I read a magazine article about a lady who had won cars, household appliances, even the house itself!
Following redundancy, I thought it would be a good pastime, whilst job hunting. Discovering a crossword competition in a local store, I was delighted to win £10. I was hooked.
I began entering comps with gusto, and realised there was a knack to slogan writing, and indeed to entering creative competitions such as devising recipes, designing T-shirts with slogans, etc. These skill competitions give you a much better chance of winning a prize, than a free to enter, first picked at random, free prize draw.
Inspired, I set out to learn more about this win-teresting pastime and won a family holiday to Devon and a shopping spree in a local menswear shop, which delighted my son and husband.
Moving to Lincolnshire, I continued my new hobby and by coincidence, in our local newspaper, noticed that journalist, Winn Sommor, was writing a weekly how to win competitions feature in which she invited readers to contact her if they’d like to swap details of current competitions.
I contacted Winn through the newspaper and by coincidence she’d won a dinner service at a store near my home, so we agreed to meet, got on well, and we’re still good friends.
Soon after we met, I revealed to Winn a life-long dream to become a writer, to write newspaper articles, edit a magazine and write books. She told me, “No-one is going to buy a competition magazine or book written by a complete unknown. People like to read an introduction something as follows: Mrs. X has won countless prizes, including a car, holidays and cash as well as numerous runners-up prizes, and is well known in the competitors’ world for her articles featured in...” She suggested I try and get some articles published in well-known comping magazines and win a few more substantial prizes.
I planned and organised my comping activities and began entering competitions every week. Shortly afterwards, attending a job interview, my career took a change of direction, and lead to a fascinating adventure, which all started with a coffee jar label on an interviewers desk...
At the local senior school, applying to teach computer skills, my eyes were drawn to a ‘Win a Car’ label on a coffee jar, on the interviewer’s desk. I must have kept glancing at it, for the interviewer asked me what I was looking at. I replied, "I was wondering whether it was appropriate, in the middle of an interview, to ask if I could have the coffee jar label." Intrigued she asked why, and I told her about entering competitions, following redundancy, and how I’d won a few small yet wonderful prizes including a holiday to Devon and shopping spending spree.
Lynne Suzanne wins her second prize winnng car
I came out of the interview with a job, but not the one I’d applied for. Instead, I was offered two 12-week courses, teaching adults How to Win Consumer Competitions. I promptly accepted, came home and wondered what on earth I was going to teach. Inspired to action, I planned the course, breaking down the topics into twenty-four weekly lessons and began to research more into this exciting pastime.
The class completed competition tasks with great enthusiasm. We worked on a supermarket competition to win a car, researching answers to the questions and working on a tiebreaker slogan. Returning to class after the Christmas break, one lady said she was quitting as she’d entered lots of competitions and never won anything. She said she’d spent a lot of time entering the supermarket competition to win a car and was disappointed. Oh dear! I wasn’t sure whether that was the best time to tell the class that I had in fact, won first prize of the car. The class congratulated me, said how much it inspired them, and the lady in question decided not to quit.
A few of Lynne's competition prize wins
Within six months I was writing features in competition magazines and a monthly Win With Lynne column. Plus, by then I had won a TV, two fantastic holidays and a Ford Fiesta.
With the goal to write a book, I realised I now had a topic and my class notes became the basis of my first book, Win With Lynne: How to Win Consumer Competitions. When the book launched, a story appeared in the Sheffield Star, the local paper in my home town, which was picked up and featured in the national press.
On the day the feature appeared, I answered the phone to a reporter from television’s Calendar News, asking if a crew could come and film me. Having agreed to a time after lunch, I thought I’d have a quick tidy up, when the phone rang again. This time I was invited to speak on BBC Radio Sheffield.
The Calendar News team arrived, or should I say descended, as lights and cameras were positioned around my home. They began filming. Talk about exciting. I’d never appeared on television before, and the experience was as good as winning a prize itself.
What followed was an exciting few years with TV appearances on breakfast TV, chat shows and documentaries and even taking part in Professor Richard Wiseman's scientific study into The Luck Factor.
Lynne Suzanne (right) appears on TV news programme after winning her first car
Thanks to competitions, I never did follow my original career. Instead, I followed my dream to become a writer with several published Win With Lynne features appearing in national magazines, weekly articles in regional newspapers and a daily Competitors Corner in the Daily Mail, which ran for three years. Three more books followed - Simply Slogans; Win Your Fortune in Prizes; Pun-ch Lines! with co-author Dee Tracy, a series of Intaslogans booklets, edited a competition magazine and organised UK competition days and weekends. And it's all thanks to this wonderful hobby of comping.
I'd also like to thank readers of my books, for following the success of How to Win Consumer Competitions, this lead to an exciting new career in writing.
I hope you find as much fun as I have from entering, and winning prize competitions. Happy Comping.
Lynne started 'comping' by winning a £10 gift voucher and her exciting prizes include: Holiday in Margarita and flight to experience the del-heights of the Angel Falls; Coast the Cape and South Africa's glorious garden route; Fly to capital cities for shop-till-you-drop weekends; Five-star hotel and flights to marvel at the Victoria Falls; Presented with keys to two gleaming new cars, and a host of small and welcome prizes.