Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed yourself immensely. After the chaos of Christmas and the advent competitions, what better way to wind down than to read a whole bunch of competition statistics compiled by some bloke on the internet!

So, here it is. The annual Looking for the Postman collection of competition stats.

The Facts

The competitions entered were found on either The Prize Finder or Twitaculous.

If a competition was entered more than once (ie – bonus daily entries), it only counted  as one competition entry in total.

The total represents competitions with a closing date between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2014.

Comparisons with last year’s figures are made throughout. Full details of 2013 stats can be found here.

The Figures : Competitions entered

My target for the year was 10,000 competitions. It was semi-plucked out of thin air but also based on a realistic total based on last year’s total of 10,727. That meant I had to get an average of 833.33 competitions entered a month.

The year didn’t start off well. I didn’t hit that target in January or February (747 and 826 respectively). Unsurprisingly, then, neither of those months landed me any wins.

I hit my stride in March with a much improved 1,309 competitions entered and (with the exception of July), exceeded the 833 total every month. I then got an average of two wins a month for the next four months.

June’s total of 1,851 was the largest I’d ever attained (at that point). The extra work resulted in five wins, all arriving in the first week of July. Easily the most successful winning period I’ve ever had.

Things purred along until the end of November.  August brought 1 prize, October brought 6. The others were in between.

December was a completely different story. It was the first time I’d fully engaged with the Advent competitions and it reshaped my stats for the year. I entered 3,485 competitions in December and only won a prize from two of them (although some optimistic friends on Facebook assure me some may be in the post).

So, the 10,000 target? It was reached in September. The final total for the year was a scorching 17,088 competitions.

The figures : Prizes won

I was fortunate enough to win 28 prizes this year (an increase on last year’s 23). The total value of the prizes comes to £2,616.

The biggest prize – worth £1,400 – was a ‘Foodie Break’ including travel, two nights in a five star hotel in the Lake District and dinner in a Michelin Star restaurant with win. That was a cracker!

You can therefore see that the combined total of the other 27 prizes was £1,216. The best of those prizes was an LG TV, an overnight stay in a Radisson Blu and some Monster DNA headphones.

Eight of the 28 prizes were books! Mostly kid’s books. We’ve got four kids so they were well appreciated.

The worst prize was the bobble head. That damn bobble head.

Context

On 2013, I had 23 wins for 10,727 competitions entered. That meant I won a prize for every 466 competitions entered, and one prize every 15.9 days. An average of 29.38 competitions a day.

2014 is much different. I had 28 wins for 17,088 competitions entered. That’s one prize for every 610.29 competitions entered, or one prize every 13.04 days. An average of 46.82 competitions a day.

So, a 59% increase in competitions entered resulted in only a 21% increase in prizes. The extra entries weren’t worth it.

Here’s the most striking way of looking at it.

In 2014, I failed to win in 99.84% of competitions that I entered! (In 2013, it was 99.79%).

Think about that. When I’m entering competitions, for 99.84% of the entries, I’m completely wasting my time. Wow.

When you look at December in isolation, it’s even worse. 3,485 competitions entered – two wins. That is a loss rate of 99.97%! Merry Christmas :/

I believe that the biggest waste of time is Twitter competitions. You get a much lower return in wins from those, mainly because they’re just so easy to enter. Thousands of people enter them.

The most satisfying win was the headphones. Not because of the prize,  but because it was a ‘creative’ competition. I submitted a humorous pic that I’d made and won. Very rewarding.

2015

And so, looking forward, where am I going? Well, I won’t be setting a target. The days of mass entries are over. Time consuming entries into random draws are:

– Not enjoyable

– Not profitable

– Leaving it too much in the hand of fate (and I’ve no reason to believe that fate likes me)

So, with that in mind (and also with a big nudge from this post from Super Lucky Di), 2015 will be the year of the creative comp. I want to replicate the satisfaction that I felt when I won the headphones. Plus, everyone knows that creative comps have far fewer entries and a bigger chance of winning…

So, that’s that for the 2014 stats. Well done if you made it this far.

How was your 2014?