Wednesday 28 December 2011

Are you a superstitious comper?

Winning competitions is usually about luck - even in a competition with an element of skill, there is still some luck involved: you need to be lucky enough to get judges who like your entry better than all the others.

And wherever luck is involved, there are superstitions. So do YOU have any comping superstitions?

Some compers like to send all their postal entries from the same postbox. You may try to argue the logic of it - that one is in  a visible spot where it won't get vandalised, or has the most convenient collection times - but I bet that deep down inside something is telling you that you are more likely to win if you post your entries there.

Other people may like to write with a lucky pen,  kiss the envelope before posting it,  or even walk three times round the post box (TIP: don't try this if it's set into the wall of a building!)

I'm sure lots of us have our own  versions of the well-known good and bad luck superstitions, with lucky charms, lucky days of the week to enter and always hoping to see two magpies rather than one. And although you probably keep the toilet lids in your home closed to keep germs  and smells shut away, isn't there a little voice in the back of your mind telling you that an open toilet lid drains money from the house?

With more modern comping methods, it's harder to be superstitious, after all a computer is just a machine, but do you arrange your desk  a certain way or approach things in a certain order? I know I do  - I have a list of bookmarked competitions to enter, and I feel very uncomfortable if for some reason I have to change the order. And if a Captcha word or security code number is one that has special significance for me, I'm absolutely convinced I am going to win! The other day I entered a competition that closes on December 31st, and the security number was my husband's old Army number. If you've ever been in the forces, or married to a member of the forces, you'll know how that number gets etched into your brain! So I am fully expecting a win from that!

Now we are all modern, rational adults and you might think there is no place in your life for lucky charms and superstitions. But there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the luckier we think we are, the luckier we actually ARE. This was demonstrated very well by Dr. Richard Wiseman in  his book "The Luck Factor"  - for which I was one of the guinea pigs. And while looking for the link to the book for you, I found that there is now a website dedicated to teaching you how to be lucky! is the site. I'm going to check it out now and will report back to you in the New  Year if I find anything exciting there.

In the meantime, I would love to hear what comping superstitions YOU have and whether they have ever brought you luck on a grand  scale.

Photographs courtesy of Valerie Dallimore. 


  1. If I do postal entries i have to have them on PRETTY postcards as i feel being on an interesting card means a human being choosing is more likely to pick up a cute card than a plain white one..... of course if a machine chooses i've had it!!

  2. I suppose this isn't down to luck, but I have started entering just before the closing date. Maybe I'm mad? (I am mad when something comes up and I have to miss some days comps)

  3. I have a post coming up soon on the best times to enter various types of competition

  4. I always used a thick purple felt tip pen for postcards until Joy Thorpe pointed out that if the card got wet my details would be lost. However, I did win my first from that method.
    Nowadays, I don't decorate with stickers or use coloured envelopes as they shouldn't make a difference. I did win 6 months of Kit-e-Kat from a cut down Cats' protection league card. The then Evening Argus told me that was why they chose me and who was I to say to say first out of the hat? My cat food was delivered to Ford Prison and I got their dog food and the cats didn't like the food when it came so we gave it to the Cat Rescue at Sidlesham.


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