Meet Jenny England, Competition Crackpot

Seriously, this is going to be Fun!

I made my first New Years resolution for a long time this last New Year: to enter as many competitions as I can through 2014 and track my journey along the way. This way, I decided, was the only way I could develop the best strategies for winning them. I dream of winning glamorous holidays, like cruises along the Nile or maybe a car or some expensive jewellery but I will probably settle for less, perhaps some new kitchen appliances, an Ipad, clothes or toys for my grandchildren or even a weekend at a health spa.

I have always loved entering competitions. As I child I used my pocket money to guess the number of lollies in a jar (at the local fete) or buy a ticket in the schools Christmas raffle. Over the years I have, actually, had a fair degree of success (without any particular strategy). I have won prizes such as clothes, shoes, bottles of wine and restaurant vouchers. Last year I won a smartphone with six months unlimited calls and down-loads by writing a letter to a Sunday paper.

Winning competitions seems to run in my family. Forty years ago my father (now 91) won the Opera House Lottery. The $200,000 prize essentially funded his retirement. Now I have just retired I am looking at winning competitions to help in the coming years (as I think my chances of winning the Lottery might be a bit slim). By the way, did you know that you have more chance of being struck by lightning (1 in 6,000 over your lifetime depending where you live) than winning lotto (1 in 8,145,060)? So I guess my father must have been very lucky!

Competitions appear to offer much better odds then lotto but unfortunately you can’t know what they might be before entering them as it all depends on the number of entries which are not fixed like lotteries or sweepstakes. However you can use your intuition. The more widely promoted and easy to enter they are – the more entries they will attract and the lower your chances of winning will be. There are, however, thousands of competitions (both big and small) offered by companies all around Australia every month with millions of dollars worth of prizes up for grabs each year. So

I am determined to find the best ones and win a few interesting prizes along the way.

The first leg of my journey is to find the best reputable competitions with a reasonable chance of winning something. Here at new online competitions are listed every day with all the information required to enter them. However, there are many more which I now finding by keeping my eyes peeled to promotional advertisements in local papers and magazines. I also decided to enlist the help of family and friends. Once you start this hunt you will probably be overwhelmed, like I am at the moment as here are way too many competitions to choose from. So my next task is to narrow them down to ones I will enter and those I will disregard (for now).

That is scary. What if I don’t enter the right ones? You know – the ones that I am meant to win. I have been examining the lists and have decided the criteria I will be using to choose which ones to enter:-

(1)   Competitions that don’t cost anything to enter. If I have to buy something it will need to be something that I would buy anyway or willing to try.

(2)   Ones that are current but not closing too soon, especially those that require a task. I need to give those ones a little thought.

(3)   Ones with prizes that I could not otherwise afford (like a holiday or car); give to family or friends as a present (children’s toys, DVDs etc) or those that I could use (vouchers, movie tickets, books).

(4)   Skill-based competitions (e.g. uploading a photo or answering a question in 25 words or less) because I am quite good at those and they will attract less entries.

(5)   Competitions with more than one prize. That way there is still a chance of being a runner up and win something

So now that I am starting to make my list I will begin my quest in earnest. 2014 here I come so stay tuned!

end of the day by paul bica
Attribution-NonCommercial License

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at

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  1. Runa

    I hope it’s a recipe for success! Enjoy the journey with all its excitements.

    • Lazaro

      I really like the Dutch cover. It does fit the story. I’ve never been a fan of the ornigial blue cover of Delirium, but I like the new covers. (Unfortunately I have the old one which is not going to match the new cover for Pandemonium). Grr…!

  2. Fi

    Congratulations on the blog Jenny. I’ve worked in It and Marketing most of my life and found myself drawn to competitions from an early age and got back into it recently.

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