Woman shares how she won £20,000 worth of freebies from entering competitions

Veterinary technician Ria Mitchell, 24, has picked up £20,000 worth of freebies over the last two years, all by entering 100 competitions a day.

Her haul has included a seven-day cruise to Spain and Portugal, designer perfumes and watches, a year’s supply of raw dog food, and £5,000 in cash.

But rather than keeping all her treats to herself, Ria, of Guildford, Surrey, uses her competition prowess to win goodies for her beloved dog, Razor.

She has managed to give Razor a special £600 sofa and plenty of toy bundles, as well as free food for a year; saving her loads of money.

An accomplished ‘comper’ – the name given to people who habitually enter giveaway competitions – Ria said: ‘Comping doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

‘I spend 30 minutes maximum each night scrolling through social media and special forums for the latest giveaways.

‘I choose to do it at about 11pm, as, by then, all the competitions for that day will have been uploaded, so I don’t have to go back and keep checking.

‘I enter about 100 giveaways a day – but it’s paid off. In just two years, I’ve easily won £20,000 worth of prizes, if not more.’

Ria, who is single, first tried her hand at comping in 2018, when she saw a set of Gucci, Dior and Chanel perfumes up for grabs.

Entering simply by liking and sharing a Facebook post, she was stunned when a few days later she was announced as the winner.

That sparked an obsession. She entered more giveaways and soon got her second win: a VIP experience at Marwell Zoo in Winchester, Hampshire.

She delved deeper into the world of comping and discovered forums that lists new contests as they land, which saves her time scouring the web for ones to enter.

Since then, Ria has scooped big wins, including a minibreak to the Channel Island of Guernsey, a VIP experience at Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower in Hampshire, a £100 Selfridges voucher and £600 worth of Amazon vouchers.

‘I’ve also won thousands in cash,’ she said. ‘The most I got in one go was £5,000, and the least was £600, which is still a lot of money.’

While it’s nice to have added treats, Ria also says she’s saved thousands by going after things she would usually buy.

‘I win so much makeup that I never have to buy it, which saves a fortune, as I use the more expensive brands like Laura Mercier and Bobby Brown.

‘I’m always trying to win stuff for Razor, too, and a lot of the cash goes on him. He’s my baby and I love spoiling him rotten.’

Plus, her competition habit is a life-saver when it comes to Christmas and birthdays.

‘I won a shed in the past, which I gave to my nan, as I didn’t have space for it,’ said Ria. ‘I also got a year’s worth of free car services, which I gave to a friend. I couldn’t drive at the time, but not long after, I won 40 hours’ worth of lessons, which I’m currently taking.

‘I get lots of nice perfume and aftershave, which I give away as presents, and last year, I got a lovely six-month subscription to a flower delivery service, which I treated my mum to.

‘Comping means I basically get Christmas for free.’

Hoping to inspire others, Ria, who stores her many prizes in her spacious, three-bedroom house, is now sharing her top comping tips.

Ria’s top comping tips:

  • Stick to smaller giveaways as there will be less competition
  • Set up a separate email address
  • If necessary, get yourself a special comping phone
  • Scroll through forums last thing at night, rather than constantly checking in throughout the day
  • Keep going and enter as much possible!

‘A lot of the competitions I enter involve signing up to a mailing list, so I have set up a different email address especially for comping,’ she explained.

‘That way, I won’t lose important personal emails in amongst all the promotions and spam.

‘Similarly, I bought myself a separate phone – just a little £10 one from Argos – as sometimes, you have to give your number, too, and I don’t want to deal with loads of marketing calls.

‘Comping is so easy to do and it’s amazing how many incredible prizes there are out there.

‘Sometimes, I go through a quiet patch, where months go by without a win, but you have to keep going, as your luck will change.

‘Prizes are constantly turning up at home and, half the time, I can’t even remember entering the competition!

‘I never imagined when I started out that, two years later, I’d have scooped items worth £20,000 – or that I’d have had so much fun winning them.’

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