believe that for a second.

Let me start with a really important piece of advice. Comping (that results in winning) requires a lot of time and effort. You have to be relentless, you have to be resilient to losing and you have to stay positive. Otherwise, you may win one or two prizes over a long period of time, but the frequent and regular wins will elude you. Frequent competition wins are not a result of luck, they are a result of chance combined with effort.

There are ways to improve your chances and increase your effort, but there is no way to improve your luck, unless you are superstitious or religious. I am neither. I am stubborn though and I have a really strong work ethic. Work ethic might seem like an odd thing to reference when talking about a hobby. However, when you take the definition of work, ‘activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result’, it’s easy to see how this could apply to my suggestion.

By no means am I trying to put anybody off comping! That’s actually the exact opposite of why I’m here. I just want to be as honest as I can, so that I don’t give anybody false hope. Comping is great! I have won A LOT of prizes. A rough calculation is that I have received over £11,000 worth of prizes in the past 3 years.

Now, £11,000 for free is not something that many people would turn down. It also isn’t a 3 year salary that many people would accept, certainly not in the western world. So please believe me when I say, to live exclusively from the proceeds of competitions, is practically impossible. Once you’ve accepted that it’s not an easy or quick fix to financial hardship, feel free to get very excited about comping.

Dice universal symbol of luck and chance

How much time and effort is ‘a lot’?

One grey area of course, is that people have different ideas of what ‘a lot’ is. The interpreted value of prizes will also vary greatly from person to person dependent on desire, wealth, lifestyle and personality. I thought, therefore, that it would be helpful to show you my interpretation of ‘a lot’ of effort.

My standard week day during term time – I work from home

  • Wake 6am – Mom duties followed by 1 hour of comping whilst my son gets ready for school
  • Work 8am-3pm with 1 hour break (most of which will be used comping or doing paid studies)
  • 3pm Mom duties until bedtime
  • 7pm – My son goes to bed and I comp for about 1 hour before having a late dinner
  • 9pm – I enter competitions from now until bed time, which is generally between 1.30 and 2.30am. (I don’t sleep well, due to pain)
  • Total estimated competitions entered per day is somewhere between 200 and 400

As you can see, I spend a large percentage of my day entering competitions. Please bear in mind that I have medical conditions, which result in me spending a lot of time sitting. I can only do a maximum of about 30 minutes house work or other physical activity at a time. I realise that it’s incredibly unlikely that the majority of people, parents in particular, will have this much time to contribute to competitions, but it gives you an idea of my effort vs rewards. This provides me with a win ratio of about 1.5 items per week.

There are ways to increase your chances of winning compared to time spent, which I discuss in other posts such as How to maximise your chances. I should also add that my way is not the only way to comp. Some people may disagree with my methods, but it’s what works for me in my given circumstances and it may suit you too!

Fairground attractions with "Big Prizes" sign and fireworks overhead

 

 

 

I am a Prize Warrior – My Success

I am a Prize Warrior

I consider myself to be a Prize Warrior (and this is the only self congratulary post that you will get from me) for two reasons. One – I have sought out and been successful in winning a lot of very cool stuff. Some people may have been more successful, but it’s all relative and I am incredibly happy with my achievements so far.

Two – I suffer with an enormous amount of pain every day of my life. Whilst this is not the subject matter of my blog, it’s a huge obstacle  in my life that I have to overcome in order to continue ‘as normal’. Anybody with a chronic pain condition will agree, I’m sure. Pain is very limiting, it makes everything in life challenging and less enjoyable than it used to be. It makes spoiling my family so much more difficult than it was when I could hold down a well paid job! The fact that I have found a way to provide and carry out fun and often pricey trips and holidays for my boy, in spite of my struggles, makes me feel at least a little warrior-esque.

Lady with crutches imagining being able to walk without them

Winning at winning

Partially so that I can chase up missing prizes and partially as a reminder that it’s all worth it, I have tried to drop the congratulations emails and tweets from my wins into a folder for safe keeping. On writing this blog post, however, I realised that many of my prizes turned up unexpectedly through the mail or I received a phone call about them instead! Therefore, unfortunately, I am going to have to rely on my somewhat hazy memory in order to compile a ‘complete’ list of my wins.

This brings me to an important point. It’s a great idea to keep a record of what you have won, for the reasons that I have pointed out above. May I suggest that you keep a more thorough list than I have done up to this point. I intend to regularly update the list on my blog from now on, with ALL of my wins! So hopefully, going forward, I will have put my own suggestion into practice!

What can you win?

How long is a piece of string? You can win literally anything. Prizes really can be as small as a pen or as large as a multi-thousand pound dream holiday. And yes, they do exist. And yes, I have experienced them! The smaller prize competitions are of course easier to come by and generally easier to win, however, hold out for the big wins, because they are there!

In addition to my love of competitions in general, there is a special place in my heart for those giveaways offering bizarre prizes. In this vein, I will be running my own regular “oddest prize of the month” competition. As the title suggests, whomever finds and submits to me the prize that I consider to be the strangest or most random that I have seen that month, will themselves win a prize. Look out for this in my giveaways section.

Of course, there are people who have been doing this for a lot longer than I have and have a far more impressive collection of prizes (Di Coke for example, who is my absolute comping hero!) But my arsenal of wins is not to be sniffed at, with tea bags at one end of the scale and 4 luxury holidays/breaks in the space of a little over a year at the other end!

Holiday snap from Vietnam

Follow my list of prizes

If you are interested in keeping up to date with my winnings and would like to follow then you can pop over to my prize wins page, which is updated on a monthly basis, starting back in 2013 when I had my first win.