A pub cleaner from Wivehnoe, Essex, has bagged a whopping £70,000 value of freebies by entering online competitions.
Mum-of-three Jolene Stanley, 34, has been on a roll ever since she received a top-of-the-range pram value £1,200 in her first competitors in 2012 and now takes residence a mean of between 25 and 35 prizes a month – just about one a day.
Pregnant together with her eldest baby from a earlier relationship on the time of her first win, she quickly realised she was having way over simply newbie’s luck.
Since then, Jolene, who additionally has two youngsters together with her companion James Houghton, has scooped all the pieces from magnificence goodies to spa breaks, gig tickets, vacation vouchers and toy bundles – profitable a lot that she even bagged final Christmas for free.
She stated: “From the second I entered that first competitors, I used to be addicted. I needed to see what else was on the market and what else I might win.
“In the primary yr of entering competitions, I received £20,000 value of prizes. That’s my greatest yr up to now. In 2019 alone, I received £16,000 value.
“I really make extra from comping than I do from my job. I work part-time, so normally earn between £65 and £85 every week from my day job.
“My mates and household say I’m jammy, and joke that I should be the luckiest individual within the nation.”
Now a seasoned comper – the time period given to somebody who habitually enters giveaways – Jolene by no means anticipated to win when she first tried her hand at comping again in 2012.
Netting the pram set, which got here full with a carry cot and automobile seat – a well timed prize, provided that she was pregnant – triggered her profitable streak and simply two months later, she received a VIP expertise driving supercars round a racetrack.
“The more I won, the more I wanted to enter,” she stated.
“I really like profitable, however it’s not all concerning the large prizes. I really like the little ones too, particularly once they come from new manufacturers and small companies.
“No phrases can describe what it appears like if you win a giant prize.
“I’d undergo waves of entering masses of competitions, then going a bit quiet. We’re a busy, lively household so are sometimes out and about, making it impractical for me to be scrolling by my telephone, searching for one thing to win.”
While she had nice success, her first forays into the world of comping had been disorganised, in keeping with Jolene, who, slightly than setting apart particular time to scour the online for prizes, sporadically checked her telephone at any time when she had a spare 15 minutes.
But, initially of 2019, she vowed to be extra organised, saying: “At the beginning of final yr, I made a decision I needed to win sufficient to get Christmas for free and use all of the prizes as presents for my mates and household.
“So, I began setting apart three nights every week particularly for comping, when James was working night time shifts.
“Once the youngsters had been in mattress, I might scroll by Facebook and Instagram to search out as a lot as doable. I’d categorise the prizes, dedicating sooner or later to vouchers, one to toys and one to parenting giveaways. If I noticed one thing nice through the day, I’d enter that, too.”
Jolene’s strategic method paid off, as in 2019, she received £16,000 value of freebies and managed to get Christmas for nothing, simply as she had hoped.
She stated: “I spent just about nothing on Christmas. My complete spend was £65, together with £10 on all three youngsters. Everything else was taken care of by prizes.
“I gave James a bottle of rum, a tenting range and a sock subscription that I’d received and we additionally had a household time out at Gulliver’s Travels theme park.
“I gave Stanley a £165 scooter I’d received, and Ivy a brand new bike. I additionally received £200 value of Amazon vouchers which I used to get the youngsters another toys and stocking fillers. Then I gave them a £500 climbing body I’d received as a joint current.
“I acquired a £200 Tesco voucher and a £300 Love2Shop voucher, which can be utilized at a number of excessive road outlets, which took care of all the pieces else.”
One of Jolene’s favorite issues about her interest is that, normally on a decent funds, it permits her to spoil her family members.
On a number of events, she has taken mates and household together with her on minibreaks, spa weekends, for afternoon tea or out for fancy meals – and typically treats them to hampers made up of magnificence merchandise she nabs.
Once a month, she additionally makes a donation at her native meals financial institution, giving them any edible goodies she has.
“A few of my family and friends have tried their hands at comping, too, though they haven’t been quite as lucky as me,” she laughed. “They are constantly asking me for tips.”
Totting all the pieces up, Jolene estimates she has received £70,000 value of goodies since 2012.
On common, she’s going to win between 25 and 35 prizes a month, though her luckiest streak up to now noticed her take residence 52 in simply 4 weeks in September 2018.
She will get so many packages arriving at her home that she is on first identify phrases with the native postmen and supply drivers.
She laughed: “We went away for the weekend not way back and I got here again to 5 parcels ready for me.
“The native posties know all about my comping. If ever just a few days move with no bundle arriving, they’ll say, ‘What’s the matter? Haven’t you received something?’
“Whatever I can’t discover a place for in my home, I’ll retailer within the attic, or disclose to mates, household or charity. I’d solely ever enter competitions the place I wish to win the prize, although. There’s no level profitable one thing you haven’t any use for.”
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To date, some of Jolene’s greatest prizes embody tickets to a Spice Girls gig, a four-night keep at a five-star resort in Portugal, a seven-course dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant and a £1,100 cooker.
She has additionally bagged round £three,000 of vacation vouchers, which she has used to go to Italy and Florida – though the latter has been postponed on account of Covid-19 – a meal cooked by a non-public chef and a visit to Scotland to remain in a comfortable log cabin.
Most of her wins come by Instagram, however she additionally scours Facebook, the place she is a member of a number of comping teams, and particular boards.
She primarily enters competitions the place all you must do is like and share a social media put up, or comply with a sure account, however she did as soon as win a vacation by sharing a candy household snap.
“The trip to Portugal will always stand out as one of the best things I’ve ever won,” she stated. “It was in 2016, so it was simply me, James and Stanley, as Ivy and Charlie weren’t born.
“We had been picked up from the airport by a non-public chauffeur and pushed to this unbelievable resort. It was like being a star.”
Not solely do her wins make great treats for her mates and household, additionally they make on a regular basis life far cheaper.
Jolene typically wins free meals and has netted so many child and bathtub merchandise that she has by no means had to purchase Ivy, now three, any toiletries.
By sharing her story, she hopes to encourage different cash-strapped mother and father to attempt their hand at comping.
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And whereas it is just August, she is already looking forward to Christmas, and has simply began to focus her efforts on profitable issues that may go on to make presents for her household.
She stated: “I completely love my interest. I by no means imagined after I began that I’d win so many unbelievable issues.
“I’ve been to locations I’d by no means dreamed I’d go, and it’s all because of comping.”