Stay Tuned



Our television gave out a loud crackling noise the other day and then the screen went completely blank. In desperation, while it was being repaired we turned our digital radio on and tuned it to smoothfm 95.3 ( I was constantly amazed listening to callers ring in throughout the day trying to identify two voices (smooth stars express) in an attempt to win $10,000 cash. Wow!  I thought, that’s good money for a phone call.  As long as they had to get it right, mind you. But as the days went on more and more clues were given until one lucky listener won the prize.

That really got me thinking about radio competitions. Something I haven’t had much experience with but I am sure attracts quite a few people given the prizes! Rather than flip around from one station to another I let my fingers do the walking and turned to Google for help. After typing in “radio competitions Sydney” I found a number of current competitions each with an excellent prize pool. With so many of us glued to our computer screens or televisions we might actually be overlooking a treasure trove of prizes out there in radio-land.

My first port of call was to 702 ( I used to listen to this regularly but not so much lately. First I found the chance to win a double pass to an exclusive ABC preview of The Grand Budapest Hotel. On closer inspection of their website I also came across what appears to be a weekly photo challenge with presenter Robbie Buck on Friday mornings. Great one for those in Sydney that love to take pics! It didn’t mention the prizes apart from being named photo of the week so I might listen in next Friday and see.

I found another photo competition at 2UE ( through Mornings with Angela Catterns. To quote the website: ‘whether they’re newsworthy, funny, artistic or just have a special meaning to you, the best photo each day will win a $250 Harvey Norman voucher’. Harvey Norman appears to sponsor a number of photo competitions at the moment, obviously promoting their photo centre.

Over at 2CH (, it seems they are still running their ‘secret sound’ competition that I remember from many, many years ago. A new ‘secret sound’ began in February with a starting prize pool of $2000. This jackpots by $50 each week until a winner is found. The last one took a year to be identified so it doesn’t seem to be as easy or as lucrative as the smoothfm one.

I checked in at Nova 96.9 ( to see what other radio stations are offering at the moment. The Fitzy and Wippa Show between 6 – 9am on weekdays is looking for their funniest caller who each day will win a trip for 2 to Melbourne to attend the International Comedy Festival. This could be a great one for those who choose to look on the funny side of life.

It seems there are all kinds of prizes and experiences from cash to vouchers, trips to movie and theatre tickets as well as CDs and DVDs up for grabs just by staying tuned to the radio for a few hours each week. I even found a ‘giveaway’ of a Sustagen sample on one radio site and duly filled out the form. Why not?  I also decided to listen into the airwaves for a few months longer to see what else might be available.

Although these radio stations are Sydney-based and some of these competitions my not be running by the time this post goes live, it would not take too much effort to find out what other competitions and prizes radio stations in other states, especially in rural areas are offering at the moment. And these might just be the ones you are meant to win!

The Prize Pool



It’s been a bit quiet on the winning side for a few weeks so I thought I might ask myself a few questions. What are the prizes I would most like to win? Prizes are becoming (along with ease of entry) one of the main criteria I use to decide which competitions to enter and which ones to give a miss. There are so many prizes on offer every day. It is sometimes hard to choose which competitions to enter.

Travel prizes (or travel vouchers) for either local or overseas holidays or cruises or train trips or weekends away at five-star resorts or health spas and the like appear to be among the most prolific and popular prizes chosen by promoters to attract entrants to their competitions. While I would love to win any of these (especially the health spa ones as I need a bit of rejuvenating) unfortunately some health issues (that’s why I need that spa) prevent me from flying or travelling too far by car. So everyone out there has one less entrant to worry about. I do notice one thing about travel prizes and that is there is usually only one main prize winner and they are also very well publicised – so much harder to win than many of the others.

Cars are another popular prize but like holidays and other high-value prize there is usually one winner and it is probably not going to be me. I don’t drive anymore anyway, but of course I could always sell it.

At the other end of the prize pool spectrum are the many small less valuable prizes such as cosmetics, CDs, books, theatre and movie tickets, toys, kitchen utensils and other household goodies. They are much easier to win for a number of reasons. First, there are generally less entries as the prizes are not as exciting as a holiday or car. There are generally more of them to win with one entry, maybe 10 or 12 but some promoters like supermarket chains might have 50 or more to give away. Much better odds with these! I recently won a Totem Tennis Set which was one of 2000 prizes in conjunction with the Steggles promotion of Australian tennis. Not a great win but a perfect gift for my grandchildren next Christmas.

The majority of competitions have prizes that sit somewhere in the middle. Prizes such as BBQs, iphones, ipads, kitchen gadgets, shopping vouchers, bed linen, clothes etc will always come in handy to keep or to be put away and used for gifts. Shopping vouchers or preloaded Visa cards are my all time favourites as then I get to choose what to buy for myself (or I take us out to lunch for a treat!). I always love to win toys and books for my grandchildren and there are a multitude of websites with competitions for these, like Huggies, Kidspot and Mouths of Mums. I feel I will never need to buy a toy for a birthday or Christmas again!

My other favourite prizes are DVDs. When a new movie or TV series is released on DVD or BlueRay, heaps of websites use the promotion and give quite a number of them away. Beats buying them or renting them from my local video shop and I can always share them around with friends.

A couple of times I have had to chase up a prize like the other day when I sent an email to check if a prize – a yoghurt-making kit – had been despatched as I had not received it. A courteous person responded to my email saying it would probably arrive in a week or so. I thought that was very nice however it actually arrived with a courier today. On other occasions they have arrived unannounced. Along with this parcel came another one – a smaller one with a classical music CD inside from the ABC shop. It was a bit of a surprise as I can’t remember the competition and there was no letter inside. Still, it will make great listening in the afternoons while I take my regular nap.

So off for a snooze until I get some energy to enter a few more comps maybe with a monetary prize this time. That would always be nice!

Swimming In The iPool by JD Hancock

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