This month the family and I have eaten our body weight in a particular ice-cream confectionary. There’s still a few more boxes to get through before we have completed the challenge. Then I don’t think any of us will ever eat one again.
You see there’s a competition, you could win $100,000. So in the hope of winning, I’ve been buying specially marked boxes of this ice-cream with every shop.
As I urged the children to “eat another one of those ice-creams” there were mumblings about hypocrisy, “so now it’s alright for us to eat sweet stuff, when it’s for a competition”.
Yes my dear children that’s right. For the greater good, for the faint possibility of a win of serious cash, we will put our waists on the line and eat, lick, crunch our way through as many boxes of this bloody ice-cream as I can afford.
I snuck in a final entry last night just before the competition closed, and today at midday, when the draw takes place I will be sitting here sending positive thoughts to the random selecting machine to please, please pick the overwrought, financially strapped, crazy woman in Port Macquarie.
The problem is, I’ve already spent the money. In my head there is a new car in the driveway, the debts are cleared (well aside from the mortgage-from-hell which will only be cleared upon our death) and we’ve got plane tickets for a nice holiday. Done, dusted, moving on. What, I haven’t won it yet? Please stop interrupting, you should know by now I don’t let reality intrude in any of the various fantasy worlds I create.
Are you someone who enters competitions? Is it only the dreamers who take the time and effort to purchase goods, save receipts and barcodes, SMS and come up with 25 words or less on how fantastic this product is? Do the pragmatic amongst you simply look at the statistics and shake your head at the amount of time (and possibly money) wasted on a quest for a family holiday to Disneyland, a new car, an all-expenses paid round-the-world trip or cash?
I’ve been addicted to competitions for a long time now. I’ve still got the Muppet Show Book I won for my butterfly cakes recipe in 1978. Then there was the “sliding doors moment” of winning a $4,000 secretarial course in my final year at school.
There have been periods when I have walked away. Years in fact when I have ignored the lures of the marketers with their cries of “buy this and you have a one in a million chance of winning a year’s supply of tampons”.
Then I’ll find myself tempted, there will even be a small win, and off we go again.
We’ve just finished up the paper towel supply I purchased two years ago, it’s lasted a lot longer than the $6000 worth of hardware store vouchers I won with it, you’ve got no idea how surprisingly quickly you can spend when it’s not your money.
My husband is still working is way through the deodorant I bought in an unsuccessful bid for $100,000.
It’s important to remember this competition entering is a serious business. I’ve lost my eyesight reading the small print of terms and conditions. I’ve endured the wrath of check-out operators as I divide my grocery shop into two, or three and pay for each individually (if you get an entry for every $30 spent there’s no point spending $65 and only getting one chance to win)! I’ve worn the concerned looks of the people in the line behind as I stock up on a year’s worth of sanitary supplies.
My family has learned to never throw away a receipt, and just because an empty chip packet LOOKS like it should go in the bin, it’s better not to, just in case it’s one of the ones mum has to “save” to validate her entry if she wins $10,000 in the cash-in-your chips competition. My pantry could feature on an episode of Hoarders as it stores the empty ice-cream boxes, chip packets, soft drink labels and receipts that could be called for at a moment’s notice if I happen to win the big one!
The takings lately had been small, a set of headphones, a video, a book and a razor. Then last week I won a $500 grocery store card and it fired me up again.
So today I will be “liking” company Facebook Pages, creating poetic 25 words-or-less spiels, snipping barcodes and working out what I’ve got to buy next week to get myself to London or New York or behind the wheel of a prestige vehicle.
Do you enter competitions? What’s the best prize you have won?