Man with Money
Man with Money

The secret to winning an online competition

COVID-19 has even had an impact on competitions, with online organisers seeing a massive decline in entries for holidays; while home gyms have soared to the top of the most-south after prize list.

Craig Seitam, co-owner of competitionsGuide.com.au, said that pre-coronavirus, on average, one in every four - and as high as two out of every five - competitions were for holidays, including voyages on cruise liners.

Those competitions that were in place before are still there but there is just not the interest.

"No one wants to win a holiday at the moment," he says.

STAY SAFE: Craig Seitam works in online security. Picture: Lachie Millard
STAY SAFE: Craig Seitam works in online security. Picture: Lachie Millard

"The big competition at the moment is a home gym. A month ago that would have been ninth. Tool sets are also going through the roof!"

So how can you increase your chances of winning?

"The simple answer is to enter competitions with the fewest number of entries, in order to increase your odds," Craig says. "Competitions requiring a purchase usually have the fewest entries and the biggest prizes.

"Next best is competitions requiring effort - even if it's as simple as a 25-words-or-less answer - each requirement means fewer entries."

But be prepared for a possible onslaught of marketing emails.

Some sites are upfront in saying they would be hoovering up the personal details and playing habits of players and passing that data collected on to the game organiser's "partners".

So after you click "enter", be prepared for a barrage of e-mails and telephone calls flogging everything from funerals to wine.

Craig says many people skim past the conditions and privacy policies.

"Either people do not care or they do not think about it," he says.

He says some punters believed that ticking boxes to indicate they were interested in receiving special offers would increase their chances of winning.

"It doesn't. And they quickly realise they are getting calls from everywhere and they can be not only time-consuming, but insidious," he adds.

In the conditions, competition organisers state that they will pass your details to their partners.

"It might be a casino in Malta and then they start trading your details as well," Craig says.

He says a phone number makes the information a lot more valuable.

"Any competition you enter you can expect to hear from to some extent, but to avoid competitions that result in multiple e-mails and phone calls. It's best to join a competition website that authenticates each comp before posting."

Competition websites will charge a fee to belong, though.

And how can you be sure someone actually wins?

"All competitions, run in Australia, are subject to state and federal laws - as any business is - but, unfortunately, there are no checks to ensure promoters do what they say they will," Craig says. "Fortunately, our member base is quick to let us know when there is a problem, and we have intervened in the past with issues involving prize delivery."

Originally published as The secret to winning an online competition


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