Meet the Compers: Sue Dyke
For my final interview in this new series of Meet the Compers I’m chatting to Sue Dyke, a member of my local Brighton Breezy Comping Club (but also the host of the Worthy Winners Club in Worthing!) Sue is a great inspiration to adventurous compers, and in 2019 embarked on an unforgettable rail adventure across Europe!
Let’s start at the beginning! How did you first get into comping?
In 1982 I entered a magazine competition to win £2,000 of clothes, and I received a letter to say I’d been shortlisted and had to write a slogan. My husband Steve helped to write the slogan, and although I didn’t win, the whole experience had me hooked on entering competitions! Six months later I entered another slogan competition with Mars Bars – back then you often had to send off the packaging with your entry, and I had collected 99 Mars Bar wrappers in my legwarmers while out jogging (sounds like excellent wombling to me – Di). My husband Steve wrote the slogan and we won an incredible trip to Hawaii!
What are your favourite comping websites, forums or resources?
You’re a member of lots of comping clubs – how important are comping friendships to you, and how often do you meet with other compers?
I’m a member of Brighton Breezy, Comping Mates in Bognor, London Competitors Club, Coastal Compers (Littlehampton), and host my own Worthy Winners Club in Worthing!
Meetings are monthly, except for LCC who meet 4 times a year. At the moment because of Covid-19 our meetings are all on Zoom, but I love to meet up with local compers for meals, theatre trips and walks.
We help each other get qualifiers (products and receipts for purchase necessary promotions) and are genuinely pleased when one of the group wins. I have lots of good friends across all the groups and cherish my friendships with them. I love going to the London travel shows with fellow compers, and often share my prizes with other compers. I’ve also been to residential comping weekends in Hastings, Sunderland and Jersey – these usually have a quiz and a treasure hunt, which I love!
Last year you won a European rail trip – tell me about how you won it and what you got up to!
I live alone, so I decided to enter a comp to win a month’s interrail pass around Europe as the prize was just for one person! In the end my sister decided to join me, but when she dropped out at the last minute a friend of a friend, Anita, stepped in to be my travelling companion – I’d only met her a couple of times.
We left London on the Eurostar bound for Brussels, then caught a train to Spy where we stayed with Marie-Noelle and her family – Marie took us to Brussels and was our tour guide the following day. Next we travelled to Berlin, where we stayed in a super hotel for 3 nights and enjoyed the sightseeing bus tour, in particular Checkpoint Charlie.
Prague and Krakov were our nest destinations, and we visited Auschwitz and the Salt Mines – then on to Vienna and Budapest, where we enjoyed the thermal spas and were fined for having the wrong ticket on the metro! On the way to Lake Bled in Slovenia our train broke down and we had to walk down the track to the next station with our luggage!
We stayed one night in Verona and were lucky enough to see a free concert in the square by a famous Japanese group, then left for Cinque Terre the next day and went on a boat trip. We spent a day on the beach in Nice, then on to Avignon where we enjoyed another outdoor concert. Next we were Barcelona bound, where we stayed with my friend Noemi for 3 nights – we did all the usual tourist things, then left for Paris! Finally we enjoyed three nights there and had a day trip to Versailles. It was an amazing trip and Anita was excellent company!
You’re always up for a challenge, have won some unique prizes and met some celebrities too – what are your favourites?
- Tickets to Holiday on Ice in Brighton (won on Splash FM) – after the show I had to skate with a professional skater to Bolero and be judged by Sir Robin Cousins! I was judged to be the best of seven and the next day we went to Iceland for the weekend!
- I won a week’s sailing holiday in Greece in a radio quiz, and got my RYA level 1 in sailing
- A trip to the World Cup Final in Rio with Neutrogena products at Tesco
- Doing a tandem parapent on skis off a French mountain on a prize ski trip
- I guessed someone’s inside leg measurement on Virgin Radio and won flights to Hong Kong – my Taiwanese friend Queenie and her friend Pierre joined us as our tour guides!
- A fortnight’s holiday to Nassau Beach in the Bahamas with £2,500 spending money – this was with Bacardi and Barclaycard
- A trip to Dallas and Nashville with a chauffeur for the week – we met country star BoxCar Willie at the Grand Ole Opry! This was an American Airlines slogan competition, our winning entry was “You’ll thank your lucky Stars and Stripes you chose American Airlines!”
- I won tickets to Love Cooking at the Royal Festival Hall and met Gino D’Campo – and rubbed his arms!
Tell me about your TV gameshow experiences!
I went on The Weakest Link in 2008 – I made it to the final round but lost. Ann Robinson asked me how I got so booby and I said swimming – then she asked me to demonstrate my swimming, but I couldn’t move my legs. They were like tree trunks with fear! People still call me Booby Sue today because of that show…
I didn’t win on Perfect Recall, although the host Terry Wogan was lovely. On The Chase I shared a £50,000 win from Frosty Knickers – myself and another chap got £25,000 each!
Tipping Point was next, but I was first to be booted off – I’d been recently widowed and thought if I could get on the show I could do anything. I was really chuffed to get on 15 to 1 – I had a free weekend in Glasgow with all meals, and Sandi Toksvig was great!
You’ve been lucky enough to win three cars! Tell me about them
In 1985 I won an MG Montego with Ariel and Servis – at the time my husband and I could both drive but rode bicycles! To win, I had to list the features of a Servis washing machine in order of importance and for the tiebreaker, suggest a new feature. My husband Steve came up with the idea of an automatic integral programmed dispenser, which would hold a large supply of powder so you didn’t need to fill the compartment for each wash.
I won my second car – a Suzuki Jeep – in 1998, so my brother in law inherited the Montego. This one was an estimation competition. You had to buy 1 of 20 products at Spar, then guess how many of each would fit in the car boot. We did them all and won in the red wine competition. Steve then wrote the winning tiebreaker “I buy my red wine at Spar because…nobody disputes it’s the place to fill your boots!”
In 2008 I won my third car, a yellow Mini – and gave the Jeep to my sister! I won the Mini in a purchase necessary prize draw when I bought a Karcher hoover at Homebase.
Which prizes are top of your wishlist at the moment?
I want to see the world and so I’m always entering to win holidays, flights, and a camper van. After my last MOT my mechanic told me it was time to win another car! And I’ve never been in a helicopter or done a balloon trip so I’d love to win those.
What’s your favourite – and least favourite – type of competition?
I love an instant win competition – you put in a code and a few seconds later you’ve won a 49” TV – it’s so exciting! I don’t like swipe to win with loyalty cards as I don’t know anyone that’s won one (although funnily enough Andrea in our Brighton Breezy Club did win a TV and soundbar in a Sainsbury’s Swipe to Win recently! – Di)
Do you have any comping tips to share?
- Check text messages carefully in case you missed a winning one. I recently realised I’d missed a message about a Pringles/Marriott comp in January, but didn’t claim the prize in time!
- Visit as many different supermarkets as you can to collect qualifiers, as you might spot competitions early before anyone else
- Be brave and apply for a game show or enter to win something crazy – you only live once!
- Make lots of comping friends – you can help each other get qualifying products, and you can share prizes with each other
- In general though, my motto is you’ve gotta be in it to win it!
Thanks so much for a great interview Sue – best of luck winning that new car in 2021!