7 tips to successfully winning competitions and prizes

7 tips to successfully winning competitions and prizes

I’ve always been a sucker for entering competitions, even as a child. At the time of writing, I have won over $35,000 in prizes.

Recently I won a West Elm arm chair worth $899. It was based on creativity so I wrote a poem about coffee (7 verses. I really like the stuff 😂).

A few years ago I won an OzPig in a caravanning tv show competition. There were about 25 prizes drawn out and I was so excited. However, they never contacted me about my prize and I was unable to contact them. It was a legit competition (as far as I know) and a real tv show but for some reason, they didn’t give me my prize. I contacted OzPig directly and they were fabulous. They weren’t sure what happened but immediately arranged for me to be sent one, and they even threw in hundreds of dollars of accessories. It was amazingly generous and I’m so grateful.

A few years back I was scrolling through Facebook and saw one for the Adelaide Crows. It was 25 words or less about what Claude the Crow would pack in his suitcase.

I wrote:

There once was a mascot called Claude,

a plane he was about to board,

he decided to pack

lozenges and snacks,

to cheer on the Crows as they scored!

Controversially it was 29 words. I spent ages making sure there was the correct amount of syllables for each line of the Limerick and forgot to go back and count the words. Miraculously I still won (mainly because there was only 150 entries).

The next stage was running around Adelaide Oval during half time to ‘race the plane’ (a pretend plane that moved around the edge of the stadium, where the ads normally are). I sprinted and dodged obstacles and won.

It was the best comp for me as I got to combine two of my most favourite things- writing and running. Even though mosh people weren’t watching, it was amazing to run at the oval.

The prize was two business class return tickets to London, Paris, NYC or LA. We chose New York!

I’ve won a $3000 Springfree Trampoline, $1000 feeding chair, a year’s supply of cereal and a trip to New Orleans. It’s been pretty unreal.

Here are some times I’ve had wins but missed out on the big ones:

• I once entered 400 times to try and win a car. I didn’t know how to use auto fill for my details so literally filled out the form 400 times. I didn’t win. (Hubby couldn’t believe I didn’t know how to autofill stuff. It’s since been a game changer.)

• I once won gold coins worth $500 through second chance draw on a pen packet, back in the days of having to physically send off an entry form in the mail. I had a one in ten chance of winning a $10,000 gold bullion but didn’t.

• I won $500 on Funniest Home Videos when my mum hit my brother in the head with a golf club (!). I had a one in four chance of winning $10,000 but didn’t (a man who caught his pants on fire won instead).

• I won movie tickets while at my part time job but missed out on winning a trip to Thailand (my average sale was a few cents lower than the winner).

• I won a romantic trip to the Dandegon Ranges but forgot I had a toddler and it was a child free place 🙈😆. I also didn’t realise how far away it was from where I live so had to forfeit the prize.

• I was in the running to win a car. I was a finalist for a radio station competition but didn’t win.

Here are seven tips to have success with competitions to give you a better chance of winning awesome prizes:

Tip 1- Find the small competitions.

I love reading comments on competition announcements, especially people who complain that they don’t win. ‘I never win anything.’ ‘It’s rigged.’ ‘I’m never lucky.’ ‘I’m contacting the ACCC.’ ‘My entry should have won. It was the best.’

Often these pages were entered by thousands of people. Are they really surprised that they didn’t win?

If you enter the lotto, you have a one in a million (or more) chance of winning. That’s not great odds. If you are one of ten thousand entering to win a prize, that’s also not great odds.

Look for the smaller pages and companies running competitions. Look for those where you actually have a chance to win. You never know, you might have success!

Tip 2: Enter often.

I hear lots of people whinge that they never win anything. When I ask if they ever enter, they sheepishly answer no.

You’ve got to be in it to win it! Enter 5 a day or 10 a week, or however much you like. Just know your odds go up the more you enter. I probably win one out of every 100 I enter, or at least feels like that. If you enter once a week one that 5,000 people have entered, you’re probably not going to have much success.

Tip 3: Look out for the themed ones.

There are often lots around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, Easter, The Royal Show, Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas.. you get the idea! I often enter lots of these and then have a break for a few weeks.

This is a time that many companies use to advertise and try to attract new people to like their pages, follow them and subscribe to their emails. Make the most of it (and you can always unfollow and unsubscribe if it gets annoying).

Tip 4: Use some skill.

If you want to win more competitions, or perhaps just some bigger ones, this is my favourite one to do. Many people avoid the entries that require 25 words or less because it seems too much work.

This is great for people like me who can’t help but create a silly rhyme or somewhat clever answer.

Take time to figure out what the question is asking you. What do they want from your entry? Do they want to you talk about their company or product? Could you use humour? Could you write a Limerick or rhyme? Could you write an acrostic poem?

Some companies use the winning entry towards future marketing. Thinking about it from this angle can make entry count.

Tip 5: Save your entries.

This is a super easy way to enter more skilful comps. Simply copy and paste your entries into the notes section of your phone, under the category ‘competitions.’ Then when a similar comp comes up, you can search for an entry that you’ve already done (eg for Fathers Day). I did this with the coffee entry recently and simply had to tweak it to fit the new question. I have 332 saved notes in my competition category. 🙈

This saves you time, energy and creativity. Why start from scratch every time a competition comes up?

Tip 6: Enter at the last minute.

Some competitions that require you to comment on and share their posts can attract a lot of interest. I often avoid these but if there is less than a couple of hundred entries, I’ll comment and then put a reminder in my phone to enter it an hour before closing time. This might be a bit cheeky and selfish but I don’t always want everyone seeing the competition and then entering too! This way, you make sure you still have a chance to win big potentially reduce the amount of people who see the competition.

Tip 7: Talk up the promoter or company.

I think that this is a big one! Someone is giving away a prize. They want to increase their publicity, gain more followers or likes. have more on their email list and in turn, make more profit. If it is a competition that requires you to write something, include the name or names of those involved. Make them smile or blush as they read your entry. Make them feel good.

Suck up to them and pretend if you need to that you think they are awesome. (I pretended that I love oat milk in my coffee to win a chair. I’m allergic to oats, minor detail 😆 I was sent out some milk which I’ll pass on to a grateful family member 😉.) Make them laugh with how witty you are. Make the entry so good that not only will they want to choose you as their winner, but they’ll want to use it in upcoming promotional material.

Final thoughts:

I’m closing, entering competitions can lead to some amazing opportunities and memory building experiences. They can help win you appliances and electronics, cars, tickets, trips and more.

Be prepared to enter far more than you win and be disappointed more than you are celebrating. Be prepared to put some time and energy into your entries, knowing that with some creativity and humour, yours might stand out from the crowd. Be picky and only enter the ones that you’d actually like to win. There’s no point getting a prize that you don’t want to keep, unless to plan to sell them later.

With a bit of hard work and luck, and giving these tips a go, you too might be able to have some success with competitions!

Have you ever won something? I’d love to find out more below!


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