Wednesday, 21 December 2016

2016: How was it for you?

Colour me happy: whether you measure by number of prizes or by prize value, 2016 has been my most successful year of comping. I won’t pretend that the majority of wins were anything other than modest, but any time I'm stuck in a dry patch (and I did have several this year), prizes like this play a key role in my motivation.

Some, I grant, were little more than cracker-fillers (the golf tees and the luggage tag spring to mind), and, perhaps inevitably, most of the little ones weren’t exactly exotic, but given the choice between winning a pint of milk or a viscose scarf that’s too small to function as anything but a flimsy handkerchief (yep - that was this year’s booby prize), then give me the milk every time.

As it happens, I won eight pints of milk. I also won a bag of coffee, a tube of toothpaste, several packets of granola, and more cheese than I could possibly hope to fit in my fridge. There was also the matter of the meat pie, but the less said about that, the better. My memories of the confectionery hamper were certainly sweeter.

On the subject of food, there was just the one dining experience this year: a family meal at Frankie & Benny’s. This came from a low-entry photo competition which required entrants to take a picture of the digger sponsored by F&B at Diggerland, Castleford  - there were three prizes and no more than ten entrants, so the odds were pretty sweet. This prize came in just a few weeks after I’d copped one of the runner-up prizes on F&B’s Facebook page, so who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?!

My first-born on a digger

Treats out are always great, of course, and this year I’ve won something for the whole family: I’ve been twice to see Norwich City play (although sadly only once in the Premiership…); meanwhile, my kids loved Cirque Beserk and my wife loved seeing Beyoncé at Wembley. I’ve also won a family ticket to the Harry Potter studios, so that’s something to look forward to next year.

Tickets for the Harry Potter Experience

I might not have won cash, but I did win the next best thing: vouchers. I was well chuffed that the Christmas list I posted earlier this month won a £100 gift card from Debenhams. This was on top of the £100 Co-op voucher I won for reciting a fair-trade shopping list; the £50 Sainsbury voucher for snapping my first-born in his back-to-school uniform; the £20 Rymans voucher for writing a limerick; and the £75 voucher I won from a local menswear shop. None of these comps had very many entrants; in fact, the last one had only one - me!

As for the big ones, my year was quite nicely bookended by wishlist items: an iPad Mini in January and, last week, a £200 voucher for Virgin Experiences, which I’m blowing on an overnight spa break for my wife and me - so I’ll have to take at least one night off the comping next year!

But that's enough chatter from me - I hope you've had a great year too! All that remains for me now is to wish you a really great Christmas and a lucky new year - see you in 2017!

How was 2016 for you? Did you tick anything off your wish list? What are your hopes for 2017?


  1. ah this is a brilliant list. So pleased for you with the debenhams win. And harry potter is definitely on my wishlist for next year as my son is crazy about harry potter! I was so busy with work for about half the year that I literally had no spare time for comps so ive been making up for it since i gave up my job last month and am really pleased with how things have gone in the past month (£500 amazon voucher for a creative design comp, a couple of little instagram wins but for healthy food that i'm really into this year and a doctor who related prize that the kids and me will adore when it arrives next year). Here's to a wonderful 2017 for you! x

    1. Real life does get in the way sometimes, doesn't it? That's when I have to remind myself that comping's a pastime not a necessity (especially hard when the advent comps take on a gravity all of their own, and before you know it, you're sucked into a black hole!).

      That Amazon voucher must have been a particularly sweet win after the effort you must have put in! I'm hoping to make some improvements with my creative game in 2017, but I'm relying on my lads giving me a bit more brain space in this regard!

      Hope your 2017 is peaceful and lucky in equal measure!

  2. What a great collection of wins for the year! I'd love to go back to the Harry potter studios, i think i may need to add that to my comping wish list! Are you going to blog your prize wish list this year, would love to see what your aiming to win :D

    1. Thanks! Updating my wishlist for 2017 is definitely on my to-do list - what a great idea for a post!