As my old prize wins post was getting a little long, I’ve decided to start a fresh one for 2019. I’ll be using the same format as previous years, as I think bulleted lists are more easily digestible. I will however be linking to reviews etc of these prizes as the year goes on and hopefully, the prizes roll in. As I mentioned in my top wins of 2018 post, the start of 2019 is already looking pretty killer!
A T2 goodie bag full of tea and associated products
A madness special edition album and board game set
A box of 10 of 2018s best children’s books from Egmont publishing
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse – The Art Of The Movie
A Lightbox display with changeable letters
An Exit ladies watch worth £139
A 7 day all-inclusive 4 star family holiday to Port Aventura World resort!!!! I’ll be taking this in May 2019. Comping goal for the year achieved on 9th January – and yes I did have to go live on the radio (Heart FM) for this one!!! Post coming soon about stepping out of your comfort zone.
A Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Smart Phone worth £500
A one of a kind illustration from How to Train your Dragon 3 signed by the director
A Transformers Bumblebee movie rubix cube style key chain
Is winning something that we can successfully do together?
Inspired by the newly found knowledge that 1 in 5 jackpot wins are by syndicates, I’ve been looking at the concept of winning together. I’ve joined forces with Lotto Social, who have kindly allowed me to share an amazing offer with my readers. Before I go into the details, however, the concept of Lotto Social has inspired me to look at whether “winning together” is something that would translate into the comping world. After all, whether it’s lotteries or competitions, the goal is the same, we all just want to win!
sharing winnings with others
The idea of winning together is not a new one for me. My Nan has been an avid comper for many years, so comping is in my blood. For as far back as I can remember, she’s bought the same magazines every single week, just for the competitions section. She spends hours completing the various puzzles and posting the little slips away each week, in the hope of bettering the lives of herself and her family.
As a child and even now, in my 30s, whenever I visit my Nan, she will always have a post-it note tucked away with a list of comping questions she needs help with. In reward, she promises to split the prizes with me. I love this idea of grouping together comping efforts and sharing prizes. I feel that it could potentially work well in the wider comping community, providing it’s easily shareable cash prizes on offer. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments, as it’s something I would seriously look at setting up for the Prize Warriors group, if I had enough interest.
How I discovered syndication
Perhaps the most common form of prize sharing is syndication. I’ve always thought the idea of lottery syndication is genius. It’s a simple but effective idea, more players equals more tickets purchased. More tickets purchased equals more chances to win. The jackpot is so ridiculously high for lotteries, that sharing winnings has never been a worry to me!
I first came to syndication in my late teens, whilst working in a factory painting police helmet plates. Each department where I worked ran a small syndicate, with 20-50 members, organised by an overly enthusiastic colleague.Being me, I joined up willingly and actually had a couple of wins too! It never amounted to much once divided into 50 of course, but any winnings were always a very welcome bonus to minimum wage. It was really exciting winning with a group of people, as the atmosphere was great and we’d often go out together and spend the winnings (usually in the pub!) The possibility of winning big together felt nice, it was a buzz and I certainly miss that.
How do Lotto Social help you to win together?
Lotto Social are a site that offer the opportunity for its members to join an online National Lottery syndicate. As someone who is always looking to up my chances of winning at everything, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have a go, especially with their amazing sign up offer.
They have kindly allowed me to share this offer with my readers, just click on this link to take advantage. This gives you 10 lines in your first draw for just £1. They also currently have an additional bonus offer, I’m not sure how long for, but it worked for me. Just click the green pop up bubble on registration and for the same £1 you get:
10 EuroMillions lines
10 UK Millionaire Maker entries
5 FREE Instant win games – win up to £7k! (I actually got 10 free instant wins!)
90 Days No Win, Money Back Guarantee
Following this offer, you can choose to continue your membership for £5 per week, which will give you 10 lines in the draw on both Tuesdays and Fridays, or you can cancel any time you like. Another nice option they have is that they offer winnings as bonus funds. Bonus funds are offered at 4 times the value of the win and can be used to purchase more lottery tickets. I think this is a very attractive offer for small wins of a few pounds.
For me it was a no brainer to at least give the first week a try! For less than the price of a 1st class stamp, that’s a really good amount of chances to win. I’ll update you on how I got on once the draws are made! Please remember that you must be 16+ to become a member.
Free Instant Win Games
I was also lucky enough to get 10 free turns on some of the instant win games they have available. The instant win games offer further opportunities to win cash, however, unlike some simple win or lose games, these also give you the opportunity to collect points. If you win points instead of cash, these can then be redeemed against other instant win games. My 10 free turns actually turned into 2800 points, which is quite a few free games, all of which give you the chance to win real cash. At the moment I’m popping into my account every day for 5 minutes or so to play through some points. I haven’t won any cash yet, but I do win back a lot of points, so it seems that you will have plenty of opportunity to win for free!
Giving back whilst you win
This was another attractive benefit of Lotto Social for me. I am not by any means a wealthy woman, but I do love to find any way that I can to give to those less fortunate than myself. Lotto Social actually gives back a percentage of their profits to community based charities. November’s proceeds went to youth homelessness and anti-bullying charities, both very worthy causes. What’s more, as a member, you get a chance to help decide where this money is directed each month. This is a great way to help improve the lives of other, whilst trying to improve your own. So, I guess it’s also a form of ‘winning together’.
Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase a membership via my link. This does not cost you any extra and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.
I’m running a number of giveaways throughout November and December. Christmas is an expensive time and I often enter competitions in order to help complete my gift shopping list. I will therefore focus on items that can be given as gifts when chosing the prizes to give away.
Please bear in mind that this is a new blog and I have limited means. These prizes have all been sourced by me, they are not collaborations with companies or larger blogs, so they won’t be as impressive as some prizes that more established bloggers can provide.
I am hoping to list 1 new competition each week until the cut off date of 16th December, to ensure prizes can be received in time for Christmas. This gives you plenty of chances to win. You can also take advantage of the fact that, as I am a very new blogger, my entries will likely be really low. Remember what I said about Improving your chances of winning?
For more chances to win Barbie related toys, take a peak at my post How to win 2018’s Top Christmas Toys, which talks about the most popular toys this Christmas. Barbie comes in at number 2, followed by the ever popular LEGO!
Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.
Everybody wants to know which competition sites are the best to use, but not many people ask which competition sites to avoid. There are many “competition sites” which exist simply to gather your private information for marketing purposes. You can usually spot these because they ask for more information than a normal online competition. At most, I am happy to share my name, address, email address and possibly date of birth. Competitions that ask for much more than that start to raise my suspicions.
Some of these sites, although their main purpose is to gather information, do still have a genuine prize to win, although it’s often not exactly as it seems and there are generally hoops to jump through in order to claim it. There are also some that are simply scams and don’t have a prize available at all. Once you have been comping for a while and have had a good look at the type of sites I am referring to, you will become confident in spotting them for yourself.
Please bear in mind that this post is my opinion only. Whilst some of my advice will be from direct personal experience, a lot will be an educated guesses based on these experiences. If you feel that any of the sites below shouldn’t be on the list, then I would love to hear success stories that prove me wrong. Let’s face it, another credible source of prizes can only be a good thing! But if you want to save yourself a lot of time and improve your chances of winning prizes, I would advise you to avoid the following:
Sites that exist purely to gather information from you:
Instant Win 4 Now (instantwin4now.co.uk)
My Offers (myoffers.co.uk)
Surf 4 Prizes (surf4prizes.com)
UK Free Win (ukfreewin.com)
UK Prize (ukprize.co.uk)
Active You (activeyou.co.uk)
My Offers (myoffers.co.uk)
Free Stuff (freestuff.eu/prizes)
Prize Reactor (prizereactor.co.uk)
Dynamic Rewards (dynamic-rewards.org)
Sites that require you to pay to enter competitions
Not everyone will share my opinion, but I see comping as a free activity. I refuse to pay to enter a competition, whether it be directly, like with the sites below or via purchasing a product. If I purchase a product that I would have bought anyway and there happens to be a competition on the pack, I will always give it a go, but I would never buy an item just to enter the competition – that’s what they want you to do!!
ITV (itv.com/win) Paid Entry – although they have the occasional free comp with smaller prizes
BOTB (botb.com) Paid Entry
Simply Prizes (simplyprizes.com) Paid subscription required (Although a 14 day trial is sometimes available for free)
Compers News – Paid subscription required
WeWin4U (wewin4u.co.uk) – Paid subscription automatic entry site
Bauer Media Site Competitions – Are they worth it?
You will probably come to realise, as I have, that a fairly significant percentage of the online competitions available are provided by Bauer Media. They are an enormous media company that own hundreds of magazines, newspapers, radio stations and tv channels. This means that they often have excellent prizes on offer, however, the chance to win them is relatively low.
Bauer media competitions usually run across numerous different websites (which all share the same prize). They can also run for long periods of time, often over a month. This usually applies to the magazine sites, many of which also allow daily entries. These can often be identified by the web address precursor ‘winit’ or ‘winsomething’. Bauer Radio station and TV channel competitions generally have shorter entry periods and much bigger prizes than their magazine counterparts.
All of this, of course, means that the amount of entrants for each prize will be colossal. Having said that, I’m not going to advise against Bauer media competitions. Personally, I do enter them. I’ve also won a large prize in the past from one of its radio stations, proving that, although unlikely, a win is certainly possible.
I work on the basis that somebody has to win! But do bear in mind my advice about prioritising your time. My method is to only enter a competition on a Bauer media site if it’s offering something that I REALLY want. If time is minimal for you, you might be best to skip them, or at least leave them until very last.
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.
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!
This is a comprehensive (as far as memory allows) list of all of my competition prize wins since I began comping back in 2013. It took me a while to get my head around it. I needed to find the best techniques, discover which websites to use and which to avoid and therefore, it was a while before I started to win very much.
I am also going to put a disclaimer in here, that whilst I believe that luck plays very little part in winning competitions, there are certainly ups and downs in comping and definitely no guarantees. Please do not go into comping expecting to win! If you look at it as a fun pass time and see every win as a bonus, then you will be as passionate about it as I am!
During this period I was either severely ill throughout my pregnancy or severely ill looking after a new born/young baby. Although I initially started comping during this period, I didn’t really begin to take it seriously (or keep a proper list) until half way through 2016, when I had a far more manageable 2 year old. For that reason, and due to my appalling memory, the list covering this period is incomplete!
Lego Elves Treehouse Playset
Hamper of Avery craft labels and small gifts to label up, such as wine and soaps
Numerous Crafting and sewing sets
Choice of £50 worth of stamping supplies
4 night stay in a detached lodge at Bluestone National Park in Wales
St. Ives Beach house stay worth £1k – this was my favourite win of 2015
4 x tickets to see Peppa Pig’s Surprise Live at Birmingham Alexander Theatre
£750 Canopy and Stars Voucher – I managed to pay for the vast majority of 2 separate family breaks with this: Lime Tree House, Worcestershire and Lima Shepherd’s Hut , Gloucestershire – This was my favourite win of 2016
Playbrush smart kids electric toothbrush with app
3 vintage hair bows
Iconic moments in film 20 DVD bundle
2 x Grand Designs live tickets for the NEC
A Maps International kids doodle world map
Flexitol footcare products
Amazon Fire HD for Kids with drop-proof case
A Ladies padded Gilet from Damart
Ergonmic standing desk worth £500
Green people organic bath and body set
Rory’s Story Cubes – Batman Edition
Luxury 3 night family stay at Bashford Lodge in the Quantocks worth over £1000
A keyboard shaped desk tidy
1tb Xbox 360 with 2 games
Illustrated special edition Beauty and the Beast hardback book and poster
Marvel’s Logan movie merchandise pack
9 lottery scratch cards (sadly none were winners!)
Confessions of a modern woman book
Joe Browns fitted t-shirt
A Smart Kettle worth £199
4 x Thunderbirds models, large Tracey Island Playset and Backpack
A plush bunny rabbit toy
6 months supply of Floradix liquid vitamins
A large Disney dolls set
Project MC2 Doll set
£300 luxury vegan chocolate from Bean and Pod
3 x bottles of Tubby Tom’s hot sauce
Top Sante – Little book of earrings
Kidunk kids waterproof outdoor clothing and wellies set
Rhynil double strength snoring spray
4 x Plasticine playsets
Personalised wooden photo frame
Family tickets to Walking with Dinosaurs live, Hilton hotel stay and £50 voucher for dinosaur merchandise – This was my favourite win of 2017!!
Alien covenant merchandise bundle
£10 love to shop voucher
Set of 12 Titliest golf balls
Original custom Sian Hoffman waspie corset worth £350 (Sian Hoffman is a designer that makes corset’s for celebs and vogue fashion shows)
Day trip to London for 2 with personal shopper experience, Afternoon Tea and 5 star Japanese Meal
£500 Jigsaw voucher
2017 saw a total of 30 prizes, which is more than one win fortnight.
£50 Schuh voucher
Storm bloc socks bundle
£20 Roberts bakery products vouchers and a LOT of bread products. 3 crates worth!!
Heddy Lamar Movie
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool DVD
Rolys Vegan fudge
Muddy Puddles Kids Wellies
Family VR cafe experience
Family tickets to Cirque Berserk and cast meet
OXO Herb keeper and herb growing starter set
Large Peppa pig bundle of toys worth £150
Toni and Guy hair serum
Family Premium Merlin annual passes – this is my favourite win this year to date!!
Large Toymaster bundle including £200 of toys
Large tub of Lego
Ooks app goody bag and free app credit to create a story book
On professional running clothes kit and trainers worth £300
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.
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!
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.