Sunday, 24 December 2017

2017: How was it for you?

Now that it’s all over but the unboxing, it’s time for a quick glance back at the last 12 months.

For me, it’s been a year of two halves. By April, I’d won a GoPro camera, four bikes and VIP tickets to watch Norwich City play - prizes with a grand ticket price in the region of £1900. At that point, In needed only to maintain a win rate of £70 per month for the rest of the year and I’d have beaten my personal best.

Sadly, my form took a dip, and my blue period gave my mojo a good roasting. Although I’ve since recovered, that hasn’t translated to the same kind of luck as last year, when I averaged a win every other day in December. That’s not to be a moaning minnie - I still managed about two a week (although three of those were in America, so it’ll be a while before I see those wins - if at all!).

More than anything else, though, my 2017 is going to go down as the year of the sublime and the ridiculous. It’s the year I won cologne from both Paul Smith and Peperami; a £100 voucher to spend at Amazon and a coupon for a bottle of Lucozade that ended up costing four pence to redeem; an awesome flannel shirt for my lad and, for me, a hoodie from a peddler of online smut.
It smells better than it sounds. No, really!
Be honest - which would you rather have?
Still, it’s the utter randomness of the draw that keeps the game interesting. Sure, you can shorten your odds, and develop that luck muscle, but unless you can find a competition with no other entrants, the result, like so much in life, could go in any direction. And if you’re lucky enough to find a competition with no other entrants, there’s a good chance it’ll be pretty niche - at least, that’s how I ended up with a beanie hat advertising cattle disinfectant.

The other notable development this year has been my minor success as a piggy-back winner.
I don’t know if there’s an official term for this mode of winning, but I’m talking about giveaways where the entry mechanic requires compers to tag a friend or two, and prizes are awarded not just to the winning entrant but also their friends. This mechanic is great for a whole bunch of reasons. Most obviously, it adds a random-act-of-kindness to the prize-giving - I love that for some folks, the prize will come completely out of the blue. Simply put, it’s a fantastic way for promoters to foster brand sentiment (and in my case, provide a little mojo boost).

In fact, I’ve had three such mojo boosts this year, having won teabags, a Corcicle canteen and a bunch of flower remedies thanks to my lovely comping buddies, Lorna and Rebecca. (This is the point where I call for a virtual team hug, topped off with seasonal high-fives, and, what the hell, finger pistols too!)

But I’d hate for the rest of y’all to feel left out - drop us a comment below to let everyone know how your year has gone, and I'll chuck you an attaboy as you collect your mince pie!

I hope you have a lovely (and restful) Christmas!


  1. beanie hat for cattle disinfectant!!! - hilarious!!! Love the piggy-back comping too as it really is nice when a promoter does two prizes like that. Here's to the most amazing 2018!!!!

    1. It's definitely one of my most obscure prizes... Let's hope we can be even more random in 2018!