Prizes I Haven’t Won … Yet

 

 

We all have those elusive prizes we really want to win in the back of our minds when we enter competitions. You know – those things we can’t afford to but for ourselves. Otherwise, well, what’s the point? My list has evolved over the past year while I discovered and surveyed all the various competitions available to us in Australia; the prizes on offer and the odds of winning them. What a list!
On top of my list is a new car. Since my husband retired at the beginning of this year we have been sharing one car. It doesn’t actually bother me but as time goes by and it ages I am not sure we will be able to afford a new one. So number one on my list is a brand new sparkling car. Luckily there are quite a few competitions with cars as prizes but on the downside the chances of winning are fairly slim, but not impossible. I persist with as many as I can find particularly those in the puzzle magazines. My latest attempt is through a Lovett Puzzle Magazine competition. But it doesn’t close until January next year so I will try to find a few more to enter before then. . I also think I know the answer to the GuessWho car competition so I am entering that too. Yesterday I entered a competition to win a Vespa scooter through The Upstairs Lounge – that would be a great prize too!
Number two on my ever-growing list is a holiday. But this is not necessarily for me although a holiday in Tasmania (there are always these ones available to enter) or a trip on The Ghan (pretty regular competitions too) would be good. I would really love to win an overseas holiday for one of my children, possibly my son who is still slightly footloose and fancy-free. There are so many on this website the odds must be reasonably good so I will continue with this quest as well.
While reaching casually into my grocery cupboard the other day I came across a jar of Dick Smith peanut butter with WIN on the label. Boy… was I cranky! How could I have missed this opportunity? On top of the fact that I had not noticed it (my husband does most of the shopping and he isn’t as tuned into competitions as me) the prize was a helicopter trip with Dick Smith himself. That would he been the perfect birthday or Christmas present for the said, old hubbie of mine. So of course I didn’t win because I didn’t enter it because it was well past the closing date. A little bit of further research revealed that there were about 4,000 entries. That could have clearly been placed number three on my prize list. According to a mutual friend of Dick Smith it is very likely he will have more competitions like this – so now I am keeping my eyes peeled to everything he brings home in the shopping from now on.
Now for number four. This may sound absurd but what I would really love to win is a large box of chocolate coated strawberries. I saw this on a Facebook page of Captain’s Wife Catering, a local business the other day but you had to comment on all the toppings they had put on them. Too hard…but then again…so yummy. OK then I’ll have a go! I’ll let you know when I win them… Then again any win that involves chocolate would be mush appreciated.
Number five is simply cash. But apart from Lotto and Lotteries there are not as many ways to win this. So in a few weeks I will look at some other ways of getting your hands on extra cash especially useful as the months lead up to Christmas. Finally here is one thought on winning I found the other day that I thought I might share:

‘‘Winning isn’t everything but the will to win is.” Vince Lombardi

It’s School Holidays Again?

 

 

Its school holidays again (boy, do they come around fast!) so I thought I might share some of the freebies and competitions I have found lately for my grandkids. The first one I came across while out shopping the other week was the Officeworks Kid’s Ollie Club – www.olliekidsclub.officeworks.com.au. To join the kids up all you have to do is fill out a form in the shop or online. Members will then be sent a card to take to their nearest store to pick up a Members Pack (a care with pencils, rubber, sharpener and ruler and a box of coloured pencils). There are regular competitions each month on the website and a birthday surprise as well as activities in the store during lunch time on each day of the school holidays. If your kids are into art and craft and related activities it would pay to get in touch with your local store for more information.

While wandering around online I also came across the IGA Kids Club – www.igakidsclub.com.au – which appears to also have all kinds of activities online and birthday vouchers for members. So I duly enrolled my littlies.

Quite a number of websites have free downloads of activity sheets and colouring pages. One of the best local ones is Kidspot (www.kidspot.com.au). Just click on the link ‘Things to Do’. If your girls are into Frozen (like my granddaughter) or your boys or girls into Lion King here is another site with colouring pages they might enjoy – www.disneymovieslist.com/colouringpages.

It’s spring now so it seems a good idea to get the kids outdoors as much as possible to enjoy the warmer weather. In my search for things to do with the grandkids I came across the Yates Spring Veggie Growing Challenge at www.yates.com.au. If you apply to enter the challenge they will send out some free vegetable seeds. All the kids have to do then is to plant them and grow them, taking photos along the way which they upload to the website with comments. I am sure quite a few young gardeners would love this. While on the subject of gardening, free seeds are also available by purchasing a loaf of Abbots Village Bakery bread and filling out an entry form with your details and a unique promotional code found on the bread wrapper at www.growyourownsandwich.com.au.

More active kids might prefer to win a Year of Bowling at AMF Bowling. More information and an entry form can be found at www.facebook.com/AMFBowling. Simply click on WIN PRIZES.

Writing competitions can be a great way to help kids with an interest in writing to hone their skills through the school holidays and motivate them a little before school goes back. Here are a couple I found:
1. Andy Griffiths Kids Writing Competition. This one closes on October 14th and is open to kids between 6 and 12 years. The entry needs to be an original story between 200 and 500 words based on the theme – Living in a Treehouse. The winner will have their story illustrated by Terry Denton then framed and presented to their school. The top ten entries will also win an Andy Griffiths book pack. You can check it out at www.dymocks.com.au/promotions.
2. Writing Classes for Kids Writing Competition. This one is for children under the age of 18 years and involves writing a story of no more than 500 words on the theme of space. The ten winning entries will be published in an e-book and winners will also receive a certificate. For more details head to www.writingclassesforkids.com. The closing date is 31st October.
Legitimate writing competitions are usually free to enter so if the competition asks for an entry fee, I would give it a miss. As with all competitions, it is always important to read the terms and conditions carefully, make sure the entry doesn’t go over the word limit and get it in before the closing date.

Finally, let’s not forget that it is still free and heaps of fun for kids to simply spend some time at a local park or beach (with a picnic lunch) or just hang out with friends.

More on Scam Spotting

 

 

The other day I almost clicked on a link on a Facebook Page that was informing me that Kmart were giving away $1000 gift vouchers. Just as I was about to reach for the mouse when a Norton Screen suddenly popped up announcing that it had blocked some suspicious incoming content. I was more than relieved and promptly ‘unliked’ the Facebook group page where this came from. A good lesson learned, I thought especially when it is so easy to get lured into something when you are so keen to win.
Later that morning I was flipping through the SMH TV Guide and came across an interesting article on Web Security alerting readers to ‘clickjacking’. Here is a little of what it said:
“Social media has emerged as the perfect playground for click tricks. Scammers reach out to us when we are relaxed, seemingly in safe company among our friends – ideal for baiting users with compromised content.” So even Facebook is not safe from scammers, so beware and report anything suspicious to phish@fb.com.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has put out a handy little brochure called The Little Black Book of Scams and I would recommend anyone interested getting a copy of this free publication and registering for email scam updates and reports through www.scamwatch.gov.au.
This site and the booklet outline all kinds of scams including advance fee cams, banking and online account scams, dating and romance scams, business and charity scams but the one that is most relevant here to dedicated compers are the lottery, sweepstakes and competition scams and computer hacking scams.
Competition, sweepstakes and lottery scams are run both online and by snail mail. Scammers often buy mailing lists of people who enter competitions from other scammers which can indicate that giving up so much information in a competition entry can have a flow on effect which we only find out about later on. Competition scams can involve trying to trick you into giving money upfront or personal details in order to receive a prize. Most of the time these scams are easy to detect as legitimate lotteries do not require these to collect prizes. They can also involve, like the one I discovered, clicking another link for further information which can then activate the scam. This is where a little restraint may be necessary. Simply think about it. Do you know where the email came from? Does it sound too far fetched to be true?
Snail mail scams often come from overseas and if you have no knowledge of where they came from or who sent it, you are probably looking at a scam. Just rip these up and place them in the bin.
To protect yourself from scams it is also extremely important to keep your computer and mailbox secure. Make sure you continue to update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and only buy reputable ones. Keep your letterbox safe as well as fraudsters can access personal details from much of your snail mail.
Finally here is a list of the government agencies that can deal with scams if they affect you. If you are involved in a group, they often have speakers who will come out and give talks about scams – that’s part of their job! And don’t forget – you can always contact your local police.

NSW – NSW Office of Fair Trading – www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Victoria – Consumer Affairs Victoria – www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Qld – Queensland Office of Fair Trading – www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au

South Australia – Consumer and Businesses Services SA – www.ocba.sa.gov.au

ACT – ACT Office of Regulatory Services – www.ors.act.gov.au

NT – NT Consumer Affairs – www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au

Tasmania – Tasmanian Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading – www.consumer.tas.gov.au

A Comper Quiz

 

 

Want to find out just how committed you are to comping. Well, why not take this fun quiz to find out:-

1. You are standing in a long supermarket queue and have nearly reached the checkout. You spot a sign promoting a competition at the back of the shop. Do you:-
A. Ignore it and proceed to the checkout when called
B. Make a mental note to check it out next time you are in
C. Jump out of the queue, run down to take down all the relevant details and then rejoin the end of the queue

2. You are on holidays. Do you:-
A. Relax and enjoy yourself
B. Take your laptop so you can check for competitions each morning
C. Talk about competitions all the time, check out local papers and look in shops for anything you can enter

3. You buy magazines. To:-
A. Read the articles
B. Check out the ads
C. Look for competitions

4. After dinner it’s time for a little TV viewing. Do you:-
A. Relax and sit back and enjoy the show
B. Keep a notepad handy in case a competition is advertised
C. Constantly switch channels in search of any competitions you may have missed

5. You visit your local shopping centre regularly to:-
A. Shop
B. Shop and catch up with friends for a cup of coffee
C. Find the latest competitions

6. The phone rings. Do you:-
A. Let it go to voicemail
B. Casually pick it up and answer it
C. Rush to answer it just in case it is a call to inform you of your big win

7. Your fridge needs replacing. Do you:-
A. Go out and buy a new one
B. Start saving up for a new one
C. Immediately look for competitions where there is a fridge or a white goods voucher as a prize

8. Facebook is a place where you:-
A. Share photos with family and friends
B. Organise social events
C. Enter competitions

The answers are pretty obvious really. Mostly A’s and your laid back and pretty relaxed about your comping. Mostly B’s and you are involved but not to any extent that could cause concern. Mostly C’s and I suspect you already know – you’re addicted. Maybe you need to take a break and look at your social life. So, how did you fare?

Some Food For Thought

 

 

Last year I won a $200 gift voucher in a NSW Lottery Mother’s Day promotion. I used it to buy two restaurant vouchers (which I gave to my two children) and a gourmet hamper for me. I often use gift voucher prizes for restaurant meals and gourmet food as these are usually beyond our tight household budget. This year I have won two recipe books. The first one Nanna No Hats, Corries Delicious Recipes from Yesteryear, was by entering one of my own family recipes in a magazine competition. The other one, The Pepperpot Club, A Celebration of Caribbean Cuisine, was by entering a WOL competition run by a publisher. I am a pretty average cook and enjoy my food but these two books are destined to leave my house as Christmas presents. I hope they will be appreciated.
In the more distant past I have won a number of bottles of wine. These are also great presents as I don’t actually drink alcohol. In the forum lately there have been a few more ‘foodie’ wins – including a year’s supply of Lindt chocolate and a huge can of Milo. It seems that anything with chocolate in it or wine are definitely two on the top of happily-won prizes. So too are kitchen gadgets and appliances from elegant food mixers, coffee machines, toasters, slow cookers and pots and pans to barbeques and barbeque utensils. Occasionally I have even noticed a whole kitchen up for grabs.
So where can we find all these goodies. There are quite a number of ‘foodie’ websites where competitions are run regularly. For a start some of these include:-
1. Taste – (www.taste.com.au/competitions)
2. SBS Food – (www.sbs.com.au/food)
3. Australian Good Food and Travel Guide – (www.agfg.com.au/guide/competitions)
4. Australian Healthy Food Guide – (www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/competitions)
So what do you have to do to win some of these? It varies as usual from a simple random draw entry to a WOL answer to uploading a recipe (often with a photo) onto their website or Facebook page. All quite do-able if you are into food and keen to win.
Another way to score free food is by applying for samples through websites such as Free Samples in Australia By Mail Only (www.ez007.net/FreeSamplesAustraliaByMailOnly). My kitchen cupboards have been stocked with samples of Zuppa Soups, Continental casserole bases, lollies (Allens and Wiz Fiz), hot chocolate mix (Divinity Hot Chocolate) snack bars, Sustagen, and various other sauce mixes as well as many more I can’t remember. Coles and Woolworths have regular giveaways in-store and online or through their Facebook pages.
There are also a couple of subscription sample boxes. I don’t subscribe to any but many people love the full sized sample packs delivered to their door and are prepared to pay for them. The latest on Red Paw Paw (www.redpawpaw.com.au) had a big hiccup this year not long after it appeared and had to start charging postage as well as the $5 subscription per month however many subscribers were still happy to continue (although many were not). Not so well know is Native Box (www.nativebox.com.au). They describe their service thus: “Each month, you’ll discover a box full of eco products. You get to choose a box type: Classic, SuperSize, Mum & Bub, Vegan, Snack Box and Men’s. Boxes start from $21.60p/m including shipping�?. This is also a subscription sample box of mostly natural food. They also have a regular Fun Friday Giveaway. Could be worth checking out if it sounds interesting.
Finally, if you are a keen cook with lots of great homemade recipes hanging around your kitchen you can also send your recipes into some magazines and be paid. I have had a look and generally this could be around $50 in women’s magazines such as That’s Life and Take 5. But I am sure there are plenty of others.

Prizewinning Pets

 

 

I just entered a photo of my chubby, tabby cat, Bondi into a Whiskas Big Cat Facebook Competition. It has 5 prizes of $5,000 so definitely worth a try. I know she won’t win it though because it is a voting competition and I don’t have that many Facebook (or other) friends. If you have a pretty or amusing cat photo there is still time to enter at – www.facebook.com/WhiskasAU – as it doesn’t close until 2nd September. I entered it just for fun. However when I got to the end of the entry form it asked if I would like a free sample of cat food, so of course I clicked ‘yes’ and promptly entered my postal address. Actually, I already seem to be on quite a few pet food mailing lists because I often get samples of cat food (and dog food) in the mail. Bondi is a very fussy eater so if I think she won’t touch it I take it around to my local vet where it is well received and I get a few brownie points for my donation. Over the last six months I have received samples and vouchers from Whiskas, Purina, Royal Canin and some others I can’t remember.

Competitions involving pets seem to be on the rise (although they fluctuate through the year), especially on Facebook and Instagram and at pet food outlets and through online pet supply websites. I did a quick Google search and came up with a few. I found:-

  1. Rate My Pet– Lifestyle Channel runs this photo voting competition in conjunction with Minipet with a weekly prize of a $250 voucher. T
  2. Love That Pet – offers a monthly prize of a $100 voucher for the most creative photo entry. The only issue is that you need to make a purchase through their website first.

     Village Vets Australia is hosting another Lifestyle Channel competition where each week a selection of animal photos and stories of the animals for a chance to win money. If you are interested so to http://www.lifestyle.com.au/animaltales/ but be quick as it closes on the 28th August. It also pays to keep an eye out in your local pet supply store when you are picking up bits and pieces and on the packaging of pet foods if you buy them in your local supermarket. When you notice any signs or packaging with ‘win’ or ‘competition’ on them, it’s time to act!  Of course if you have a very serious relationship with your pet and would like to attend the Pet Expo 2014 it is being held on the 10th and 11th October at TechnologyPark, Redfern Sydney. As this is by and large a trade show I would more than likely bet there will be lots of sample give-ways and competitions for visitors.

And finally to some magazines. Pets Magazine published by Universal Magazines is very likely to run a Christmas competition (a little bird alerted me – so keep a lookout). The two most popular real life weekly magazines often pay for interesting or amusing photos of pets. That’s Life has a Pet’s Pinups page where they pay $50 per photo published. Send your photos to: tl.pets@pacificmag.com.auTake 5 also has a pet page, Animal Crackers where thy pay $25 for a published photo. Send to:

Take5@bauer-media.com.au. Last of all, quite by chance I came across a note in a copy of Readers Digest which noted that they will pay up to $100 for an interesting (300word) story involving a pet. Maybe your pet can help pay for their keep a little. Fingers Crossed.

It’s Nearly Spring

 

 

It’s nearly Spring. In a couple of weeks we can start saying goodbye to winter coughs and colds, freezing nights and sunless days. We will also start saying goodbye to competitions involving your favourite winter recipe or those with prizes of holidays in the snow. Soon we will start saying hello to warmer days, shorter nights and our gardens might start blooming again. Competitions will probably start becoming more interesting with prizes such as a summer cruise or a dinner for two or a new summer outfit or swimming costume.

The first lot will definitely be a series of Father’s Day competitions. Most have already begun but you still have until the 7th September to get your act together. I have been spotting them everywhere. In my local newsagent I found a Hallmark competition with an Outdoor Chef Portable BBQ prize. The only catch is you have to buy a Hallmark Father’s Day card and fill out the entry form at the store. Easy! Then there is the one run by Ray’s Outdoors to win your dad’s ‘ultimate wish list’ (you do need to register for their rewards club first though). So its time to start getting your pens out and putting together some excellent 25 WOL answers about how great your dad is and sorting through all those candid shots of him for photo competitions. I am sure he would love a new BBQ or tool box or some aftershave lotion.

Then just as fast as it came Father’s Day will disappear for another year. As the weather warms up most businesses will be looking ahead to their busiest time of the year – the months leading up to Christmas so I predict a lot of competitions competing for our attention.

Christmas! Not that far off and for those with a good winning edge can begin stashing away prizes suitable for Christmas presents (I have already been doing this for months). I just need to stock up on a few more and enjoy the saving which I can spend on a lavish Christmas lunch. Christmas was definitely invented for kids so here are a few sites with regular competitions with toys, books, activities and show tickets as prizes in time for the school holidays as well.

  1. Kidspot – (www.kidspot.com.au/Competition/competition.asp). Lots of toys and goodies offered as prizes every month. I have won two from this site already.
  2. Huggies – (www.huggies.com.au/promotions). Great site for the little ones and they have freebies from time to time as well.
  3. ToysRus – What can I say? I site packed full of toys so any prizes of course will be toys.
  4. Kids Book Review – This excellent site runs regular competitions with giveaways of some of the latest children’s books on the market.
  5. The ABC Shop – (https://shop.abc.net.au/promos/competitions). Great for toys, books, activities and tickets for the little ones who love to watch the kid’s shows on the ABC.
  6. Smiggle – They runo ccasional competitions with great stuff for those arty/crafty kids and those getting ready for pre-school or school next year.

Then once you have won that treat for the dad in your life, and sorted the kid’s presents for Christmas it is time to win something for yourself or some of the other special people in your life. If it was me I’d be taking a good look at these sites over the next few months:-

  1. SheSaid – Although this site offers great prizes I think the chances are not as good as some others but you never know.
  2. Femail – Lots of regular competitions with prizes suitable for the females in your life.
  3. Beauty Haven – (www.beautyheaven.com.au/competitions).
  4. Body and Soul – (www.bodyandsoul.com.au/win).
  5. Mindfood – Run lots of competitions although I have never won one.

Then I would lie down, grab a cup of tea and some bikkies and have a good rest!

“Like’, “Comment” and “Share” to Win

 

 

I just finished watching an intriguing and illuminating documentary on The ABC Four Corners programme about the power of ‘Liking’, ‘Commenting’, ‘Re-tweeting’, ‘Sharing’ and ‘Following’ on social media. Who could have thought, even five years ago how such a small idea and some quick movements of the finger could evolve into the influential and massive power of the social media movement of today.

Suddenly, almost overnight it seems, all kinds of people, organisations, community groups and businesses are offering free samples or the chance to win large and small prizes (or all of these) through their Facebook pages: all with the ultimate goal of increasing their followers and building their presence or their brand on the internet and in the community.

I have seen small, relatively insignificant Facebook pages grow from a few followers to over 100,000 in a couple of months. It is truly an amazing phenomenon. But back to competitions… What does this mean for us happy, busy compers? Well, mostly good news tempered with a little bad.

The good news is the increasingly large number of competitions now on offer every day with some great prizes. Some are really creative and fun to enter as well others are simply a random draw. My favourite ones from the last few months have been WOL competition run by Amayzim; a series of caption competitions through IGA; and the Rams photo-bombing competition. At the moment Divinity Hot Chocolate are offering free samples of their delicious hot chocolate as well as the chance to win a Chocolate Expresso Machine with a selfie. Betadine are also giving away 1000 soft squishy toys by giving them a name. Diary of a Comp Queen runs regular small competitions with some great prizes by ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ on their page. And there are heaps and heaps more…

Facebook used to have very strict rules regarding the running of competitions and promotions through timelines and pages but these were relaxed late last year so that now almost anyone can put one together as long as they stick to a few simple guidelines. There are still some very important rules and if you find a competition that does not adhere to them, I suggest you don’t support it on principle.

So, what can a Facebook competition sponsor do now? They can:

  1. Run a competition through a page, timeline post or an application
  2. Allow people to enter by ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’ or messaging the page
  3. Use ‘likes’ for people to vote for their favourite entry (a comment or photo)

What they can’t do is;

  1. Run a competition on a personal timeline
  2. Require people to ‘tag’ themselves on content they are not in
  3. Require people to ‘share’ to their personal timeline (although they can suggest or encourage people to ‘share’ but not as a requirement to enter)

Herewith we find our first bit of bad news. If there is a little (or a lot) of ‘sharing’ your chances of winning any of the prizes is reduced.

Added to all that there are rules that also must be adhered to including a link to a full set of terms and conditions (required by the particular state laws) and a disclaimer of liability for Facebook. The other ‘tricky’ thing about many Facebook competitions is chasing up a prize you might have won. Some don’t announce the winners automatically but expect people to check it and then message them with their contact details in order to claim the prize by a certain date. So always check out any fine print first.

Enough said. I still think – get out there and enter them because…‘you gotta….’

You can always ‘unlike’ them later on. That’s what I do!

You Can Call Yourself a Comper…

 

 

You can call yourself a comper if… 

–         you can happily skip your morning coffee but you can’t start the day without checking out the latest competitions on your favourite website

–         the words ‘win’ and ‘congratulations’ set your heart aflutter

–         you don’t like weekends as there is no post

–         you like Mondays as the post resumes

–         your shopping trolley is filled with all kinds of obscure products all with WIN somewhere on their packaging

–         you carefully place all your shopping dockets and receipts neatly in a box marked ‘proof of purchase’

–         you put off buying something you need just in case you win one

–         you check your calendar regularly for the closing dates of the very best competitions

–         your inbox is starting to fill with a lot of spam 

You are truly addicted to comping when…

–         you keep your passport up-to-date just in case you win that overseas trip you have always dreamed about

–         your husband thinks you are having an affair with the postman

–         you keep a notebook and pen by the bed in case you think of that great 25 words or less answer in the middle of the night

–         your friends stop calling because they are sick of you telling them about all the prizes your have won

–         you have a special box filled with potential presents for the next round of family birthdays and Christmas

–         you rush to your email inbox as soon as you get home to check if you have won anything

–         Facebook friends start un-friending you because of the all competitions you have to ‘share’

Only a comper understands…

–         what WOL means

–         the anxious wait for a prize you won a few weeks earlier

–         that putting 25 words together creatively can be such a challenge

–         the RSI in your wrist from filling out hundreds of entry forms

–         the pain of an empty mailbox

The freeloader in you has been activated when…

–         your kitchen cupboard is filled with samples of new grocery items

–         your bathroom cupboard is filled with samples of new cosmetic items

–         your desk draw is full of free pens and scribble pads

–         you can’t resist the sign ‘buy one and get one free’

–         the word ‘free’ sets your heart aflutter

You need to take a break when…

–         you are prepared to wade through pages and pages of fine print of the terms and conditions for a very minor prize

–         your children start asking you to get off the computer and take them to the park and you think you might have forgotten where the park is

–         your partner threatens to leave you

Don’t Give UP!

 

 

Just like any new venture there often comes a time when giving up seems like a good option. For the last few weeks, after a continuous stream of prizes, one after the other, there has been a bit of a drought in the winning department. However, I did commit to a year-long attempt at this so I won’t give up. Not yet!
I have noticed a few things happening in these last weeks though. A little WOL fatigue has set in. I can’t seem to get as inspired in writing my answers as I was at the beginning. Even recycling some of my old answers with a few changes have me a bit bored at times. It is partly because not as many competitions are exciting me at the moment. So I wait.
It can also be a tad discouraging when, after putting in a lot of effort and thought into an entry, nothing happens. No emails of congratulations. No surprises at the door. No phone calls or texts. Nothing, even though I thought some of my answers were awesome. Obviously they were not.
The excitement when a prize arrives in the mail or by a courier at the door has worn off a little too. Despite an email just now arriving into my inbox announcing a win – a signed book pack from a local paper, I hesitate to jump for joy. Where are the big prizes? The overseas holidays? The new car? The sparkling kitchen appliances or technologically advanced vacuum cleaner? Those things I really wanted to win from the very first day.
I know I need some motivation so I turn to the Forum for inspiration. Yes, others are definitely winning even though their prizes are not big wins either. It’s great checking out the Forum every day to see what others are winning and what they are up to and read some of the comments, but that still hasn’t motivated me yet. I guess the lesson I need to learn and constantly remember is to never give up. I know deep down everything takes time and I still haven’t fully mastered the art of comping yet. Perhaps a little break is in order as well as the contemplation of one of my favourite poems –

TTT:

When you feel how depressingly slowly you climb
It’s well to remember – Things Take Time


Then, just as quickly as the gloom on not winning for a while set in I suddenly feel the need to get back in the saddle. I scan the latest competitions on the website for those that are suitable, reasonably local and worthy of my entry. I fill out this weeks guess in the guessing competition and take a look at the surveys on offer. A quick check on the news feed on Facebook for any new leads is my next step. A few phone calls to a couple of comping friends never goes astray. Finally I decide to wander around the aisles of my local supermarket and shopping centre with an eye out for that enticing word – WIN – and I am back at work. Then I quickly duck into my newsagent and pick up a puzzle book (with $95,000 worth of prizes on offer) and a $5 lucky lottery ticket. This latest magazine also has 6 free Lotto entries. Well, you just gotta be in it!
Finally I am home again to reflect on what I have won so far this year to prove just how far I have actually come. Not to mention all the wonderful friends and contacts I have made. And as I decided early on in this post – I won’t give up. So, don’t you give up too!