Entering and Winning Competitions

The Internet has revolutionised the way people participate in competitions. If you fancy your chances at winning a prize, you needn’t spend time dialling a premium rate number anymore. Just log on to the Internet you’ll have access to hundreds of free competitions!

The rise in popularity of online competitions is largely due to the simplicity of the Internet. How would you like to win that luxury holiday you’ve been dreaming about? You can do this, right now in fact, and it will take you a matter of minutes.

This is because entering competitions is now simply a case of “completing the online form”, something you will have read time and time again if you’re a regular visitor to If you’re a lucky winner, you will be notified via e-mail or in some instances, via telephone. And with hundreds of competitions available on the Internet, there has never been a better time to go “comping”.

So what things can you win on the Net?

Aside from the classic prizes of old (cars, holidays and cash), you’ll find competitions to win shopping sprees, music gig tickets, laptops, computer games, consumer products, electrical goods and more. If you can purchase it, it’s a fair bet that somebody, somewhere, is offering the item as a prize.

The Internet has also revolutionised the way lotteries are played. If you’ve never had much luck with your local lottery game, check out the free lotteries online. Many allow you to play daily for increased chances of winning!

Do people actually win competitions?

One thing that we are frequently asked is: “do people really win online competitions?” To keep it short, the answer is: “yes”. People win all the time, and some more often than once. However, if you are to be successful with competitions, we recommend entering as many as you can that interest you.

You could even make comping a hobby. The truth is: there are many professional compers on the Internet who make a tidy living entering competitions. To be sure, it is hard work, but it will increase your chances of winning. Of course, for the less enthusiastic, there’s always beginners luck!

A few things to note:

All this sounds rather nice, and it is. Still, there are a number of things to be aware of when entering competitions, especially online. The Internet has its fair share of scams and catches, just like the brick and mortar world. If you’re not prepared, you may find yourself sailing close to dodgy deal territory, so use common-sense and follow the advice below:

“We recommend setting up a secondary e-mail account for the sole purpose of entering competitions (or requesting freebies, if you’re also a freebie hunter).”

If you enter a competition on the Web, a requirement may be to subscribe to an e-mail newsletter. Since you’re not being charged to enter the competition, operators frequently want something in return, be that an e-mail address, your opinion, or perhaps home address. Many competition operators also ask if you’d like to participate in offers, or complete an online questionnaire. It is sometimes possible to bypass these stages (or opt-out from the mailings). You may be able to survive with just providing your e-mail address, and if it’s a secondary account you’ve already set up for the purpose of entering competitions, it shouldn’t have much effect on you.

Read the competition operator’s terms and conditions.

It goes without saying, but if you’re participating in anything that comes with rules or regulations, it’s a wise decision run your eyes over the small print. For competitions, the rules are usually straight-forward and may stipulate a minimum age (i.e. 18 years), number(s) of entries permitted, and the country you must reside in to participate.

What’s the purpose behind online competitions?

Competitions are great fun, and like most things, they also have a purpose. There are numerous reasons why companies run competitions, and some of them are below:

To promote a Web site, product or service – Many competitions are used to help promote a product or service. For instance, if you’re a fan of the big screen, you’ll already be aware that competitions are used to promote the latest films. Few things whip-up interest like a free competition and wherever there’s a large promotion, we’d wager a bet that a competition is available.

To act as an incentive for something else – “Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll enter you into a free prize draw”. Have you seen this before? Competitions may be used to tempt you to take some form action, obviously with varying degrees of success. Being entered into a free prize draw to win a Caribbean holiday is far more tempting than shopping vouchers!

To get your opinion – It is also common to see competitions that you must complete a survey to enter. In exchange for providing your opinions on a topic, you’ll be entered into a prize draw!
Locating “offline” competitions

While the Internet is the most accessible and speedy way to enter competitions, more traditional avenues are also worth exploring. Don’t forget to try some of the methods below – especially if you wish to maximise your chances of winning.

Web sites

Specialist competition sites exist online, but you can also easily search for competitions using Google. Simply enter what you’d like to win (e.g. “win a luxury food hamper”), followed by the year (i.e. 2017). This way, you’ll see a selection of more recent listings. Sites dedicated to prizes are also worth exploring and tend to separate prizes by category, such as by cars, electronic equipment, holidays, vouchers, household items, etc.

Social sites

Social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook are another popular way of locating online competitions. Rather than entering your details on a simple form, competitions on these sites (especially on Twitter) tend to want you to “tweet”, “retweet”, or send in photographs. The winner will then be selected and contacted by a digital message. A novel and fun way to expand your comping repertoire!


Competitions exist on a wide range of products, such as breakfast cereal boxes, cans, sweets, and more. The prizes can vary widely, depending on the type of product. And if you don’t happen to see a competition available on your favourite brand packaging, be sure to investigate the company website. Chances are there will be a prize draw ready to enter.


If you want to go beyond just entering Web-based competitions, don’t forget about the wide range of TV prize draws. These can often be found during breakfast television, or before and after the advertising breaks of popular shows. In many cases, you will be asked to call or text a telephone number, so it is important that you get the bill payer’s permission and be aware of the costs involved.


Radio stations regularly run competitions, and if you happen to listen to stations throughout the day, it can be a great way to pack in some additional draw entries. The type of entry method can vary considerably on the radio. Some include: competitions from station advertisers, skill-based/quiz-based contests, station-run prize draws, “spot the station car”, and others. There will be a wide choice, and probably a wide selection of stations, so tune-in to a few and see what you can win. Top tip: you don’t just have to listen local either. Many online radio stations exist that accept competition entries.


Many large stores and small retailers run competitions during the year. While you will most likely see regular draws in the large stores, smaller outlets also accept entries from time to time. The smaller the retailer, the more likely you are to win (due to the fact the number of entries will be lower). Keep an eye out in the local press and also on the high-street for opportunities to win.

It is important to keep in mind that comping is hardly going to make you rich, even if you dedicate many hours to the pursuit. However, what it can do is boost your income and produce a steady stream of useful items that otherwise would have to be paid for.

How to improve your chances of winning:

1) The more competitions you enter, the greater your chances of winning. Increase the odds by participating in as many competitions as you can find. This can sometimes be difficult due to time constraints but by entering a set amount on a daily basis, you’ll be well on your way. Consider using software such as Roboform or the default form-filling tool in your Web browser to speed up the process.

2) Don’t just aim for the most impressive prizes. Be sure to enter the smaller ones as well, since these attract fewer entrants, unlike car and holiday competitions, which invariably attract many more. Be on the lookout for competitions offering multiple prizes to participants.

3) Keep an eye on the closing dates as often there is limited time to enter. If a competition interests you, be sure to enter as soon as possible to ensure your entry. Otherwise you’ll miss out on a potential win!

4) Read the Terms and Conditions before entering as this will detail what happens should you be lucky enough to win. Things to consider are the time it takes for the prize to be despatched, or if any other requirements are needed. For example, many competitions require entrants to be over the age of 18, so be sure to check this beforehand. (If you are a bit younger, don’t worry – some competitions cater for ages 16 and over).

5) The more difficult a competition is to enter, the less popular it will be. Even if the prize is lucrative, it will garner less entrants than a similar competition with a simple entry process. Therefore, putting the extra time in could prove very worthwhile.

6) Don’t lose your head if you’ve not won any prize as yet. Just keep entering a set amount on a daily basis and within time you’re sure to emerge as the lucky winner. It is a good idea to set out a plan for entry. Decide how many competitions you can enter per day and set an allocated time! Stay positive and stick to the plan – however you decide to proceed.

Despite online competitions becoming increasingly popular, there are still many offline competitions to enter. Magazines, television, radio programmes – even large stores, are well-known to feature competitions. Remember the golden rule: you’ve got to be “in it to win it”!

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