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This is a question Winning

I once won a gas boiler from The Guardian. Tell us about times you've won, and the excellent and/or crappy prizes you've lifted.

Suggested by dazbrilliantwhites

(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 14:08)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Everyone's a winner
It’ been some time since I wrote on here so hold tight, this is a long one……

This is a tale of ignorance, belligerence, and achievement over adversary.

When I was a nipper sport for me was a minefield of accidents waiting to happen. Not the sort fall over or trip up kind of accidents, but the sort of accidents that involve urinating ones trousers. You would think this is the kind of thing that would build character in one so young, well I can tell you now …… does it fuckery. All it does is turn you into a bitter an twister person who hates the bones of every cunt who thinks it oh so fucking funny to laugh at other people physical ailments. For the record it’s a mild form of spina bifida.

So, sports were pretty much off the menu for me and this led to a level of disownment from my father. He wanted a strong son who he could show to his mates a true sportsman, but I was a slightly crippled young man who revelled in reading military history and discovering new and interesting forms of masturbation. So in effect, I was a serial wanker who was fast becoming an authority of Russian munitions from 1909 to 1945, stud!

The disownment from my father was small potatoes considering the abuse I was taking at school for my little “pissypants” problem. My grandad on the other hand was the one who was feeding my little military history habit. He was a RAF spitfire pilot during the war and collected memorabilia from the time. I adored all his books and medals but above all I loved his stories from the war. Turns out he was quite the cad and pretty much deflowered half of southern Britain during his tenure.
Anyway, my dear old grandad was as tough as nails (he had 1 lung after beating lung cancer) also a dab hand at bike mechanics. I was never into cycling when I was young but my grandad built me a bike from 10th birthday. To this day I have never known why he built me a bike but it changed my life forever that day I received it. The bike he built for me was a ‘’Fixie”, 1 gear, 1 brake and you can’t coast, it is essentially a road going track bike. The man was obviously a genius because it turned out that no matter how much physical excursion I put into cycling I did not leak any urine. That summer was magical, I made new friends, got very healthy and discovered something about myself that would have remained dormant without cycling, I have the lung capacity of a fucking whale. The fucking spina bifida had constructed my body I such a way that my chest cavity was way out of proportion to the rest of my body. So I can just keep going and going. (in later years my sexual my energy has proved to be somewhat of selling point for the young ladies).

Four years later and I had joined a cycle club and made quite the name for myself on the junior circuit. My grandad drove me to races and encouraged me all the way. It was the summer of 96 and I was racing in the final of the southern championship under 14 “points” race. I was still using bikes built by my grandad and I was up against over privileged, little snot nosed arse wipes with expensive bikes and pushy parents. My bike was laughed at because it was not covered in expensive Italian names; my attitude was fuck the lot of them! What they did not know was that my grandad had intimate knowledge of bearings and if you know anything about the wheels, the better the bearing the faster the wheel will turn. It was not the ingenious stuff the Mr Obree was doing but it was his use of different axle grease’s that was real clever. Anyway, I knew I had a good chance as the preliminary rounds went well without putting much effort in but I wanted to crush the snide little cunts that belittled me. It was semi-psycho cathartic exercise in retribution for me. I saw all these opponents as the bullies at school who had knocked me down so many times and killed off what little confidence I had.

Points races consist of anywhere between 20 and fifty laps with intermittent sprints that account for points. But to get the big points you have to lap the field. Not fucking easy. The race started off as any normal race but I had a plan, set a stupid high pace between the sprints but do no contest the sprints, this meant I could control the lactic acid build up in my legs and go for the lapping at the end. They were all falling for it, stupid ego’s all contesting sprints that hold little value. 22 laps out of 30 and just after the 2nd from last sprint I made my move, the field were all shattered from sprinting and I went for it at top speed. I got out of my saddle and belted off like a scalded cat. I had 8 laps to catch the field up, it was going to hurt but I was doing this to prove to myself that I was equal to all the able bodied riders and for my grandad who gave me this new confidence to express myself. I was catching the field quicker than I imagined, in 5 laps I reached the back of the pack at had achieved enough points to claim victory. All I had to do know it sit tight and avoid the final sprint. The final lap was bearing down at the pace jumped up, I decided to slip to back of the pack but one the riders decided to take his chance and shoulder barge me. I came tumbling down like a tonne on bricks and took 5 other riders with me. This was an outdoor gravel track in south London I was doing close to 30mph at the time.….ouch. I broke my leg, arm, dislocated my shoulder and had scares that made freddy kreuger look like an advert for good skincare. Fuck me the pain was unbearable for weeks and put an end to my elaborate masturbation techniques. It was also the end of my racing career due to the fact my bones did not heal well and I had kept my spina bifida quiet, no team would touch me with a 50ft shit stick.

About 5 years later I was working one Sunday and got a call from my mum to say my grandad had been taken to hospital following a heart attack. I left work and cycled top speed to the hospital. I never made to say goodbye to my grandad as my chain snapped. Ironically it was rather expensive Japanese componentry I was using on my bike, my grandad would have not approved and probably would have made some pseudo racist remark while looking down upon me.

I lost the race and my grandad but I did win confidence and the ability to overcome difficult circumstances. Next year I am doing John O’Groats to Lands End on a fixed gear bike I’m building myself, it will be in aid of The Royal British Legion. I’m hoping to do it in 5 days, I’ll be thinking of my grandad all the way. Thanks for listening.
(, Sat 30 Apr 2011, 23:00, 13 replies)
I was working in a little town in north China in the 90s
...and was in a nightclub. Fantastic place, as big as an aeroplane hangar, packed with happy, friendly people and with ice-cold beer at about 20p a litre. Heaven.

When you paid to go in, you were given a ticket with a number on it. Near the end of the night, a little mini-skirted Chinese girl went on stage with a board, and held up a number. Everyone in the club started looking at their entrance tickets, so I did too, and Bugger Me! it was my number!

I put my hand up, the girl beckoned me on the stage. Since I was probably the only western face in the city (and certainly the only lanky Brit in the club), this caused a bit of interest.

The girl presented me with my prize - a Yamaha VCD player (popular there at that time), asked me a question in Chinese and stuck the microphone under my nose. I only knew two Chinese phrases so I tried the first: "Ni hao" (Hello).

It got a massive Chinese lol. She said something else, so I tried my second phrase: "Ta shi wo de yu san" (That is my umbrella).


I went home then and everyone pointed at me saying "umbrella" in Chinese and laughing.
(, Sat 30 Apr 2011, 5:43, 9 replies)
This counts, and I don't care who says otherwise
My best mate works at Jewsons, right. Yesterday - May the 4th - he was asked by his yard manager to contact the sand people about a delivery. The sand people. On May the 4th.

He wins because he replied "There's no-one there at the moment, but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers."
(, Thu 5 May 2011, 10:10, 15 replies)

I've always been obsessed by horses, I buy saddles from junk shops, I'm a regular at my local stables, and I think about them constantly. As a child I either wanted a real horse or a rocking horse but got neither, sadly. I made a horse out of old boxes, I had hobbyhorses and I converted the garden wall into a type of horse. I was a kid obsessed.
One day at our small town's Xmas fair they had a raffle, and one prize was a big furry donkey, a huge one. It was amazing and I have never wanted anything so badly before or since. I never win anything, and the tickets were £1.50, all my pocket money, but much against my better judgement I bought one - number 180. I hung about the fair for hours till they did the draw, and the guy finally got to the donkey, waving it about shouting 'Right! Who will be taking Lil Pedro home?'. I remember feeling sick with fear and thought I couldn't bear to see someone else win him. The guy finally finished his spiel, rummaged in the bucket and pulled out...my ticket. I was so stunned I could only wave it, and the crowd pushed me forward to be given my prize. Everyone was laughing because I was clearly so delighted, getting that huge donkey about the same size as me. I carried that 4ft donkey all the way home in the freezing cold and dark, and it was one of the best journeys of my life, I don't think my feet hit the ground once! I kept him for many years - he wasn't a big furry donkey, in my mind he was an Arab steed. I made him his own stable in my bedroom. Ah, happy memories! Sorry that shit story is shit, but it was one of the happiest moments of my young life. :)
(, Fri 29 Apr 2011, 13:01, 19 replies)
I took heart
When I was young there was a wonderful art program where a crazy old man would make giant pictures using coloured sand, concrete or whatever else took his fancy. It was whimsical, informative, educational like no other art lesson would ever be and downright fucking awesome. And the crazy old man's best mates were talking plasticene dolls. Every week this lovable, delightful, mad old man would invite his audience to submit their pictures for his 'gallery'. A hastily-constructed showpiece of childish artistic talent.

So one week I did. Because, after my dad, he was the best man in the world.

Here's what happened.

Now £2.50 in book tokens may not mean a lot*. But that doesn't matter. I had my picture on Take Hart with the legendary Tony Hart. I got called up to the front of my school assembly to talk about it and, having been asked what type of picture it was - and never having been in front of a microphone before, stood on tip-toes, hands gripping the sides of the lectern and boomed "IT WAS A COLLAGE" into the mic.



"COLLAGE!" echoed around the school hall. I was known as collage-boy right up until I changed schools two years later.

It was, sadly, much later that I noticed the signatures on the letter and "gummed insert" didn't match. I personally hope the one on the letter is the real one, it's more flamboyant, has his name after it and is on beeb-headed paper. The stupid insert was delegated to some drone. Though, I suppose, they could both be genuine. One done with care, one rushed.

Anyway, I submitted a pic to Tony Hart's Gallery. And won.

*Footnote time. This is the book I bought with my £2.50

It had Jabberwocky in it. And Ogden Nash. And The Brothers Grimm. It probably remains the best £2.50 I've ever spent. And I was 8.
(, Fri 29 Apr 2011, 4:50, 14 replies)
A years supply of cat products...
We lived in a small house with no storage space some years back - it wasn't even big enough to swing our cat. Oh, the irony.

Imagine my joy to get a knock at the door one morning to take delivery of:

300 x tins of Whiskas
50 x cartons of kitten milk
100 x Pouches of wet food
Some random cat treats/toys...

...and 52 x 5kg bags of cat litter. A QUARTER OF A TONNE of fucking cat litter. What the fuck did they think we owned? Lions with IBS?

(, Sat 30 Apr 2011, 13:42, 7 replies)
I may have posted this before.
I was about 6, at the school sports day. I decided to enter the egg and spoon race. I can't tell this one that well, so you'll have to imagine Murray Walker doing it instead:

"And it's go, go, go! They're barreling down towards the first corner... And Flap Burger takes the lead! Pedal to the metal, flat out! Nearly at the finish line now... And... WHAT IS HE DOING?"

That's right, ladies and gents. I assumed the tape crossing the finish line was intended to mark out some kind of construction site, and ran right around it.

What a fucking mong.
(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 23:50, 6 replies)
I am fucking winning.
Two and a half years ago, it was the first time took a swig from the remains of the previous nights Vodka before I went into work. It wasn't the last.

Two years ago, I found myself unemployed and three months behind on the rent, in debt and spending days in the park with cheap cider so I could pass out in the freezing cold, dark flat where the electricity had been cut off and I was about to be evicted.

Today I am one year and 79 days sober, in a good job, a long way towards being out of debt and just got back from 10 days holiday with the girlfriend that, by the skin of her teeth, managed to keep enough faith in me to not run away screaming as any sensible person should have done.

So yeah, I am fucking winning.
(, Tue 3 May 2011, 15:39, 18 replies)
I won beer (and didn't get my legs broken)....
...so I guess this counts.

(cue hazy, wavy Wayne's World style lines for a flashback).

Its 2004, my final year of Medical School and as is the rigorously enforced ritual of Fresher's Week, the entire course and most of the doctors who have graduated in the last seven or eight years are on the lash on Thursday of Fresher's week. Not just any lash, its pub golf with around five hundred and fifty people. This rite of passage is so engrained that there is a massive rush to book the following Friday off whenever anyone starts their jobs in August.

One of the better parts of it (copious amounts of booze, scantily clad birds and fresh meat unaware of what uni involves notwithstanding) is the annual fancy dress challenge. (I know what you're thinking, but stay with me for a while - I promise its worth it)

The freshers are told to come in "what they usually wear in bed" - basically its a safety mechanism so that everyone else can keep an eye on the tossers walking around a city centre in shitty pyjamas to make sure they're not murdered, raped or killed (or if they are it's at least by someone we know). I should probably explain at this point if we tried to do anything more subversive with them in the first week it would be doomed to failure - med students and doctors develop a very dark sense of humour, but it takes a while. Imagine a deer in headlights. With a small kitten for a hat. Holding a bunch of daffodils. For this is what our first year students are likened to. Final years however are more of the rabid, chainsaw wielding alcoholic venison-lovers who haven't eaten in three weeks.

So, general scene setting done, my group of mates comes up with several challenges but need an overlying theme. Fuck it, why not a bad taste contest, winner gets the beers bought for them for the evening by the lads. Sounds fair? Fucking right it does! With a week to prepare, a veil of secrecy that MI5 would be astounded by envelopes our group, with everyone trying to come up with the idea that will win them the coveted golden beer ticket. People start going through till receipts found in the washing machine to see where housemates have been shopping, internet histories are deleted as part of leaving your room for a piss and passwords are used for the first time ever in our computer network.

Of course the rumours start - Andy's managed to get a dead baby costume that was outlawed in the USA, Dave's been pulled in for questioning by police wanting to know why he has been searching for Wizard's outfit (as opposed to his usual google favourite, wizard's sleeve).... until the day arrives.....

I must admit I had an idea of what I would do - being in fifth year I had access to some medical supplies, and had some knowledge of gory makeup from a friend who did some casualty union stuff, but I knew that wouldn't be enough. I had to dig deep..... So Dave arrives at the first pub on time....of course we'd all agreed to let him and pitch up thirty minutes late so he could enjoy some quiet time by himself.......wrapped in a cotton sheet and a couple of rolls of cotton wool, covered in red food colouring and dragging a rope behind him. Yes, Dave had come as a used tampon and we had to bow to his superior knowledge of the subject matter when he called us all "complete cunts" for making him wait for the rest of us. Andy arrived in a priest's outfit with a doll tied to his crotch in a small cassock, and there were a few extras.

I however won the prize by arriving with a catheter connected to a catheter bag filled with pineapple juice and vodka just in case I didn't win and ran out of money. I also got bonus points for drinking from it at various points in the evening as it looked like a fucking horrendous urinary tract infection. Not content with this, I managed to blag a wheelchair and drip as well as a tracheostomy tube that I cut down and had a good go at some macerated flesh around it. Not content with this, I managed to secure the beer for the night (and a one-way ticket to Hell) by topping it all off with......

.....a superman outfit. About a week after Christopher Reeve finally succumbed to kryptonite poisoning.

So I won the beer! Happy days! Or not as the case may be.....for every once in a while a mature student starts with us. And every once in a while, those mature students are six foot four bodybuilders. With disabled relatives and short tempers..... So when I arrived at the second pub I get a couple of laughs from the people that know me and have developed the requisite sense of humour. However I also have a man-mountain steaming towards me, looking as though he will be making me his personal dissection project, starting by removing my testicles though my eye sockets.

"That's so fucking out of order... I'm going to take you outside and knock four shades of shit out of you, you sick fuck.....you're not fit to be a fucking human, never mind a doctor, what kind of sick fucking kicks are you getting out of this? What the fuck do you have to stay for yourself?"

Just like in the movies, the music stops, everyone looks around and a cold wind blows.... Now, I'm not exactly a five foot stick, but nor am I a steroided up leviathan with the temperament of a great ape with diarrhoea that has just had his last square of kleenex nicked. My mind started racing, looking for an emergency exit but I seemed to be surrounded. By this one bloke. Fuck!

"Bollocks to it," I remember thinking, "I'm going to get the shit kicked out of me so no matter what I say I can't make it worse......"

"Thanks for your concern about disabled rights mate, it means a lot to me seen as though I'm paralysed already...."

Cue a very sharp intake of breath from my mates (and a few other people who were watching and knew I was full of shit).... and Ape-man's face falling a mile.

"ohmygod I'msofuckingsorry......let me buy you a drink" so off he goes to the bar and comes back with a pint. Good lad, I think. Until I realise (after my cunt mates point it out to me) that I'm confined to a wheelchair for the next 17 pubs and the nightclub we're finishing in. And I need pushing around.


Ape-man is only too happy to help though, much to the amusement of my friends - especially when I need to go for a piss no-one will help me make a dash for it.

cunting arsewank

So, after managing to avoid getting killed, winning a beer ticket that I couldn't abuse in case I needed to piss more often than I was already going to need to, and being escorted to the bogs repeatedly by Chewbacca's larger, hairier brother, I unsurprisingly didn't manage to pull any freshers.

Did I win? Well, I still have my teeth, don't need a wheelchair and was bought beers by silverback most of the night, so on average I think I came out on top.

EPILOGUE: So the end of the night comes, we're all leaving the club and I need to get home so I end up wheeling to a taxi rank. Big man apologises (yet again) and wanders off, leaving me with a taxi driver who is scratching his head, figuring out how he's going to get a spastic dressed as superman into his car without picking him up and risking arse-gropage. I tell hime to wait a minute, savour the night air and try and work out the cramp from my now dead legs and plan my final escape. I have a 200 yard head start, tell the driver to open the boot and stand up, shouting to Donkey Kong "Cheers for the beers mate!" before collapsing the wheelchair into the boot, doing a passable impression of Christopher Reeve before the accident as I dive into the back seat of the taxi and tell the driver to floor it as the Barbary Ape chases us into the night, never to be seen again.

Or at least until a few days later when he didn't recognise me.

Overall, win.
(, Wed 4 May 2011, 15:03, 5 replies)
Room 237 of the Overlook Hotel
Absolutely skint, the pair of us.
We'd woken up in the same place and clothes that we'd crashed in/on the night before - only now it was nearly midday, and that meant the pub was open!
We scraped around the back of the sofa, emptied bottles for their 1p and 2p coins, and we just scraped enough for 2 pints - 1 each.
We walked up the pub, bought our pints and sat down in our usual spot.
Shortly, we were approached by one of the bar staff and asked if we'd like to buy a raffle ticket for the Sunday lunchtime draw. One pound per strip of tickets, or 20p each.
After buying our one and only drink each, we had exactly 20p left. The top number on the strip of tickets was 237. Both of us realising the (somewhat imagined - in the book the room number was of course 217) significance of the number, we jumped at the chance.
Sure enough, we won a crate (which could be substituted for a number of draft lagers at the bar as and when the need arose) of lager...which, we of course set about consuming straight away.
A few hours later, and once again we were skint.
That's when we noticed a chap on the fruit machine seemingly winning over and over. Every time he pressed the 'Start' button a few seconds later money (or in this case tokens - which, handily could be exchanged for beer at the bar) would tumble out of the thing. It was at the point where the pair of us were loudly exclaiming our disbelief that the chap came over, deposited a large portion of these tokens on our table, look at us, winked and said, "Don't tell the landlord. I'm a fruit machine engineer", then proceeded to his car where presumably he drove to the next pub to repeat the excersise.
We counted up - about 18 quid in tokens. Another 6-7 beers then! Remember, this was a while ago.
A couple more hours pass, and once again we found ourselves in a position of dire straits, so we started the stagger home.
By this time we were both starving and so asked my friends ladyfriend if there was anything to eat. She replied in the negative, being skint herself and having not been shopping for some weeks.
Just as we were resigning ourselves to an evening of hunger, we heard a 'knock, knock, knock' on the back door. This in itself was quite strange as the only access to the back door would have been through the neighbour's garden.
We opened the door to see the neighbour standing there with a large tray of sandwiches all cut into little triangles, which as we all know, makes them taste better.
She said, "Would you like these? We've just had a party for little [insert generic child's name, I can't remember it myself] and none of them have eaten a thing. It'd be a shame to have to throw them away."
Couldn't get them down us quick enough.
Nothing like that has ever happened to me before that, and certainly not since!
It's forever known as our 'lucky day', and is still referred to now when the drunken reminiscence sets in.
(, Tue 3 May 2011, 17:49, 3 replies)
My local radio station runs a morning 'mystery celebrity' slot on their morning show. Basically they play a 5 second clip of a celebrity and you have to call in and guess who's talking.

Last year, every morning a guy called Mike was calling in and always getting it wrong. It got that he was automatically put through. And for 4 weeks he called in every day and never won. Us listeners were riveted and tuned in avidly..and of course we were all rooting for him. The station even did a 2 hour interview with him and discovered he had a newborn.

The Friday of Fathers Day weekend, the voice was obviously Sean Connery, and caller after caller said "Yeah, I know who it is, but it's Fathers Day weekend and we want Mike to win".

Mike finally got through....and won a $200 gift card for KMart. With the wrong answer.
(, Fri 29 Apr 2011, 0:05, 3 replies)
School Raffles and almost first kisses.
My primary school had a summer fete. Parents only Tombola's where you could win tins of Beetroot, listeria ridden home-made pork pies or that dusty bottle of booze that the rich kids parents had bought back from their annual trip to Puerto Buenos. If you were lucky you got to throw a wet sponge at the headmistress and watch your dad pretend he didn't care if he won the Father's Race while surreptitiously stretching his hamstrings and doing star jumps behind the chicken hut.

And then there was the raffle. A fine collection of cakes and damaged toys and knitting patterns for Giles Brandreth-esque jumpers to be won along with a couple of genuine treasures, including a boxed Star Wars Snow Speeder and football signed by Bobby Moore. So I clutched my tickets in my sweaty six year old hands and hoped that I'd get something good. The first ticket was called and the Star Wars toy was taken. The next person chose the football, a few other prizes went and I was sad. But then my ticket got called, so I trudged up despondently and ungratefully to take my pick of the remaining dregs of so-called prizes on the table, only to brighten up considerably when I saw that still there was an unboxed, well played with but fundamentally undamaged X-Wing Fighter, which I grabbed with glee and ran back to my parents, flying it above my head all the way only to have to turn around and go back to pick something else when straight away the next number called was also one of mine. By now, I didn't care, I was happy, so faced with a table of broken Rubik’s cubes and out of date hampers I would have taken anything, but I was struck by inspiration and picked up the raggedy but sweet looking knitted doll to what I am sure were looks of bemusement and scorn. I then walked proudly over to where my friend Joanna was sitting and gave it to her. And she smiled like I'd never seen a girl smile before, took it and without a word to me proudly showed her Dad, who told her kindly but firmly that she should say thank you to me. And she did. And kissed me on the cheek and over the course of the afternoon became my 'girlfriend'.

She broke my heart two days later when she decided she preferred Richard, mind you.
(, Tue 3 May 2011, 16:47, 4 replies)
All of us won, I'd say.

(, Mon 2 May 2011, 5:10, 40 replies)
Trying to out-Facebook-rape each other at work
Last year my work colleague and I went through a phase of Facebook raping each other daily. Pretty childish stuff like "xxx likes sticking his appendages in little boys" and "yyy can't wait to get home and teabag his gran tonight", but it was a constant contest to go one sicker than the other person each time.

The only rules were that you could not be caught posting on the other person's profile, and the other person was obliged to keep their status online for 24 hours.

One day I wasn't feeling very inspired by any of the crude comments I was coming up with, so I simply waited for my friend to pop to the loo before setting his status to "[name] has lost everyone's numbers. Can everyone please text me? Cheers!"

He's a popular guy and wasn't in the least bit impressed that his phone was ringing all afternoon and all evening (and for most of the day after) as most of his 497 Facebook friends duly texted him as per his request.

The contest was halted at that point by my friend, who said there was no possible way of topping what I'd done. I won. So there.

Fuck me, I need a life.
(, Wed 4 May 2011, 21:14, Reply)
"First prize"
I have won the first prize in a draw only once. The result was so disenchanting, I rather lost faith in competitions.

I was six years old and the event was an open day at the base in Germany my Dad was stationed at. As the base was jointly operated with the US Army, some of the prizes had a mystique that was usually lacking in their UK only counterparts. One of the prizes was an electric go kart. The moment I saw it, I knew it had to be mine.

Formal pocket money was not something I had at six so I begged and cajolled my folks into parting with two marks- actually I got a mark out of each parent without making it strictly clear I had alreay asked the other one- giving me not one but two cracks at the toy of my dreams. I fritted away the afternoon being encouraged to play with various deadly weapons and Mum bought me an icecream, which as that stall was being operated by the US rather than the British Army was about the size of a wastepaper basket. Needless to say the sugar helped work me into a frenzy of excitement by the time the draw came around.

We worked through the low level stuff. I was almost glad I didn't win toy cars, a Thundercats tank let alone the Barbie house, to say nothing of the "grown up" stuff that was also on offer. I was in it for the go kart. Finally, this (electric) chariot of the gods was up.

I didn't win it.

Maybe it was that I had worked myself into a frenzy of excitement, maybe it was the sugar wearing off but it was all to much for me. I'm not ashamed to admit it- I cried. It was only by chance, I even listened to the announcer calling first prize. I still remember the number 694- one of my two tickets. I had won something deemed even better than the greatest thing in the world.

A tumble dryer.

Now, with 24 more years under my belt, I can appreciate that this was quality white goods. A Miele unit with the ability to dry virtually anything without harm. A truly excellent tumble dryer. But still something of no great use to a six year old who wanted a go kart. Tears still streaming down my face, I had to go up and "receive" (obviously they didn't hand me it- it was sort of a tumble dryer IOU) my prize. This served to remind me still further of the bitterness of my defeat as I saw another child about the same age as me take the go kart away. I was left with "my" tumble dryer and a sense of the wronged that lasted a very long time.

In fairness to my parents, they trod a fine line between the joy on their part of becoming the owners of a rather fine dryer and consoling their eldest who felt that fortune had stuck two fingers in his eyes. Being a Miele, the dryer survived for nearly twenty years which in many ways served to amplify my defeat still further.

I still don't like raffles.
(, Wed 4 May 2011, 13:46, 4 replies)
What a lovely lamp!
In my first year as a teacher I begrudgingly went in to school on a Saturday to participate in the school fete. Poverty-stricken as I was, I was made to feel obliged to join in by purchasing a fistful of raffle tickets. Inevitably I won a prize. It was a mind-numbingly hideous table lamp, obviously hand made by a tasteless moron who had simply pushed a few plastic flowers into an empty wine bottle and stuck a light fitting and grotesque plastic lampshade on the top.

I turned to one of the oldest teachers, Mr Kramer, and said "Trust me to win the ugliest and most useless prize of the lot!"

"Mmm" he said, "My wife made it shortly before she died of cancer."
(, Mon 2 May 2011, 19:17, 8 replies)

I’ve won loads of stuff.

I won a signed photo of everyone's favourite breathing Beatle, Ringo. At bingo.

I also won a waffle in a raffle.

And some pottery (in a lottery).

I won a biography of Godsmack guitarist Tony Rombola in a phoney tombola.

A reed for bassoon in the Egg & Spoon.

But lost it all on Spot the Ball.

And I’ve never won anything for my poetry.
(, Fri 29 Apr 2011, 12:36, 3 replies)
Pogs, and meeting a celebrity's non-famous sibling
Apologies for pearoast, from the "How nerdy are you?" QOTW:

I am a nerd, and this is the clincher: I went to the Edinburgh premier of the re-jigged, re-released, digitalised and generally messed with Star Wars: A New Hope back in '97. There was a fancy-dress competition for this screening, with prizes presented by none other than Sean Connery's brother. Really.

So, I love Star Wars, and felt the need to show this, and after much deliberation decided on a costume which would demonstrate to the world just exactly how much love a man could have for a film. I was going to go as the Death Star. I got the official Star Wars (TM) Death Star companion technical manual, one of those big round paper lampshades, some Airfix model paint, a coat-hanger and a miniature 2 inch scale model of the Millenium Falcon.

I painted the lampshade grey, then added detail, lights and shadow with black and silver paint. I even managed to make the big planet buster laser bit look like a dip by judicious use of shading.

I cut a small horizontal hole near the base to see out of, and the lampshade sat quite happily on my shoulders (i.e. my head inside the lampshade). For the piece-de-resistance I used the coat hanger to suspend the mini Millenium Falcon from the side of my lampshade/Death Star so it looked like it was flying in. Class.

So we went to the film. On arrival, it was very busy (sold out I think, but of course we'd had our tickets for ages). My companions had also partaken in the fancy dress competition, so I was accompanied by Luke Skywalker (in his pyjamas) and the lovely Princess Leia. Of course, I could see sweet FA out of the helmet despite the gap I'd cut in it, so I was led into the auditorium by my friends, taking a couple of people out with the dangly Falcon on the way.

The fancy dress competition was before the film, and we were invited one by one to parade before the audience and judging panel (the aforementioned Sean Connery's brother and the cinema manager). When it was my turn I staggered to the front and apparently (for I could not see) received a standing ovation from my fellow Star Wars nerds making up the audience.

I won (admittedly partly due to the weak field of 2 Lukes, 2 Leias and me) and was invited to make a speech. Sean Connery's brother (I'm sure he has a first name but lets face it, he is probably only ever known as Sean's Connery brother) shoved a microphone into my vision slot, and I said the now legendary (at least to my mates who were there), "That's no moon, it's a space station". The crowd went wild ("like a million voices cried out ..."), I got two free cinema tickets, a complete set of Star Wars pogs (really), and the respect of my geeky peers. Oh, and to meet Sean Connery's brother.
(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 14:41, 6 replies)
I won a fishing competition when I was eleven
I shoved pebbles down the mouths of each fish I caught to make them heavier.
(, Wed 4 May 2011, 9:40, 2 replies)
I won a meal for two in a raffle...
...but I am far too nerdy and unattractive to have a girlfriend, so I gave it to a work colleague on condition that:

1) He took the girl (from work) he obviously fancied, but had very clearly got nowhere with at the time. Popular opinion amongst the other girls at work was that she wasn't remotely interested, and "that could never happen"
2) If they ever got married, I get to be best man.

Went to his barbecue this weekend, and had quite a long chat with said lady, whom he has now been dating for a couple of years now.

I fully intend to hold him to this promise.
(, Tue 3 May 2011, 16:17, 1 reply)
Easy come...
A fellow b3tan, his mate and I were enjoying a commiseratory pint one Sunday evening when a girl came around with entry sheets for the pub quiz. "Why not," thought we and duly entered. Pound each, top prize was a £50 bar tab.

The quiz began, nothing too hectic, probably the first round softening us up. Second round, bit obscure but this other guy knew quite a lot about film, it seemed, and was happily hitting them out of the park. Picture round was a bit ropey - definitely a few guesses in there - and the final round we were a bit clueless on. Anyway, we handed in our sheets, waited for the final scores.. and found we'd won.

At least, we had won until another team started kicking up a fuss about one of the answers. It slowly became apparent that they knew the manager and were pissed that he hadn't let them win. After some haggling we let them have the point before gently breaking it to them that we'd actually beaten them by a margin of five, which is sadly greater than one, and so we still took the prize and ordered a last round of pints.

Of course, with our hackles up at this point when the manager said the £50 all had to be spent in one night my flatmate, without missing a beat, simply ordered the balance in assorted shots which we triumphantly knocked back within the subsequent twenty minutes while pointing, laughing and generally giving the other team what we judged to be their just deserts in unabashed mockery.

The ten minute walk home, as I recall, ended up taking nearly two hours after I blundered onto a rose garden on a roundabout and declared myself so incapacitated as to require a trip to a nightclub "to dance the booze off a bit".

Did I mention it was Sunday night?

I paid for our swift-drinking arrogance with the single worst Monday morning on record. Apparently, double-winning doesn't work like that.
(, Sun 1 May 2011, 22:40, 2 replies)
A fete worse than death
My parents are quite heavily involved with the village fete (I tend to find an excuse to be out of the country so I don't get roped in), and one year, when collecting prizes, they were given a rather tasteless serving plate (with sculpted frogs and lily pads on the rim). The guy who gave it to them asked them to not say where it was from, since his wife had bought it and he hated the thing.

(you can see where this is going)

So the day of the fete comes, the raffle is drawn, and a lady comes up to pick her prize.

"Ooh, I got my husband one of these, now he'll have a matching pair!"
(, Wed 4 May 2011, 13:04, 2 replies)
Big time gambling
When I was in my early twenties, I was in the odd position of having a job that involved frequent foreign travel, but paid a shitty wage. Hence I would spend lots of time in exotic locations, but hardly had a pot to piss in when I got home.

Circa 1990, I was in Sierra Leone. I met with a Lebanese client, who took me to his 'club' which was actually a hotel with a casino, in Freetown. We went into the casino, and I said I would buy some chips - company money, who cares? The guy says 'No, you are with me, you must take some of mine', and gave me $100 of chips.

Well, as luck would have it I managed to fluke about $450 in winnings at roulette. This to me at the time was a small fortune, so I was pretty fucking pleased with myself, and mentally made plans to buy myself something nice when I got home.

Time to leave, I gathered my chips, and gave them to the guy to go and cash in. They gave him a cheque . . . which went into his breast pocket . . . never to be seen again.

Still pisses me off.
(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 15:19, 4 replies)
Cast your mind back a few months...
I am friends with a fastfood place on Facebook. There, I’ve said it, judge away…

One day, they suggested that, in return for a free burrito, all you had to do was come and have your photo taken with one. I thought that sounded like a great idea, and so hopped on my bike to claim my winnings.

Turns out, that it was not just a cheerful photo with my burrito, it was a full on photo shoot. I hadn’t prepared for that, and was wearing my cycling gear, and hadn’t done my hair, so I was a touch shocked. Shock turned to amazement, when I was informed that if they used my photo in their marketing material, I would receive free burritos, for a month.

A month of free food! That’s a dream come true!

As only seven people turned up, I felt my chances of getting in there were quite good, even though I did not look my greatest on the day. I chomped down on my free burrito, holding it the way that the photographer suggested, looking longingly into the camera, or ponderous into the background. After a few shots, I was moved on, and someone else had their turn.

I was told that they would let us know in a few weeks if we had been selected, but after a few weeks, there was still silence. After a few months, I realised I had not won, so wrote to them asking for them to put me out of my misery.

A few hours later, I got a reply…

“Thanks for your message, but don’t assume anything, I will email you details shortly…”

I had won! I had become the pin up boy of my favourite local eatery! The deal was 2 free burritos a day, for an entire month!

In that month, which ended last Friday, I managed 22 burritos (they are ample enough for you to have one at lunch, and not really need dinner… that’s not to say I didn’t eat dinner, just that I didn’t need to) in a month. I had every combination of burritos. It was one of the best months, ever. Every afternoon, walking up for my lunch, chatting to the Burritodors (burrito+matador=burritodor - I made that up), wandering off with my prize in hand.

What a great month…
(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 14:47, 5 replies)
My great gran was an excellent golfer.
However, she was also a klepto. We don't know how many of her trophies were won or stolen.
(, Sun 1 May 2011, 7:36, Reply)
In 1995 I won a photographic competition in Top Gear magazine. The brief was to take a motorsport picture without recourse to special access or pit passes or whatever. Fortunately, at the time each round of the British Touring Car Championship was preceded by an autograph session with the drivers, allowing the punters to get close.

At the time, Derek Warwick was big news as he'd just moved from F1 to BTCC to drive for Alfa Romeo, so when the autograph session began, he was besieged by wave upon wave of enthusiastic fans. As yet another group of autograph hunters approached, he briefly showed his exhaustion and I clicked the shutter button, with this result:

My prize was a load of Kodak film and an expenses-paid trip for two to the following year's Monaco Grand Prix. Which was nice.

Apologies for lack of funneh.
(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 17:08, 3 replies)
Fat Challenge "win"
Somebody won the weekly image challenge about 'making fat people useful' by implying that fatties are on par with blacks, jews and gays, so you CANNOT mock them.

On b3ta. Where peodophillia, goatse & honda accords waltz with cocks, cunts and jesus.

You hypocritical, touchy bunch of obese twats.
(, Thu 28 Apr 2011, 17:04, 11 replies)
Charlie Brown-esque, White Elephant F A I L
As a generally skint child sometime in the mid 80s, one Saturday myself and a chum were reduced to having to hang around a local church fate for something to do. Yeah alright....It was 5 pee to get in, they had bottles of cola for 10 pee and the moderate excitement of a 'wack the rat' game.
After paying to get in, buying a bottle of shit panda pop Cola and some sweeties; I only had 20 pee left to my name to last me the whole day, so I decided to gamble the last of my cash: on 2 tickets from the white elephant stall. The prizes consisted mainly of the usual crap that mainly old ladies had donated..you know bottles of lavender perfume, hairbrushes that sort of thing but amongst the usual dross was a couple of half decent prizes: a 5 pound record token and a largish box of groceries. I really wanted the record token but was pleasantly surprised when I won the box of groceries-pretty much the 1st thing I'd ever won in my entire miserable existence up until that point..
So off I ran home to proudly show my prize to what I imagined would be beaming and proud parents. Breathless I arrived home and presented my prize to my dad, who took one look at the box of stuff, tutted,went back to reading the paper and pronounced: 'nice one dozy..that's the box of crap from out of the cupboard that your mum donated to the church..shes going to bloody LOVE you.'
She didn't love it either..she moaned about it and threw it all in the bin in front of my face.
(, Tue 3 May 2011, 16:46, 1 reply)
Doctor Who '82
As a very self-conscious and awkward ten year old finishing up primary school, Dr Who meant a lot to me. I was completely obsessed with Tom Baker's final season, and entered a WH Smith competition to meet him. To everyone's astonishment, I won (my father still has the newsagent's local paper 'Prestwick Girl Meets Dr Who!' poster in his shed).

For whatever reason, the publishers organising the competition didn't get round to giving me my prize for ages, about a year. By this time I had moved to my horrible comprehensive secondary school, and Peter Davidson was the Doctor, who was great, but not my Doctor.

Finally, they came up with the goods and my mum and I were on the sleeper to London. I still can't believe from the pictures what my parents made me wear. Seriously, I was eleven years old and,let's face it, auditioning to be the youngest doctor's companion ever. But there I am in the pics, with a hideous boy's haircut, and a free- the shame- adult male's tshirt advertising guitar strings from my father's music shop, along with a large pair of khaki shorts (boys), brown sandals and bare hairy legs.

Down into the bowels of television centre, and into a vast black space, filled with people anxiously wrapping foam mattresses with silver foam to make space mattresses. A big rubber monster had his head off and we were warned not to photograph him (for what, I wonder now, in 1983- to sneakily auction to the TV Times?). And, in the far corner, standing outside the iconic box as if he'd just popped straight down, was a tall man wearing a stick of celery on his lapel. Of course I responded brilliantly by immediately burst into tears.

As the Doctor politely posed for pics I asked, of course, to see inside the TARDIS. He looked at me kindly. "Son" he said, "I think you'll be very disappointed."


You can imagine how cool all this made me at school. That's right: not at all. It was hell. And I had another five years to get through. Thank God for Russell T. Davies and how times have changed. And I have worn my hair long ever since.
(, Sat 30 Apr 2011, 18:36, 3 replies)
A prize draw in work...
At Christmas, they had a prize draw in work. A simple "Dig your hand in the box, pull out a ticket and win something". Everyone had a go. The first person won a bottle of wine. The second won some Posh Chocolates. Then came my turn - would it be the free dinner for two? No. How about the crate of beer? Nope, no beer. What did I win? Haemorrhoid Cream. A whole tube of it.
(, Sat 30 Apr 2011, 10:43, 4 replies)

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