How to win at competitions
Everyone wants to be a winner. It’s a natural human desire, and it's why we’re here today ahead of the dinosaurs and Neanderthals who we beat out to achieve survival. Heck, if humans never wanted to win, we’d still be cavemen sitting in our caves eating leafy green vegetables. And I, for one, am certainly glad I don’t have to be subjected to leafy green vegetables.
Winning is simply part of everyday school life - school exams, athletics carnivals, dating... The quicker you can accept that, the better.
There is a fun side to winning, however. A side where you can own plasma TVs, computers, lifetime supplies of pudding... I myself have won a guitar, festival tickets, movie screenings and more... I thought it was about time I shared my knowledge with the world. Here’s your handy guide to winning at competitions.
You have to be in it to win it
It may sound basic, but the fact is you’ve actually got to enter a competition if you want to have any chance of winning. They don’t have a separate draw for people that just look at the competition. To actually be in with a chance you will most likely have to do something even if it’s just filling out your details or answering a simple question.
It’s very common and easy to look at a competition and feel a sense of laziness - you’re doing work for a small chance of any reward - or a sense of hopelessness that everyone will enter and you’ve got no chance.
Simply put, someone’s gotta win, right? Why not you? A few seconds of effort is worth the rewards, no doubt.
Enter anything and everything
Don’t waste too much time browsing for a competition that suits your wants and desires perfectly. Beggars can’t be choosers - who cares if the competition is for a Barbie bike and you’re a diehard Metallica fan? Give it to your sister.
Competitions can be found everywhere - newspapers, magazines, on TV, on the internet... Remember, selling your winnings is always allowed, so you can always put the money towards that new Metallica box set (although I’d advise against it as they’re not half as good as they used to be, Metallica).
One warning though: try to avoid those expensive text ads you see on television. I’ve heard many of horror stories about how they could end up costing you hundreds of dollars, so try to make sure whatever you’re entering is free of charge.
Play to your strengths
Let’s be honest. There’s no use entering a colouring competition if your works of art aren't even worthy of a spot on your kitchen fridge. If you like writing, enter a writing competition. If you’re into music, enter a song writing contest. If you’re hot and you know it, enter a modelling competition! Talents are a big asset, especially in the competitions that aren’t just based on luck.
Be smart, but not too smart
I’ve won a few times at competitions that require ’25 words or less’ answers... The way to win here is to think outside the square. The questions are often deceivingly simple, but a clever answer with a bit of thought will boost your chances tenfold. But, be warned!!! Answers involving crazy ridiculous things from the depths of your imagination, however imaginative, are maybe not the best idea. Keep it simple, okay?
Where to find them
So, with this guidance, It’s now up to you. The ball is in your park, and there’s plenty of places to start right now. Check out the youthcentral Competitions page, or have a look on the web for competitions. A simple search for "competitions" will turn up page after page of places to find things you could win.
Some online competitions need you to sign up as a member of their website, and others need you to enter your personal details. Be careful when giving away your information. If you're not comfortable with letting other people know your contact details, then don't tell them. If you're worried about spam you can always sign up for a "fake" email address and use that instead of your "real" one for entering competitions.
Even if you don’t win anything just remember my life motto - everyone’s a winner. Remember that, as I sit here with my free guitars and computer games.
Good luck! You’re gonna need it!
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