I’ve made £14,000 from winning competitions in the last five months

I’ve been comping since I was 11

I’m a comper – someone who enters competitions as a hobby.

In the last five months alone I’ve won £14,000 of prizes, including £10,000 towards my university fees and a student technology bundle to go with it from the Currys & PC world Snapchat competition.

I’ve been entering competitions since I was 11. My first win was the Silentnight Book at Bedtime Short Story competition back in August 2008. I won a two-night stay at The Silentnight Alton Towers suite and Ultimate Fast Track tickets for myself and my family.

My story was also published and I had a book launch at the Waterstones, Piccadilly. After this first win, I was already hooked.

Free dinner for two and cocktails at The Trading House of Glasgow that I won

Before starting university, I started entering competitions last August in order to win things for the term. Currys and PC world ran a competition for students to win £10,000 towards their university fees. The competition ran for a month from the beginning of August till early September and each week a different challenge was set and the overall best entry from all of the challenges would win the prize.

My winning entry was from the fourth week, the challenge being to recreate your favourite movie scene, where I recreated the scene from Harry Potter where Harry gets told he’s a wizard using puppets that I’d made and I also narrated it. I was really shocked to find out I’d won: I’m honestly not that artistic at all and I really thought there would be better entries, but as they say you’ve got be in it to win it, right?

From August – December last year I won 42 prizes including:

  • V Festival weekend camping tickets (worth £400)
  • Night out at the upmarket Corinthian Club Glasgow on Halloween for 12 – I went with all my university flatmates (worth £350)
  • A four night break for four at Bluestone Wales resort in Pembrokeshire (worth £500)
  • £100 of vouchers of my choice – I chose Love2shop

It’s become a huge part of my life, I’ve even dedicated a whole blog to the expertise of comping.

Night out at the Corinthian Club Glasgow, we had free use of their private karaoke room, a mini buffer and cocktails on arrival and also a free VIP booth in the club later that night

My tips for entering competitions

Be patient

Don’t expect to win things straight away – competitions aren’t an instant return guarantee. The only reason I win so much is because I enter hundreds of competitions.

Dedicate a set amount of time

Set aside some time to do comping each week – how much is up to you, but as long as you enter competitions regularly you stand more chance of winning.

Create a wish list

And decide what you’d like to win – this will prevent you from receiving prizes that you don’t want.

Always read the rules 

It’s quite obvious, but always read the small print.

Sign up to a competition forum/ website

These are websites that contain whole databases of verified competitions. My favourite is Loquax.