My First Win

What was your first win in a competition – or maybe you’re still waiting on that fabulous first prize?

I thought it was about time I shared my own first win here on the blog, having recently discovered a scrapbook documenting the momentous occasion at my Mum’s house! It was back in 1980 – the Queen Mother was turning 80 and to celebrate, Birmingham’s Bull Ring shopping centre launched a kids colouring competition to win a weekend stay in London. I spent hours on my masterpiece…

Di's prizewinning picture of the Queen Mum

My Mum wasn’t impressed and freely admits she “wouldn’t have wasted a stamp on it”. My Dad on the other hand immediately recognised my talent, and posted it off.

A few weeks later I had my first experience of the ‘LWE’ (Long White Envelope’) – what every comper dreams of receiving. Ignoring the fact they call me Diane, receiving this letter was SO exciting!




Off we went to the prize-giving, followed by a splendid weekend in London staying at the Metropole Hotel. We went on a leisurely sightseeing cruise down the Thames (in contrast to my most recent prize boat trip on the RIB speedboat!), visited London Zoo, saw the sights and generally had a fabulous time.




Afterwards I created a scrapbook of my adventures, with letters, postcards and photos. It’s really special to look back at it now.


As you know, I always recommend that compers should say Thankyou for a prize (it’s good manners and it encourages the promoter to give away more prizes!) so I penned letters to the Bull Ring, the Metropole Hotel – and the Queen Mum!

And check out what arrived in the post a few weeks later…



What a great response from a Thankyou letter! These days I usually send a thankyou tweet but I might send off a few handwritten notes again – it’s great to receive a letter!

Can you remember your very first win? Tell me about it in the comments, or tweet me at @superluckydi with #myfirstwin!

Not had your first win yet? Check out my top tips for new compers!


19 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    1978 having just got married and living in a rented flat I won a fitted kitchen from one of the Women magazines .Remember opening the LWE to this day, still got the letter.

  2. Emma says:

    The first prize I can remember winning as a child was a copy of The Hen Who Wouldn’t Give Up and the audiobook on cassettes(!) to go with it 🙂

  3. Christina Curtis says:

    #myfirstwin! I cannot remember the exact year but sometime in the early 90’s I won a colouring Competition with the Farmers Weekly! I remember the big floor puzzles I won very well.

  4. Ellie Jones says:

    Very touching story to read, I love your drawing ☺

    My first win was July 2014 when I was short of money so I started entering competitions. I received a call from the local radio station saying I’d won £50 love2shop vouchers. I walked half way across the city to get them and filled my fridge/freezer with food from Iceland.

  5. Sara Johns says:

    Just remembered….a fishing rod and accessories 1974 (Waterloo was no1 I think) from smash hits mag….champions league t-shirt 2016 walkers crisps.. Bit of a gap….sold the rod as didn’t catch anything…

  6. Tom Wilson says:

    Showing my age now,but my first win was way back in 1976 (ish) on Piccadilly Radio in Manchester when I won a T shirt 🙂

  7. emmasfabulous says:

    What a lovely read, Di 🙂 Before I opened the blog entry I was thinking that my first win was when I started internet comping 13 years ago (a holiday to Tenerife from a tie-breaker, which the company wouldn’t let me delay after an accident – they’ve now gone bust, thank you karma). But you’ve jogged my memory that actually my first win was as a kid, from a crossword I sent off in a mag, Smash Hits I think, and I won a Bobby Brown video. Still sending off crosswords! Isn’t it lovely that you still have the original colouring. Very smart it is too. I met the Queen Mum, she was very jolly 🙂

  8. Krystina says:

    My first win was my iPad mini! Happened to like a post that appeared on my newsfeed & received a message three weeks later telling me I’d WON IT!! That was last October, only won two wee things since but I’m addicted!

  9. Keri Jones says:

    Such a brilliant picture and lovely reply to your letter. I cant remember my very first win (as I’m sure it was when I was younger) but my first win since I started ‘comping’ was tickets to a Disney film premier in London for 4 adults and up to 8 children. None of my mummy friends could get the time off work so I decided to decline the tickets. The next win was a lovely top from Matalan. I’m now up to 200 prizes with only 1 never getting to me 🙂 x

  10. Dreams777 says:

    My first win was a small Tyrone Crystal Vase from a competition in my local newspaper. I can’t remember what I had to do it was probably answer a question. I was in my late teens and that was the start for me. I have continued comping on and off over the years winning lots of lovely prizes. I still have the Tyrone Crystal Vase.

  11. Alexandra Blue says:

    Mine was a flimsy plastic toy and some weird stickers from a puzzle competition in Disney Magazine which would have been in the mid 80s, closely followed a few days later by a case of Um Bongo from a visit to London Zoo where I had to chase people dressed as monkeys all around the zoo and get them to stamp a special card 10 or 12 times (and be given loads of cartons of said fruity beverage in the process!) to enter the competition.

  12. jane orford says:

    the first win I can remember was a playstation , had to buy a case of stella artois in sainsburys which was convenient as it was for fatheres day, and then complete tiebreaker as to why I was a football widow, came in useful for my sons christmas present

  13. rebecca beesley says:

    this is just amazing – how great that you have all these momentos from it. Your handwriting was SO neat!!! And that colouring is fab. I only started properly entering lots of competitions in the past couple of years, but I remember winning a radio/cassette player (which we still have!!!) at around the age of 10 i think for getting second place in a drawing competition – it was with a local radio station in Hove (i think it was southern fm possibly???) and it was to celebrate a certain no of years of the london to brighton rail line opening. I still vaguely remember what I drew but wish I’d actually kept it.

  14. Angie McDonald says:

    My first win was an mp3 player when I was 10! I was visiting my cousins and there was a ‘text to win’ competition on a Pepsi can that I was drinking from so I asked my dad to text it for me. I totally forgot about it after a few days and around 3 weeks later a Pepsi box turned up in the post with a Congratulations letter! I was super excited and I think that’s when I got my first thrill of winning!

  15. jeniferjamie says:

    I drew a picture of me on Ian Wright’s shoulders and it was printed in the Junior Gunner magazine. I think I won an Arsenal stationary set! My Mum still has a copy of the mag somewhere! 🙂

  16. Karla Jermy says:

    Still waiting for my first! I love the…’naturally you may bring your parent’s line!

  17. geoffwd says:

    My first was £10 for a cartoon I drew for Revellie magazine. It was back in 1980. Guess what I’ve still got the cutting, while some of my bigger win letters no longer exist.

  18. Louise says:

    Funnily enough, mine was a colouring in too when I was about 10 for our local council. I forgot I entered comps when I was young until I saw this, I also had a poem published and two Blue Peter badges. My Mum’s got my stuff put away in a safe place, which is to say it could be absolutely anywhere in her house!

  19. Kim Carberry says:

    Wow! What a win….So special!
    My first win was £100 worth of Dora The Explorer toys from Toys R Us….It got me well and truly hooked on comping….hehehe

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