2021: my comping year
So here we are with just a few days left of 2021 – in January we all had high hopes, after the Covid nightmare of 2020. Unfortunately, here we are in December, with coronavirus still casting a shadow over everyone’s plans. Let’s hope 2022 will be brighter for us!
Every year I publish this blog post, with a round up of my comping highlights of the year, and a few prize statistics, plus I see how many prizes I ticked off my wishlist – and I invite SuperLucky readers to share their own facts and figures too.
At the start of January I created my Prize Wishlist Bingo Card – 24 prizes I wanted to win in 2021. I find this a brilliant way to focus on and search for prizes that I really want to win! If you want to create your own Bingo card for 2022, you can save a copy of my template to your own Google files by clicking here – then just type your prizes into the boxes. Or just print off a copy and write on it, or draw your own bingo card in your diary or on your calendar!
This year I managed to cross off 50% of the bingo card – 12 of the prizes – but I didn’t manage to win any of the tech/gadget prizes on my top row. However, some of my most wanted prizes did make their way to me – I won an iPad, and sold it so I could buy a new iPhone 12 cheaply from a fellow comper, and a neighbour gave away his dirt jump bike for free in the street WhatsApp group, so I now have a bike to take to the BMX track with Ryland! A fellow comper Charlotte was kind and passed on £50 of Deliveroo credit for the Athenian to me, as she didn’t have one locally. It goes to show that even if you don’t actually WIN the prizes on your wishlist, there are ways you can manifest them!
In 2020 I had fancy candle on my bingo card and failed to win one – this year I added it to my bingo card again, and managed to win five different candles in Instagram giveaways! I also added gin to the card – and managed to win three different full-sized bottles of gin, plus 3 prizes of gin miniatures. Instagram is great for comps to win smaller prizes like these – I like to save giveaways to dated collections and enter them on the day they close.
Despite not getting a line on my bingo card, I did win some fantastic prizes in 2021 – so let’s take a look at all the statistics and enjoy a review of my comping year!
My 2021 prizes
In 2021 I won 147 prizes with a total value of £34,390. As I’ve done for many years, I tracked my wins using a Google spreadsheet which means I can see how well I did in various types of competition and also create some lovely graphs to share!
I enter on average about 25 comps each day – this will be about 5 daily entry/instant win comps (these might be text or online entry), a couple of purchase necessary comps, maybe one or two radio comps (online or standard rate call/text). I’ll enter a few from emails in my inbox, a handful of comps from my Twitter and Instagram feeds. I don’t use listings websites unless I’m looking for a specific prize from my wishlist.
Here’s a chart to show the difference in the last five years of my comping so you can see how 2021 compares to previous years – one prize in particular explains the huge prize value jump!
Comparing prize amounts and values from 2017 – 2021
What type of comps did I win?
Of my 147 prizes in 2021, 57 required a purchase, 15 were photo comps (1 of these was judged, the rest were randomly picked), 5 were standard rate text entry prize draws and I had 2 on-air radio wins.
Where did I win these competitions?
Like the last two years, the majority of my prizes were from web entry prize draws. Instagram was my most successful platform for social media comps, and I won 40 prizes in Instagram prize draws (and one prize in a judged Instagram photo competition). I hardly entered any comps on Facebook, and only won 3 prizes there – and had 12 wins on Twitter, much lower than the last few years.
I didn’t have the time to get involved with many creative competitions and in fact I only won three judged competitions all year! I intend to put more effort into creative comps in 2022.
My 2021 prize highlights
So, let’s check out the highlights of my prizes this year.
One of my favourite January prizes was £100 eBay credit which I won for a friend from @eBay_UK on Twitter. You had to tweet a story about why your friend needed cheering up. My friend Fran had recently driven into a multi-storey car park forgetting she had bikes on the roof of her car, and totally trashed them, so I used that story! Fran used the voucher to get birthday presents for her two sons who both have January birthdays. In January I also won a lovely set of saucepans in a @SalterUK prize draw on Instagram – and had a nice £142 win on the My Lucky Patch website, which I check every day.
Japanese and Korean food was on my 2021 wish list and I won plenty of it, starting with £200 of Japanese sake (rice wine) in February, which I won from @JSSSakegraphy on Instagram with this photo of my vegan sushi supper.
Something I didn’t realise how much I needed until I won one is my prize Fitbit, won with Perfect Fit cat food in their purchase-necessary prize draw. I don’t have a cat (apart from my neighbour’s cat Nori, who seems to think he lives with us) so I donated my qualifying products to the Lost Cats collection at Asda!
Two of my favourite March prizes were both won on Instagram, a lovely Sugarhill Brighton jumper, and a brilliant prize from Ben & Jerrys, of twenty tubs of ice cream, plus a BOSH vegan cookbook. We won this with our recreation of their vegan ice cream burger, which was SO tasty!
Later that month I texted in to the Heart Breakfast show for their KitKat promotion and got a call back to play on air to win a Lay-Z-Spa hot tub, Bose Soundlink, Weber Gas BBQ, and £250 supermarket vouchers!
On 1 April I received a winning email from Brewdog… swiftly followed by another email assuring me it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke! I’d won a £15,000 gold can plus £10,000 shares in their Lost Lager & Tesco purchase necessary prize draw – my biggest ever win! A few months later it materialised that the gold can was actually only gold-plated and valued at just £500, which resulted in a lot of complaints from other gold can winners to the ASA.
On the publication day of the ASA ruling in October, Brewdog launched a brand new gold can promotion with £300,000 of prizes on offer. I blogged about my frustration, and within a few hours, Brewdog had agreed to buy back the original gold plated cans for £15,000 each from the winners. Success – and ‘big cash win’ ticked off my bingo card!
Another lovely prize in April was a set of five houseplants from @Feed_Me_Momma on Instagram – the first time I’ve ever won plants! I’m not green fingered at all but I’m happy to say all the plants are still flourishing.
In May I won more Japanese food – kimchi, tofu and soy sauce – on Instagram, and also crossed perfume off my wishlist bingo card when I won two bottles of Hugo Boss Alive perfume from The Fragrance Shop.
Another prize crossed off the bingo card was football tickets – I won two pairs of Euro2020 tickets thanks to Matchpint. LOADS of other Lucky Learners won these too! I travelled to Glasgow in June for the Sweden v Ukraine match, and my husband Rob took his friend to see England beat Denmark in the semi final!
Of course there were loads of football related comps this summer, and I was pleased to win a signed Brighton & Hove Albion shirt with Coke in a Co-op text comp. I’d already won a signed shirt for Ry in 2019, so we decided to send this new shirt to my friend’s son in Japan, as he’s a big Seagulls fan. I also won a £50 voucher for the Arsenal store in a Cadbury text comp, so was able to treat Rob to some Arsenal joggers for Christmas!
I won my second radio competition of the year on Magic Radio in June – a glamping break in Snowdonia near the Zipworld site. I had to do a head-to-head quiz about Italian facts, and I beat another Lucky Learner to win the prize! I’ve been dying to take Ryland to Snowdonia as he’s never been – although typically, he’s actually going there on a school trip the month before we’ve booked to go! I’ll be putting Zipworld tickets on my 2022 bingo card to make sure we win that too – you can use Virgin Experience Day vouchers there and there should be plenty of comps to win those.
In summer I started getting out and about again – I won a lovely meal for my birthday at Murmur on the seafront in Brighton, thanks to a prize draw at a Velo Emopeds event. My husband and I both won DICE app credit in the Doritos instant win, and used this to buy festival tickets. One of my favourite prizes was a night out for five at Brighton Spiegeltent thanks to Goose Island, who bought our food and drinks all night. It was a fun quiz night, and our team won the top prize of even more beer! Unfortunately all five of us also received an unexpected prize of a Covid infection that night too…
Another great local prize I won on Instagram was four tickets to go on Brighton Zip, four tickets to the Brighton Sealife centre and 4 crazy golf tickets! We took Ry’s friend out on Bank Holiday Monday and also treated them to brunch at The Lounges, as I’d won a £50 voucher with Genie Drinks on Instagram!
In Summer I also won an iPad in a competition run by Sage Accounting and two Instax cameras – one from Nivea and one from Pringles!
One of the wishlist prizes I was really chuffed to win was a SUP (paddleboard) in the Stanley tools prize draw! I’ve done a few beginner lessons at Hove Lagoon and hope to be paddleboarding regularly next year.
A handy prize was £250 Decathlon voucher, which I used to buy cycling and running gear for the family! This was won in a SuperSavvyMe & Always competition where women were invited to share their experiences of taking part in sports on social media.
In October I collected a fabulous prize at the Kimchi cookoff event in London – a signed BTS CD! This was won in a prize draw where you had to share a photo of Jongga Kimchi – I invited my friend Funké to the event with me and we had a fun night out eating Korean food!
I also had another fantastic visit to London courtesy of Wall’s – a Team GB experience at London Olympic Park! We had a diving lesson, a tour of the stadium, lunch, a slide down the Orbit, dinner and a hotel stay – plus we were given £100 of Westfield vouchers! It was an absolutely amazing money-can’t-buy experience which you can read about here.
I won a couple of lovely prize hampers from Echo Falls and McVities, and £100 cash from FairFX in their photo competition.
Like many SuperLucky readers, in November I had a few wins in the amazing PayPal Christmas prize draw (£100 in total) and I ended the year with a handful of small wins on Instagram – mainly candles and gin!
Even after 24 years of comping I still have my ‘firsts’ and in December at the London Competitors Club meeting I was delighted to receive £30 for winning my first ever limerick competition, and this was my entry:
Christmas is upon us once more…
Rudolph’s planning his Christmas Eve tour
But the challenging task
is wearing a mask
It’s making his red nose so sore!
And that’s it for my favourite prizes this year – I’ve been really pleased with the variety of wins, and in particular I enjoyed Instagram comping in the evenings which really paid off. Thanks to everyone who has tagged me in giveaways this year, I do appreciate it!
My comping tips also featured in lots of magazines including The Sunday Mirror, Woman’s Own, New and Prima – I even spotted myself on the cover of Best!
In summer I recorded the Winning Combination game show, which was broadcast in September. Although I didn’t win anything it was really good fun, and one of the fellow contestants Iain told me he had used the advice in my SuperLucky Secrets book to help him get on the show!
Fair play campaigns
One of the important things I try to do using SuperLucky is to educate promoters and compers on how to be fair and transparent when choosing winners for prize draws and competitions. I dedicated a lot of time in January to researching Instagram giveaways, and sent through a lot of evidence and screenshots to the ASA to show how many brands are running prize draws where the entries can’t be tracked. This resulted in the ASA publishing three rulings plus new guidance on their website on how to run a fair social media prize draw.
In December I published a post about the dangers of ‘pay to enter’ prize draw websites. These ‘raffles’ aren’t considered gambling, are not properly regulated, and are causing people to get into a lot of debt. Hopefully the imminent Gambling Act update will see these raffle sites regulated properly.
As for 2022, I’m looking forward to joining my friend Jordon Cox on his Secrets to Saving tour in Portsmouth on 13 March (grab your free tickets at secretstosaving.co.uk!). I’m also determined to get my next comping book published, so look out for news on that shortly…
Thanks again to all my readers and everyone who enjoys, comments on and shares SuperLucky blog posts, it’s very much appreciated! My Lucky Learners Facebook group has now grown to almost 12,000 members – please do give me your feedback and suggestions for the group on this dedicated chat post.
Of course, Lucky Learners members have had an amazing 2021 too, here’s just a few of the highlights from our group wins:
- Geoffrey won one of the Nestlé £10,000 sofa to sunshine breaks and is off to Africa!
- Anna-Leigh won the top prize of £20,000 with Doritos Dippers
- Matt won £4,800 of Morrisons vouchers with Birdseye
- Chris, Christine and Shirley each won £2,800 thanks to Walkers Crisps!
- Alicia also won the same £25,000 prize that I did from Brewdog!
Don’t forget you can always keep up to date with all my prizes in my monthly round ups and unboxing videos on YouTube. Oh, and don’t forget to read my list of the best prize promotions of 2021 too, and see if your favourites made it onto the list!
Tell me in the comments below (or on the chat post in Lucky Learners) about your own comping successes in 2021 – and how do you plan to make 2022 your best comping year yet?
Don’t forget to tweet me about your favourite 2021 prize too, as you could win a £50 Amazon voucher in my Twitter competition – find out how to enter here!