For most of us, winning a major prize is nothing more than a dream, however this interview with David W shows that dreams can come true!
David is 35 years old and has been comping since he was 17. Since then he has won over $150,000 worth of prizes, from nothing more than a hobby.
What got you into entering competitions?
A few people influenced me. My sister used to enter them when she was a young child and was pretty lucky. Her best prize was a helicopter ride for 2 over our hometown. Not many people get to go on a helicopter at the age of 6! My friend also won £100,000 in cash when he was 17, a prize that truly changed his life. Also, when I was completing my apprenticeship, one of my mentors was a keen ‘comper’ and would tell me on a weekly basis of the prizes he won.
What was the first prize you won?
It was a small joystick for a Nokia 3210 to help play the legendary game ‘Snake’.
What’s the biggest prize (value) you’ve ever won?
I won a trip for 2 to the Glastonbury Festival in England. The prize included; flights, transfers, cash, accommodation and VIP access to the festival. It was valued at $40,000. I got to mingle with celebrities backstage like; Noel Gallagher, Sienna Miller, Fatboy Slim and Florence from Florence and the Machine.
Have you ever won a “money can’t buy” experience?
Yes, I’ve won a few actually, however there’s one that stands out from the rest. I won the opportunity to meet the one and only Buzz Aldrin. I surprised my Dad with the tickets, he was absolutely delighted. The prize also included free beers and canapés. What else could you ask for!
I also won the chance to toss the coin before a Sydney FC game and shake hands with Alessandro Del Piero. This was awesome considering I’m a huge football (soccer) fan.
What other big prizes have you won?
- Holiday for 4 to Hawaii which included accommodation at The Hilton, cash and daily trips.
- Holiday for 2 to London with 5 star accommodation and a James Bond jet boat across the Thames.
- Holiday to London for 2 people to see Mudhoney in concert.
- Trip for 1 to Everest base camp in Nepal (which I couldn’t claim as my wife had just given birth)
- Backstage passes to a number of concerts.
What about smaller prizes?
- plenty of double passes to; movies, comedy clubs, premieres.
What do you love about entering competitions apart from winning them?
- Checking the post box. It’s exciting. You can’t beat that feeling when you receive something in the post, whether it’s a box, envelope or ‘failed delivery’ card from the postman. Walking down to the post office can be quite exciting.
What’s the most ridiculous prize you’ve ever won?
- A packet of chocolate fingers. When I saw the box I immediately thought it was an iPad, and then realised it wasn’t as it was too light. I was surprised to find that I’d won a runners up prize. They were nice with a cup of tea.
- Have fun.
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations. From my experience you usually have to enter 100 completions to win 1.
- You’ve got to be in it to win it. So many people say to me that they never win anything, however when I ask them if they ever enter anything, they usually say no.
- Use a trusted website like CompSpot. There are a number of sites out there that want to collect your details and spam you. Avoid them like the plague.
- Stay away from Insurance Comps. They’ll keep cold calling you..
- Enter comps that will likely have fewer entries. (Purchase required, community comps, Words or Less). These comps usually have better prizes and have fewer entries.
- Don’t enter comps that you don’t want to win. Leave it to people who do want to win.