How To Find Competitions

How to find competitions

The only way to win competitions is to enter them. A common complaint held by those that don’t bother is that they never see any competition entry forms. Now this got me thinking. I can remember not so many years ago, I used to go into town with a rucksack, not for my shopping, but simply for all the competition entry forms I expected to collect.

I was rarely disappointed, and always came home with dozens of forms of all shapes and sizes. In those days the best chance of finding competition entry forms was to look in the big four supermarkets, Asda, Tesco, Safeway and Somerfield. Fast forward to present day, and two of these stores are no longer with us! Morrisons acquired Safeway in 2004, and Somerfield was purchased by the Co-Op in 2009. Of course we still have the big four under different names, and they all regularly have entry forms in their stores. Morrisons are the best, followed by the Co-Op.

But these days we need to cast our competition nets further a field if we are going to keep up with the ever-changing times. I’d be the first to admit that there aren’t as many ‘offline’ opportunities as there were ten years ago, but that is not to say they’re obsolete - you just need to know how to find competitions away from your computer.

Here are a few ideas for unlikely places where those elusive forms are simply waiting to be snaffled up.

find competitions at the railway stationRailway stations
Almost all the train operators give away free magazines to their customers. Some you can only find on the train, but the ticket office in my hometown always has a healthy supply on the counter. Northern Rail produces a biannual magazine aptly called Northern. In their autumn/winter issue they were giving away:

  • A 3DTV with Blu-ray player
  • An overnight theatre trip for two to see Starlight Express
  • Plus a luxury family break in the Peak District.

First TransPennine Express also give away free a fab mag that goes by the name of Explorer. The winter issue has a competition to win a two-night stay for two people in Manchester with breakfast, dinner and train travel.

find competitions in the bank Yes, really, you can often find competitions in those stuffy banks tucked away in literature, or in free customer magazines. NatWest regularly offers a magazine called Sense, which is freely available in all their branches and often feature a big competition or two. And if you’re not a customer of NatWest, then RBS have exactly the same magazine for their customers. Some banks and building societies send out free magazines to customers, so check everything carefully before you assign any junk mail to the bin.

Now here is a great excuse to pop into your local Wetherspoons on your way home from work.
“I’m off to find competitions, dear.”  

find competitions in the pubYou’ll often find competitions on beer mats so do always check them out, as they generally get lower entries. There are two good reasons for this. One is that pub landlords don’t like putting them out, as they disappear too quickly leaving no beer mats on the table - I have even heard of landlords holding back such mats until after the closing date to stop this happening! The other reason, of course, is they soon get wet and tatty, and are of no use as an entry form. However, Wetherspoons is a gold mine for comping enthusiasts, as readers can readily find competitions in their Wetherspoons News magazine.


We’ve found competitions including a weekend for two in Prague, a pair of tickets for the England vs. Australia test match and O2 Academy tickets for a gig of the winner’s choice.


I have only scratched the surface of unlikely places to find competitions; the secret is to look in all the right places. Better still, save yourself the time and energy and find all these competitions and more in Simply Prizes magazine.




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