My interview with myself about entering competitions...
1. Take me through a typical week of entering competitions.
Luckily enough, my job requires me to work phone shifts where it is difficult to do actual work between calls, as you’re constantly interrupted. Phone shifts are great opportunities to trawl the Internet for competitions and conjure up "25 words or less" entries between calls.
I usually come home and spend an hour or so each night on the Internet entering competitions. Sometimes I’ll skip this if I’m playing sport or I go out and I don’t worry too much about compensating for the nights away from entering competitions.
2. How many competitions do you enter per day/week?
When I’m really dedicated to entering competitions, I’ll try to submit 20-50 entries a day or more. Almost all will be online and many will be for competitions that have unlimited or daily entries.
3. What do you do when you’re not entering competitions?
When I started entering competitions I was studying at university full-time and working part-time. I now work 4 days per week for the government.
4. How did you begin entering competitions as a hobby?
I was bored and lamenting the fact I had no money for clothes and decided to enter competitions on the computer and it just grew from there.
5. What was the first prize you won?
A $200 Kookai voucher. I found out I’d won by a letter with the voucher enclosed. I spent it on a green singlet top, a pair of camel-coloured pants and a sparkly black halter top. It was great fun.
6. What’s the biggest/best prize you’ve ever won?
The best prize I’ve won is a holiday to Japan a couple of years ago. My partner received an email notifying us we’d won at about midnight and excitedly called me into the computer room. I was almost asleep, but the tone in his voice intrigued me. We were so ecstatic we called his parents and woke them up. Because they were half asleep themselves, his dad thought we were the victims of a hoax until we mentioned it again at the family dinner the next week.
I’ve won only two holidays full stop, and strangely enough we found out we’d won the other trip – to Melbourne this time – just after returning from Japan!
7. How much money do you spend on entering competitions?
Apart from my Internet connection, which I would have anyway, hardly anything! I would use one stamp a week, maybe, for mail entries and make a phone call every couple of weeks. Internet is definitely my preferred method of entry.
8. How much do you win per year?
Around $2000 worth each year, on average.
9. Why do you love entering competitions?
There’s no other hobby that is as much fun as entering competitions. It brings real happiness into your life and gives you the opportunity to try new things. Thanks to entering competitions, I’ve visited Tokyo Disney, seen famous comedians in Melbourne, entered a screaming competition, gone on a scavenger hunt around Adelaide and learnt how to do a reverse spin stunt in a Mini Cooper.
10. What’s the best way to improve your chances of winning?
Study examples of winning entries and just keep on entering!