January 25, 2016
Across the UK, there are thousands of professional ‘compers’, all looking to increase their prize haul by entering as many draws as possible. For the vast majority of contests, there is a single prize up for grabs, which means that every entry reduces your chance of winning. On the other hand, there are some lesser known draws where additional prizes are added each time a specific number of entries is reached, or the prize grows, or is split among a wider number of winners. A good example of this is the lottery, particularly at the lowest prizes where you get a fixed prize at the bottom for everyone matching three numbers (or two numbers if you count the free ticket for a future draw).
Chances of winning are where the most savvy entrants focus, as they can make sure that their overall chance of winning grows to the maximum extent possible across all of the competitions they enter, which we touched on in a previous update. That focus on entering more and more competitions definitely separates the haphazard nature of the amateur from the experts, but by no means guarantees any wins. So why is it that you read about people winning again and again?
Quite simply the law of averages means that some will be luckier than others – in a sense it’s a meta concept – the chances of chance. For every unluckier than average comper, there will be a luckier than average one too to balance it all out. Some will also argue that the luckier ones appear to be those who are considered to be professional competition entrants too, but that is more than likely an illusion. People who enter competitions very infrequently will win prizes less often, so it also follows that those entering most regularly will win more often, creating that near-mirage effect that others are luckier than they. Let’s put it another way – “you’ve got to have a system” as they say!
So, next time you see a smiling face staring out of a magazine, boasting about how they can now provide for their new baby against all odds, remember that you can bend your luck too – you just need to put the effort in. Chance is a funny thing, you can’t guarantee anything in terms of winning, but you can influence your chances with a little work. Before you know it, it could be you starting a family, or helping your own children do the same thing, with the latest kit in the nursery like the top of the range Samsung video baby monitor or the best buggy money can buy!
June 20, 2015
Every so often, you see a competition prize winner get selected that really fits the criteria that you hope for. All too often you’ll see the ITV cameras have visited the latest Good Morning Britain or This Morning competition winner who’s sitting at home in what looks like a million pound mansion. It’s a strange concept, as I struggle to believe that wealthy people will bother to enter competitions to win a few thousand pounds, or even tens of thousands for that matter. I always assumed the target demographic was likely to be council estates where the prize will make a huge difference to someone’s quality of life.
This week though, it was a little different. John’s story was one that’s more associated with the tear jerker you’ll see on Comic Relief or Children in Need. John’s got a disabled son that he’s clearly devoting his life to, when he’s not at work risking his health removing asbestos from old buildings as part of his job with environmental services. This family from Liverpool are clearly deserving of a break, so for the first time in a long time, I’ve not watched the beaming presenters cut to a trailer featuring the lucky winners talking about taking a holiday in the Caribbean or having the roof done and been left wondering if the money will really make a difference to their lives. Another first is the fact that I’ve not felt quite so much need to be angered by the premium rate entry phone numbers that are prominently displayed with the tiny free entry address underneath to post your postcard to if you think about the cost of multiple entries each month that people are making.
Of course, no matter who wins a prize draw it’s going to have a positive effect, but on this occasion it was a really pleasant change to see the beaming face of a dad and his little boy that have obviously not been dealt the easiest hand up until now, but are still making the best of things!
July 16, 2014
Since we launched our new site a few days ago, we’ve asked a few people what they’d like to see from us. Clearly, we weren’t wrong about people loving the free entry competitions to enter online at itv.com, it seems that everyone likes those ridiculously easy questions to answer to get their chance to win big. In fact, the only prize they seem to offer is huge – even the daily Dickinson’s Real Deal competition runs in to the thousands of pounds.
The way it works is that the TV shows (usually the daytime weekday ones) run a new prize draw each week, often just as the daytime ITV shows go to an ad break. Presumably this keeps the viewers busy while the channel’s exec’s count the money they’re raking in from the ads during the break, while at the same time distracting those very viewers from those ads by encouraging them to spend money entering a competition via extortionate phone numbers or text short codes. Talk about a focus on money!
Of course, the prizes have to be huge to get the attention, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re making a lot more than the prizes cost to give away. In a recent week, we counted a total value of the prize draws to be over £250,000, although part of that was a holiday home which was probably at least part paid by the company that sells them in exchange for getting on TV.
What a lot of people seem to miss with these prize draws is that there is almost always an opportunity to lodge a free entry as well as using one of the paid routes. More often than not, this is online, so you just head over to the ITV website, and find the appropriate entry form. For example, the Real Deal one we referred to earlier is found here.
It does beg the question, why are so many of these competitions run during the daytime shows? I suspect it is due to the target audience of those shows, which is probably house-wives and house-husbands who are watching while the kids are at school. It may be a little cynical, but that seems likely also to be the households on the lower incomes, who are also likely to be drawn to the dream-like trailers they run for these competitions, often featuring expensive holidays on sandy beaches.
Here’s an example we found on YouTube of the types of competitions you can typically see during the day on ITV:
July 12, 2014
Everyone enters competitions from time to time, but you only ever seem to hear people talking about how they never win. So, do the winners exist? And if so, where are they?
Let’s start by addressing a common misconception, the competitions you commonly see are very likely to be genuine, as they’re likely to be run by companies that have a lot to lose if they get caught breaking the law. Yes, that’s right, if you run a competition, legally the prize must be given away.
So, what are the competitions you’re likely to stumble across?
Think TV, think magazines, think pubs. You can hardly watch a show on ITV these days without seeing a silly question to answer for your chance to win a massive cash prize, car or holiday. There’s magazines like Take A Break that have surfed on the competitions wave for years and the hospitality industry are continually running survey style competitions to find out what you think of them.
These types of competitions will almost certainly generate regular winners, but they’re also the ones with the longest odds. That’s to say your chance of winning are tiny. There are so many people entering that the winner will likely beat odds of thousands to one of being victorious!
If the chances of winning are so small, why bother entering?
Quite simply, the trick is to enter lots of competitions – as many as you can find! There are websites like Money Saving Expert with forums full of people helping each other to maximise the number of competitions they enter. The fact is, carry on long enough and eventually you’ll win something, even if it takes a very long time. Going back to the question, there’s a good reason to enter the really big competitions, and that’s that someone has to win. Yes, it’s unlikely, but if you are the luck one, you might win very big. For example, ITV competitions on daytime shows have been known to give away upwards of a quarter of a million pounds in cash to a single winner. I’m sure you’ll agree, that would make a year or two’s worth of entering well worth the effort!
That’s where our APV System comes in – we are here to help you connect with competitions. Take a look around!