3 simple steps to win a 25 words or less competition

20 Jul

Game of skill competitions (competitions that don’t provide a randomly drawn winner but a winner that has a unique and judged entry), are very common. However due to the nature of the entry mechanic, and the extra creativity needed to enter the competition, they often receive less entries than a simple random draw competition. For some reason people freak out about thinking of an answer to a competition question. Just turn on your creativity hat. You don’t even need to tell the truth in your answer, you just need to think outside the box.

In my job I run numerous game of skill competitions because they are the easiest to run simply because they don’t require a legal permit. They are tricky to run from an administration point of view because if you get 5000 entries you need to read every response to judge a winner. Boring and hard. Especially boring when every response sounds the same.

So, how do you win a question answer competition?

1.Read the question, look at the prize, read the terms and conditions carefully and for crying out loud think about if you were judging the competition what would you want the winner to say.

Example 1: Let’s say the question in the entry form is: What is your number one tip to being organised. The terms and conditions will tell you the way in which your answer will be judged. Maybe they want creativity, your answer to relate to the season, to include the brand name of the product you will win… just read the terms and conditions for hints to help your response.

Example 2: Let’s now say the competition is giving away beauty products like foundation and mascara and the question is “What is your number one tip to staying beautiful”. DO NOT SAY “drink lots of water and always wear a smile”. NO! That will not win you the competition. The prize is beauty products silly! The judge wants you to say something like “I love to wear foundation to even out my skin tone and make me look beautifully radiant all day long”. If you like to drink water then good for you but if you look good just by drinking water then why on earth would the judge want to make you the winner and give you foundation and mascara that you won’t want or use? Plus, probably 10% of other silly heads also said they drink water to stay beautiful. oh boy!

Example 3: And now let’s say the question is “Tell us about your most romantic anniversary”. Heck! Maybe you have never had a romantic anniversary or any anniversary of significance at all! Never mind! It’s OK to be creative and pretend you had an awesome romantic anniversary with an imaginary person. The judge will never know and will be so happy to hear your super extravagant story over Mrs Jones and her boring real story about once receiving a bunch of red roses and a kiss. You’ll win if you can say something realistic but a little extravagant. “I was taken by my loved one to a restaurant for a surprise meal, he hired a violinist to play my favourite song (which happens to be Bittersweet Symphony) and then he blind folded me and drove into the hills where he had booked a hotel for the night. When he took the blind fold off me the bed was sprinkled with rose petals and a big present was on the table. I opened it to find tickets to Europe inside. Such a romantic lover”….. come on. You can think of drivel like that to win a prize can’t you?

2. Think outside the box.

I can promise you that if you pick a generic response that you wont win. I have judged competitions where at least 80% of the responses were the same as other peoples. So back to the questions “what is your number one tip for being organised”, probably the most common answer to that would be “I like to write a list” or “I plan out my week”. Good responses aren’t they…. but if lots of other people have answered the same thing, then you can’t win because then everyone else would have to win wouldn’t they?

Your response needs something different. Perhaps you can write a poem to include your answer in. Just take a deep breath and brainstorm all of the most common responses to the question you can think of and cross them out. You need to stand out!

3. Make sure you check your email and don’t be a fakeo

Please don’t give a fake email address or an email address you never check in your entry form. So many competitions I have run have not ended up with first round winners because people never responded to their emails to give me more information. That means that second chance draw winners will win…. or nobody sometimes. Don’t be a greedy competition entrant either. Don’t enter 6 times with different fake names. That’s not cool and you are very greedy if that’s what you do.

And if you are a greedy competition entrant, don’t make it obvious by putting that into your competition email address like Helens.Comps@genericemail.com… clearly the judge will see 1. you’re greedy, 2. you enter competitions almost professionally and 3. you’re sooooo dumb for putting that into your email address.

Some people spend a great deal of time entering competitions, it’s quite sad really but there are lots of competitions out there just waiting to be won. These 25 words or less competitions are less likely to be won by “normal” people because of the creativity extra effort element. Full time competition junkies are more likely to win because they know the tricks I’m teaching you.

So there you have it. 3 simple steps to win a game of skill competition.

Good luck and happy winning!

4 Responses to “3 simple steps to win a 25 words or less competition”

  1. tudogz December 26, 2016 at 12:14 am #

    What is your take on poetic entries? I’ve entered heaps of comps and only ever won random-draw types. I tried poetry for ages but then read on a blog that poems mostly go in the bin. Do you think judges actually read every entry?

    • Belinda December 27, 2016 at 7:14 am #

      Hi. It’s all subjective at the end of the day. Maybe the judge likes poems or maybe they think they are cheesy. It depends on what brand you are entering for too. Always consider their target market and what type of entry they might be looking for. Personally I look for well written entries with a genuine spirit, nothing that sucks up to my brand or seems like a competition junkie is entering. You’ll be surprised how many people enter competitions with blatent competition junkie give always like “janescompetitions” as their email address or Instagram name.

      • tudogz December 29, 2016 at 1:52 am #

        Thanks for the reply. I’m just getting back into comps after a long absence. (recently retired)
        Will follow your tips and see how I go, I guess.
        Cheers, Thomas (tudogz)


  1. Write 25 Words! - holidaycomps - July 11, 2014

    […] 3 simple steps to win a 25 words or less competition […]

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