How to win competitions – tips from a keen enterer

How to win competitions

I’ve always loved entering competitions. Ever since I was a little girl, I couldn’t resist the thrill of winning.

I’ve won two overseas holidays, $500 cash, $500 in gold coins, vouchers, a $3000 trampoline, rocking chair, pool table, Oz pig fire, movie tickets, hampers and much more. It adds up to over $35,000 in prizes.

Here are a few tips from a keen enterer:

  1. Enter often.

If you want to win lots of competitions, you have to enter lots of them! I probably win one prize for every 100, maybe 200 that I enter. Some people say to me, ‘you’re so lucky… I never win anything…’ When I ask them if they enter competitions, they reply ‘no because I’ll never win!’ I will never win the lotto because I don’t buy a ticket (also it’s pretty unlikely!) if you never enter, chances are you will never win. 

Rather than scrolling aimlessly on your phone, be intentional. Aim to enter one competition a day, or five, or ten! Have favourite websites open on your phone. Join competition groups on Facebook (I run one called ‘Aussie Competitions’). Utilize free websites like ‘win free stuff’ and enter from there. Search paid websites for competitions that catch your eye and then find the same ones on google to enter for free. Use autofill for saving time on completing forms. I never pay to enter a competition unless I am already choosing to buy a product. 

2. Find the small competitions.

Find the small companies and the not well-known competitions to enter where you can. If you only enter the Facebook post that already has 5,000 comments on there, that’s not good odds for you. Utilise the local shopping centres, real estate agents, sports clubs, tv channels, radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Find those that run regular competitions and giveaways. Look further abroad in your city to other suburbs that run competitions too. 

Follow them on social media and sign up to their emails. Download their apps and bookmark their websites. If they let you enter everyday, put a reminder in your phone to do so. As annoying as their advertising is, this is how you hear about their giveaways. Use a different email address if you want to avoid spam in your regular inbox, however you still need to check this regularly. I have been emailed about 4 of my major wins, and am so glad I didn’t miss those!

3. Be creative.

Check out the terms and conditions to see how they are selecting their winner. If it involves skill, spend some time coming up with a witty, creative, clever or original entry. Write something that will set you apart from the rest. I enjoy making up rhyming poems and limericks. I use the free app ‘Rhyme Zone’ as it helps me come up with various words I can use when I’m stuck. 

Many people I talk to complain that they can’t be bothered doing this. That’s fine with me! This narrows down the amount of entries that companies would receive. If you do enter, save these in your notes folder on your phone and use them for future competitions. I have about ten Mother’s Day / Father’s Day / Christmas / Easter / Royal Show / Valentine’s Day etc themed entries that I can tweak year to year. It’s nice to have a starting point which you can work from. If you can, mention the company’s name. They are generously giving away a prize and often like to use the winning entry in their marketing. If it makes them smile and  enlarges their ego a bit, they might just choose you!

4. Be persistent and don’t give up!

Please know that the only way that I have had success with winning is the sheer number I have entered. I have had some near misses too – I had a one in four chance of winning $10,000 cash in my Funniest Home Videos entry, and didn’t get it. I had a one in ten chance of winning a $10,000 gold bullion and I didn’t win. I was one of 100 vying for a brand new car and wasn’t the lucky winner. I have entered competitions 300 times before trying to win renovation prizes or new cars or cash, and wasn’t successful. Some poems I wrote I thought were brilliantly original and funny and definitely stood a chance, yet I never heard back about. I’ve often spent an hour or two mulling over the perfect entry and wasn’t the one they chose.

Some of the ones I’ve won have been quite simple entries, random competitions that I happened to stumble upon. I’m grateful but wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m any more lucky than most. I simply enter often and am creative much. I keep a record of my wins now so don’t lose track of them. 

I won a string of competitions when I had a small baby and toddler. While spending many hours feeding or lying with them to sleep, I would try and make the time count. I was still on my phone, but I was trying to be productive. 

Maybe for you, you are recovering from surgery or an illness. Perhaps you are in isolation. Maybe you have young children or have retired. Perhaps you are facing a relationship breakdown or your kids have left the nest. Whatever your reason, make it count. 

Remember – you’ve got to be in it to win it. 

If you don’t enter, you can’t win!

Good luck and happy entering.

money savvy mamma

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