Meet the compers: Andrea Goodheart

I hope you’re enjoying my latest round of ‘Meet the Compers’ interviews! Today I’m delighted to introduce you to Andrea Goodheart, a member of my local Brighton Breezy competition club. Andrea started comping when she was expecting her son in 1987, and she’s just launched her own ‘ComperNet’ afternoon classes in Bognor to help newbies learn the tricks of the trade!

Let’s start at the beginning! How did you first get into comping?

As an adult my first win was the first comp I entered! I was expecting my first child and knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum so was trying to think of creative ways of saving money. I spotted a comp in the local paper with three prizes, the best of which was a microwave. It was a tie-breaker comp & the lead-in was ‘I would like to win a Thorn Halogen Multiwave Oven because…’ and I completed it with ‘my lifestyle is fast, and my cooking should be too!’ I thought it might have been a case of last-in and first-out when I heard that I had won the £700 oven as I only just remembered to post my entry at the last minute but when I met the judge of the tie-breakers, as I was awarded with my prize, he said he chose mine as he wanted to meet the woman living a fast lifestyle. He joked that it must have caught up with me as I was by then eight months pregnant!

What do you miss most/least about comping in the 90s and 00s?

I mostly miss the tiebreakers as I found I was quite good at wordplay. I also miss going out on entry-form hunts – when my children were in a double-buggy I used to walk for miles gathering entry-forms from all over the place! Order of Merit comps* (OOMs) were my least favourite and I don’t miss them at all.

(Note from Di – Order of Merit comps were very popular until the 1980s/90s. You were given a list of product/brand qualities and had to put them in the order of most important to least important – and if your list matched the judges’ decision, you won!)

Andrea on a champagne balloon ride in the 1990s

What are your favourite competition websites, forums or resources?

I have been a Compers News subscriber for years and love when the physical magazine drops through my letterbox, although I do always make a start on the end of month/early month comps listed as soon as the new edition is posted online. It took me quite a while to start using Chatterbox, Compers News online forum, and I feel I still don’t use it to its full potential BUT I always check out the Supermarket and Store-Specific Competition sections before I go shopping and take screen-shots of the items I need to buy so I don’t have to rely on the internet when I’m out shopping.

Obviously, I also follow you on Facebook Di (and religiously watch your ‘How to’ videos!) and I’m also a member of Lucky Learners. (Note to self – I’m still not using LL Purchase Necessary album as efficiently as I should!)

I’m lucky enough to be a member of three local comping clubs which means I have plenty of like-minded comping mates to share our wonderful hobby with, and each group has its own Facebook group. I really do value my comping mates as they are a great source of local comping opportunities: we can buy qualifiers for each other depending on shops local to us, offer plenty more tagging opportunities but mostly for on-going support, encouragement and inspiration.

How much time do you dedicate to comping each week?

I never know what to say when people ask me this, so I’m interested to find out myself! Let’s see:

I start by doing the dailies while I’m drinking my first cup of tea in bed. I have them all saved as favourites on my phone and I edit them, so their title shows the closing date. I usually finish by checking to see if anymore that I don’t know about have been added to your Superlucky Instant Wins and Daily Draws page which I also have saved as a favourite. This takes about 20 minutes.

I try to do any radio comps such as the recent Radio One Jan Slam while I’m eating breakfast (another 20 minutes here but I’m multi-tasking!) At lunchtime I’ll check my emails to look for any winning messages & I’ll probably enter a few competitions if they crop up in my inbox! (another 10 minutes?)

When I get home from work I sometimes do a few more comps as they crop up in my emails or concentrate on making sure I’m up to date with the ITV cars, cash and holiday comps (postcard entries for me) or I might do a couple more pages from Compers News. This takes about 30 minutes!

Once a week I try to pop out to the shops specifically to buy qualifiers. I’m not ‘loyal’ to one supermarket, rather ‘loyal’ to any that run competitions so will regularly visit all the local ones, taking about an hour.

I do lots of exercise classes in the evenings & rarely sit down to watch telly before about 9pm but generally have my phone in my lap at the same time to enter comps during the ad breaks or if I’m not particularly enjoying a programme. Multi-tasking again and impossible to put a time on – 30 minutes?

That adds up to around 15 hours a week Andrea! – Di

What’s your favourite prize, and why was it so special?

For years I have answered this question with one of two answers – the Lapland trip was one of them! It was just a wordsearch in a trade magazine, but it came when our children were aged five and seven so still just believing in Father Christmas! We could never have afforded this trip and it gave us such amazing memories.

Meeting Diarmuid Gavin and being shown round his garden at the Chelsea Flower Show was the other! I’m a really keen gardener and have been lucky enough to win tickets for several Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows over the years but meeting Diarmuid was so exciting!

However, since last year I have a third answer! I was lucky enough to be on the Lucky Party Plane so travelled to Majorca with 99 other compers and Rylan Clark-Neal! We stayed in a luxurious hotel and had such an amazing party with lucky-themed food and drink AND had Rudimental perform for us as you know, and it was pretty special! To top it all, my team came second in the treasure hunt which meant we each won a pair of tickets so we’re off to Malta in the summer. I absolutely love it when one prize leads to another!

Andrea’ and her comping mission partner Dee dressed as lucky ladybirds on the Just Plane Lucky trip to Majorca!

Which prizes are top of your wishlist at the moment?

Until December 2019 I had been working in schools for over 25 years and have always had to avoid holiday competitions which usually have black-out dates – school holidays are really generous but not movable! Now that I am doing supply teaching, I can enter holiday competitions to my heart’s content, and I would love to win a proper Australia/USA/safari/cruise competition which have been out of bounds for years. I have previously won tickets to the flower shows as I have already mentioned but I would still love to win more. I would also love to win Wimbledon and Grand Prix tickets. A car, or specifically a campervan, would be fabulous too!

I hear you’re currently reading the Luck Factor, a book which I love! Have you gleaned any good tips about how to become lucky?

I haven’t finished reading it yet but, as I suspected, the author already seems to be suggesting that lucky people make their own luck and I would definitely agree with this! Have an open mind, network like crazy and seize opportunities when they come your way. I know it’s a chestnut but truly ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’ seems to be borne out by this book. I love the way that Robert Wiseman took anecdotes about lucky people and used them to create scientific studies to find the differences between people who had described themselves as generally lucky or unlucky. I would thoroughly recommend this book!

Buy a copy of the Luck Factor on Amazon (affiliate link)

Are there any types of prize promotions you’d like to see more or less of?

Treasure hunts where you must solve clues then find an item and take a photo are my favourite comps, and I’d like more of them! They’re such good fun and a chance to have a comping day out with your best mates. I’d also love to see the return of tiebreakers, and more creative competitions requiring us to download apps, play games or take photos.

I get fed up with the ‘scan and win’ competitions as non-compers will be entered into comps without knowing and might well think they’ve been scammed if someone phones them up to tell them they’ve won. I’ve also never actually heard of a winner!

Steve & Andrea enjoying a prize meal at the pop-up venue The Cube, hosted by Sat Bains

Is there anything about competitions (or promoters!) that frustrates you?

I get really frustrated when promoters of social media competitions don’t post any rules and think it’s perfectly ok to change closing dates or who don’t truly pick random winners as they are supposed to do. I also wish the ASA had more teeth and could penalise companies who run competitions badly.

Many compers from the ‘tiebreaker’ and postal comp era haven’t got to grips with online comping and social media – what advice or encouragement would you offer them?

Well I’m definitely from that era and I’m baffled as to why others don’t just give the online comping and social media comps a go! People have said to me that they are worried about doing something ‘wrong’ on the internet, they don’t like giving their name and address details online and they’re worried that they’ll damage their phone or laptop by clicking on the wrong thing. It’s partly why I started holding ComperNet days at my house for my own comping mates.

Tell me more about your ComperNet sessions, and what you’ll be teaching people about comping!

ComperNet came about when I noticed, as you mentioned earlier, that lots of compers weren’t entirely comfortable with social media and online entries in general. Their win rate had dropped off and they were losing interest in comping. Our own little Comping Mates monthly meetings seemed to have become more of a chatting social event and less about the competitions. I invited them round to my house for a whole day and started with the basics. Had they all got an online presence? Did they all have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts. Did they know about text replacement on their phones? What about Fillr or Roboform? It was very hands-on! Once I’d helped one mate, she could help another. Some people could already do this basic stuff but wanted help with other things. Having worked for over 25 years I could use my teaching experience to plan sessions effectively. Each ComperNet session had a different focus, I held four in total, and was led partly by what came up on the day. They had fun with Twitter parties and Tweetdeck, laughed at each other as they took selfies using props and generally enjoyed themselves while entering competitions they had previously been avoiding. Our club meetings became more inspirational as the win-rates increased so we all became winners!

Our Comping Mates group originally met at an evening class more than 30 years ago and once the 10-week course had ended, we decided to keep on meeting up once a month taking turns at each other’s houses. Our monthly meetings are still held in this way and follow the same format with entry-form swapping, news of wins reported and draws held for quallies or stamped postcards. My Comping Mates are some of my oldest and dearest friends!

It was these two factors which inspired me to start planning for ComperNet! I could help people to learn the basics of comping on the internet (hence the name) and hopefully introduce others to the joys of comping alongside real people instead of ‘virtual’ friends.

If it proves popular I hope to run the same six-week course at different venues or different times of the day to reach more people.

A £15,000 win from ITV – definitely worth framing!

Could you share a few comping tips with us?

Nothing earth-shattering!

  • Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone and switch things around a little if you are experiencing a dry spell.
  • Look out for comps in unusual places to try to find those elusive low-entry comps which will give you a better chance of winning.
  • I find it better to enter comps on the spot when I find them rather than filing them to do later, only to find out that the closing-date has passed.
  • Boring but essential to read the terms & conditions! I know I’m guilty of not doing this on occasion!
  • Check your spellings and hashtags
  • Use the notes app on your phone to keep lists of friends to tag on FB, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you so much Andrea – it’s been great to read your stories and tips, and I wish you all the best with ComperNet!

If any SuperLucky readers are interested in the Bognor ComperNet classes, please contact Andrea via Facebook.

8 Responses

  1. HEATHER CAIN says:

    wow love the idea of the compernet!

  2. Elaine Fitzpatrick says:

    I loved reading about your wins Andrea especially after meeting you on the Party plane trip. Your Comper Net class’s sound fab. If only you lived closer. I’m quite confident with my online presence but I’m sure there’s still plenty more I could learn – particularly how to use my phone to it’s best. Bookmarking Tec.

  3. Liz Whitney says:

    I’m another comper that’s enjoying Andrea’s Compernet course. I’ve been doing competitions for years with moderate success but you get to the stage when you need some inspiration to carry on especially going through a lean period and I’m getting that inspiration in bucket loads from Andrea, along with lots of useful tips, I highly recommend her course. Loved your interview with Di, Andrea.

  4. Emma says:

    This was a lovely article to read. Great tips and advice. It’s also inspiring to see Andrea enjoying her competition wins. They look like fabulous experiences.

  5. Hana says:

    Hey Ladies, great article! I’m going to have to Google ‘Order of Merit comps (OOMs)’ that sounds intriguing… Good luck with the classes Andrea. Sounds fun!

  6. sandra daniells says:

    I’m a ‘comping virgin’ and joined Andreas’ group as a complete novice! She’s a great teacher, and I have learned lots of very useful stuff so far. The friendly group she runs is a welcome diversion from the everyday grind, especially as Andrea is such a motivational and positive person- hopefully some of her well-earned luck and success will rub off on me! It’s highly appreciated that compers like her (and Di) are willing to share their knowledge and experience with us newbies and spread the luck around!

  7. Andrea is amazing! She is one of the stand out people I met at superlucky- so friendly and encouraging. I’ve loved reading this Q&A with her, totally agree with those frustrations re: ASA and winners not being picked at random, changing closing dates etc. Also some great tips and loved reading about the comping time / structure to the day.

  8. Beverly says:

    I am lucky enough to be one of Andrea’s Compernet students – and along with the others I’m finding it very useful. She is so helpful and explains everything really clearly (and for me slowly!) so we can take it all in. The venue is good, with a cafe serving excellent food and drinks.

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