Thursday, February 7, 2013

So You Want To Win A Radio Contest: Some Tips & Tricks

I have this odd hobby/talent/obsession/"I don't know what you'd call it, really" - I like to win radio contests.  I have won so many, I kind of lost count.  The hobby started back in high school - I won tickets to some Zootopia or similar concert from Z100 out of NYC.  I was 17.  The concert was at Jones Beach.  My mother wouldn't let me go.  I was mad.

Since then, I have won a few random things here and there.  These are the ones I remember:

-  A 6 foot sub from Subway.

-  A hot dog fun pack from Ball Park.

-  Tickets to see Adam Lambert.

-  Tickets to a Red Sox Opening Day party.

-  A $1,000 gift card to the store Roster.

-  A Katy Perry CD.

-  Puffkins from a Hallmark store.  (They were like Beanie Babies).

-  Lift tickets to a ski place.

-  Dinner for 2 at a local restaurant.

-  Tickets to some band out in Seattle (I forgot who - I Craig's Listed them for $120)

But my latest win takes the cake:  I won tickets to see Bon Jovi's dress rehearsal concert at Mohegan Sun which is tomorrow tonight.  Blizzard or no Blizzard, I will be there.  I love Bon Jovi.  This is great.

Some people just think I'm lucky.  I think I'm not.  There are a few tricks I use (and yes, some of them seem psychotic).  I like to share the love - because if I am really lucky - I'll still win even if I share what works for me.  I'm not a hater.

-  First and foremost, save the radio station's number in your cell phone.  It also doesn't hurt to memorize it by heart.

My Favorite Boston Area Stations and their Contest Lines:

Mix 104.1 - 617-931-1234
Kiss 108 - 617-931-1108
AMP 103.3 - 617-931-1033

-  If it's a contest that you REALLY want to win - know when they are giving out the prizes.  If you really want to win, I suggest setting alarms on your phone to remind you that it's almost time to call.  I did this with Bon Jovi:

They were giving away tickets on the 20s - so I knew when my alarm went off, to start listening.  Know what the typical station rules are for the callers - Mix 104 is always the "14th Caller".  Kiss 108 is usually the "108th Caller".

-  Be persistent.  Just keep calling.  I don't believe there is any rhyme or reason to how the DJs answer the phones.  Sometimes they are fast.  Sometimes they are slow.  I've been caller #8 on my 3rd call to the station at times and like my most recent call to get Bon Jovi tickets, I was lucky #14 on my 27th try to the station.  Keep calling until you hear the winner starting to be announced.

-  Expect busy signals and the "da da da.  I'm sorry you're call cannot be completed at this time..."  They happen.  A lot.  Just hang up and call again.

-  If you're experienced (like me...ha ha ha) - you can try your hand at "Double fisting".  If it's something I really want and I'm extra motivated, I'll have my home phone in one hand and cell in the other.  They have different call patterns (home vs. cell).  You're pretty much doubling your chance of getting through by using two lines.

-  You can only 1 contest every 30 days.  So if you win, take a break.  Or switch radio stations.  If you're a real psycho - you could be playing all the stations all day - but that would require multiple alarms and probably a spreadsheet to keep your head straight.

Maybe you learned something by reading this.  Maybe you didn't.  Best of luck trying to win a radio contest!  They really are the most fun things in life still!  Well, that's a stretch - but they are fun.

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