I’ve always been one for competitions and in my younger days I was always clipping a coupon from a newspaper or magazine and trying to win something or other. I once won a Thunderbirds water pistol from the 1970’s comic TV21, which my brother then broke, thus commencing a lifetime of sibling squabbles and differences.
I noticed in my inbox today an email from the Daily Express inviting me to compete for a brand new Fiat. Now a Fiat isn’t my favourite car or even on my want list but hey, I’m not going to turn down a free one!
When I clicked on the link a box appeared telling me I so far had nil entries but to in order to build up entries I had to ‘like’ various options. The first link offered me a new iPhone. Fair enough I thought, I can like that easily, but as I progressed further, sucked in, in the way some web sites suck you in, I saw that they wanted my name, address, mobile phone number, email address, gender, marital status, inside leg measurement and so on. Competitions just aren’t what they used to be are they? I used to enter a whole lot of motor racing competitions because not only do I know my motor racing onions but I also used to have a big stack of racing annuals and reference books in order to look up the answers.
Answer this simple question to win a trip to next year’s Monaco Grand Prix! Who won the Monaco grand Prix in 1955? Easy peasy, run upstairs, get out my F1 statistics book and look it up- yes it was Maurice Trintignant driving a Ferrari! How long did that take? Well, running upstairs, -say, one minute. Finding the right book -five minutes. Skimming through to the appropriate page -one minute. Running back down stairs -one minute, total time elapsed; eight minutes! Then complete the caption, there was always a caption, I always use shell petrol because . . .and then it’s off to the post box and sit and wait for my tickets, which incidentally went, most unfairly, to some other lucky person who usually resided in Kent, or Luton, or somewhere else down south!
The fact is that to answer the question above (which I actually thought was Juan Manuel Fangio) I did what everybody else does these days, I clicked onto google and I had the answer in 0.38 seconds.( Incidentally, Fangio took pole position but retired from the race.) Yes, competitions these days are more like a lottery. Sometimes they don’t even ask a question they just ask for your e-mail address, then condemn you to an inbox full of spam for the next ten years, all in return for the remote possibility of winning a new car or an iPad or some other delectable delight that you have set your heart on but is just too expensive.
Anyway, going back to the Fiat competition, I ‘liked’ the iPhone link, filled out my life story and so got five entries into the Fiat competition. I hope I won’t get too many nuisance calls about the iPhone. Well, come to think of it, I doubt if I will actually get any as I entered my brother’s mobile phone number into the box! Well, serves him right if he thinks I’ve forgotten about that water pistol!
If you liked this post, why not check out my book? Click on the links at the top of the page for more information.