Tuesday 10 May 2011

What was your BEST ever prize?

Last week I shared my worst ever prize with you  and enjoyed reading all your comments about your worst ever prizes. Now I'm going to ask you what your BEST ever prize  was.

I've been interviewed several times for TV, radio and magazines and have always been  asked "What is the best prize you have ever won?" and I've never yet been able to come up with a firm answer. I love winning holidays - but which is the best one I've won? The  trip round the world? The gourmet tour of India? Whale watching in the San Ignacio lagoon? Three wonderful holidays, three  out of many wonderful holidays that I have won, but all so very different that it is impossible to compare them.

But if I had enough money, I might have taken those same holidays without having won them. Some of my best prizes have been things that I simply wouldn't, possibly even COULDN'T,  have done if it wasn't for comping, from spending an  afternoon making pizzas  in the window of a pizza  parlour to flying in to Silverstone by helicopter to watch the British Grand Prix, and from spending an evening butchering a pig to spending one dashing round London eating a four course meal in four different restaurants.

One of my favourite such prizes came  from  a local newspaper - the prize was two tickets to see La Boheme in the grounds  of a stately home. The letter telling me I had won said "No need to bring a picnic  - we will provide one". That was a huge understatement - they provided a beautiful Fortnum and Masons Hamper, with masses  of beautiful food,wine, juice, water and champagne  and of course all the china,  cutlery and glass we needed. They had set aside a large space for us, nearer to the stage than the rest of the audience, so we  were sure people were  whispering "Who are they? They must be VERY important!" And  somehow they had even arranged glorious weather for the event- not easy in our unpredictable climate! A very memorable evening and definitely one of my best prizes  ever.

So over to you - what was YOUR best, or most memorable prize? I'm looking forward to reading your comments.   


  1. Won a fabulous wine cruise around Iberia for 2 worth £5k with Swan Hellenic, for a heritage piece about why we should save the Alhambra - part fantasy, part fact. Also, on a more mundane level, energy-saving work on our house to same value - comp was to write advice on energy saving, and I wrote a rhyme. I've found that rhyming entries do well in all sorts of comps; I bet you have too!

  2. Has to be 6 days at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi. At the time it was the world's most expensive hotel, and the room came with a butler!

    George H Bush was there for 1 of those days. The US SS men were very cordial, but UAE security forces were pretty ruthless...

    Still, definitely an experience!

  3. 1 night at the Langdale Hotel, just off Oxford street, dinner at the Ivy- Covent Garden and spending money! Lovely night out with hubby - first one in 17 years. Came back home next morning to find that out 17 YO daughter had had a house party. How did I find out- er photos she had posted on fb,... that looked remarkably like my house!

    ps.. can you put my name down for the advent comp!!!!!

  4. Really pleased to have won the kitchen stool draw of course!

    Another win I really enjoyed was 2 "VIP" audience tickets for auditions of Britain's Got Talent. I've never been a fan of the show as I get upset when acts are booed but I decided to go along to see how filming was done. What a great decision! Although we were in the quick access queue for the event (that's the VIP bit as tickets are generally free)we still had to wait two hours in the cold because the afternoon auditions had run over time. A couple of times I felt like giving up but we struck up conversation with other people in the queue and soon we we were all making the best of it with lots of laughs and jokes.

    We were seated just behind the judges! David Hasselhoff, Amanda Holden and Michael MacIntyre. Wonderful. All three were very friendly and turned to include the audience in their conversations between acts. Michael MacIntyre is very very funny. Amanda - looking very glamorous from the front, had her shoes off under the desk and a hot water bottle under her skirt! David Hasselhoff was regularly attended to by makeup artists and took all the teasing about wrinkle fillers and spray tan well.

    The first act were skateboarders. As soon as they finished performing one ran off and projectile vomited into the equipment at the side, narrowly missing Ant and Dec. To be fair he had been performing with a broken shoulder - enough to make anyone feel sick!

    We were treated to some amazing acts as well as some unusual ones. Who decides to dress up as a hamster and run round a wheel for millions to see? Well if you watch it on TV you may find out.

    The auditions were supposed to finish at 9 pm but we finally left at 11.15 pm. I can honestly say I loved every minute.

  5. Not my most valuable prize but definitely my BEST prize was in 1999 when I won my very first dishwasher. It changed my life! I would love to win an expensive holiday but nothing can compare to a prize that makes every day life sooo much easier!

  6. I've only been comping for 18 months,my best prize to date was in April this year,I recieved a 300 pound Toy voucher for Smyths toy shop.With 5 children it was lovely to be able to treat them.


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