I’ve had quite a few new followers recently, so I’m going to state something which longer term followers will already know – I love statistics. Over the last couple of years, I’ve kept quite a lot of stats about entering competitions online. Every now and then I do an update on what the numbers are telling me.

The end of September was 3/4 of the way through the year. A good point to look at this year’s stats (so far) then.

statistics-education-research-day1For the period January 1 – September 30th 2014, this is what I found:

Number of competitions listed (on The Prize Finder, my website of choice) : 34004. (It’s probably higher than this, but this is what I noted)

Number of competitions that I entered : 10453.

So, I’m entering just over 30% of competitions listed. Why not all of them? Well, there’s a mixture of reasons. There’s competitions that I just don’t want to enter because the prize don’t appeal, or it’s something that I just don’t want. Sometimes, it is a prize that I’d like but I want to avoid the promoters running the competition. I don’t put much faith in competition only websites like UKPrize.co.uk, Prize Reactor or Prize Store. I’ve engaged with sites like that in the past and ended up with an incredible amount of spam in my mailbox and not a sniff of a prize. It’s just now worth it.

Emails received : 16851

I set up a brand new email address for competitions this year. In nine months, it received almost 17,000 emails. This is why you shouldn’t use a valued email address for competitions!

Number of wins : 16

Sixteen wins out of 10,453 competitions. That is:

One win for every 653 competitions entered.

One win, on average, every 17 days.

A loss rate of 99.847%. Yup. I lose 99.847 competitions that I enter. Isn’t that insane? Can you imagine a less successful hobby? Would you continue to try and knit if you only managed one successful jumper after 652 failed attempts? No. There’s clearly something wrong with me.

At this point last year, I had entered 7,188 competitions, so I’m 3265 competitions ahead. Despite that, I had won 19 competitions. So, comparing 2013 to 2014:

In 2013, my success rate was one win in every 378 competitions. This year, it’s one in every 653 competitions. That’s a 72% increase in losses. Wow. What’s going on?

I think it’s Twitter competitions. Last year, I didn’t really enter them. This year, I’ve done it a lot. The fact is, though, I’m just not getting any wins from them. They’re easy to enter, but they just aren’t worth the effort.

As much as the average of my wins is one every 17 days, it didn’t pan out like that. I had nothing in January or February, then five in the first week of July. There’s no rhyme or reason.

The best win I had was a LG 26″ HD LCD TV. The worst was the bobble head. The most satisfying was a set of Monster DNA Headphones. It was satisfying because it was an effort comp. I had to submit a photo. I put quite a bit of thought into it, then I won. It paid off. Effort comps do tend to reward more, chiefly because fewer people enter them.

So, that’s the stats. I’ll do another update at the end of the year. The year isn’t lateral, by the way. December has a SPIKE with the Advent competitions. You have to be organised for them.

Finally, I’d like to confess something. I’m hiding this confession at the end. It’s a confession because it’s a change of heart from something that I was quite vocal about before. So, here it is. I now, after years of hatred and loathing, beginning to love and enjoy Rafflecopter competitions. There, I said it. Mock me at your leisure. Goodnight.