'I’ve won 831 competitions and been to unbelievable places - this is how I did it'

Kazzy Minton, who has won 831 prizes in three years since she caught the comping bug
Kazzy Minton, who has won 831 prizes in three years since she caught the comping bug -Credit:Kazzy Minton

It’s 6am and Kazzy Minton excitably shuffles her wheelie chair towards her computer in her office at her home in Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire. Until around 8am she’ll enter as many competitions as she can, and then she’ll get on with her day.

She is perfectly prepared. Bookmarks in her Google Chrome app show a selection of potential wins, while her diary on the desk reminds her of upcoming digital competitions. The days of scratchcards are all but gone. “Comper” groups on Facebook, where competitions and tips are posted, are growing by the day - with many already in the tens of thousands.

Many of the giveaways only require your name and contact details to be entered, or a social media account where you can like, share or tag friends in posts. Others ask the comper to buy a specific product, while some take more effort like making a video or taking a creative photograph. For money-saving tips, sign up to our Money newsletter here

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“This is a potential instant win,” Kazzy, a colourful and bouncy character, said of one of the bookmarks. “At the moment, Walkers crisps has got a big competition draw, but throughout the draw you get a chance to win instantly by simply putting your details in every day.

“I do those instant wins at 6am when there aren’t many people entering. Then I do the dailies, then the weeklies, then the monthlies, then radio and TV, then there’s creative where I usually have to make a video on TikTok or Instagram. Most of them I can get done in 45 minutes, but the creative ones can take longer. There are thousands of compers who’ll enter easy instant wins, but you don’t get as many entering the creative competitions which require more from the comper. I edit all my videos myself and put voice overs to them. It’s a hobby really, I absolutely love it.”

Kazzy Minton sat at her desk
Kazzy is up every day between 6am and 8am where she enters the competitions -Credit:Kazzy Minton
Kazzy Minton on her travels around the world with husband Lee.
Kazzy and her husband Lee, who also caught the comping bug and is particularly into the creative competitions -Credit:Kazzy Minton

It sounds a lot for Kazzy, who is 63, on top of her three jobs. She’s an independent social worker, looks after the books for her partner Lee’s tattoo business, and runs her own sewing business and workshops. She is also in her final year of her PHD course in children’s play. Get the best user experience with WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android

“I always feel a need to fill my time and my life,” she said. “My daughter, Abigail, died very young and after she passed away I didn’t know what to do with myself. I lost my job after that, and so I went off to uni and became a bit obsessed with being busy. I think it was about trying to get through the grief in some way by filling my life up. There has always been a little need in me to live my life for my daughter who couldn’t have hers. My PHD isn’t to take on anywhere afterwards, I just wanted to do it for my own sense of achievement. It’s one of many courses I’ve done.”

Not one for doing anything by halves, when comping became part of her life she somehow found a way to fit it into her daily routine. “It’s not too much when you just get used to it as part of something you do all the time,” she said. “I’m not a great sleeper. If I get six hours of sleep a night that’s brilliant for me. Because I get up so early I’m not going to start work at 6am, am I? I could get on the sofa and watch the telly, but I’d rather do this. I love the buzz of it - the idea that I've got a chance of winning while the rest of the world is asleep. They do say the early bird catches the worm.”

Kazzy Minton on her travels around the world with husband Lee.
Kazzy and Lee in Morocco -Credit:Kazzy Minton
Kazzy Minton on her travels around the world with husband Lee.
Kazzy and Lee on a hot air balloon during their holiday to Morocco, which they won through a competition with Swizzles, which Lee won by inking the Swizzles logo onto his leg -Credit:www.cochlea.prod.com Morocco

Since her first competition entry in 2021 Kazzy and her partner Lee - who owns his own parlour in Pembroke high street - have won more than 850 prizes totalling tens of thousands of pounds, including a trip to Norway, two weeks on Corona Island in South America, and a garden makeover. They’ve also won a £4,000 diamond in a Smirnoff competition and a £6,000 all inclusive trip for eight to Wrexham AFC. They have recently returned from Morocco too after winning a competition run by Swizzles. Asked to prove how much of a fan of Swizzles they were, Lee decided to ink the logo on his knee. “No regrets,” Kazzy laughs.

She has won 831 of the prizes herself. Now an avid comper, the only publication she subscribes to is the Compers News magazine which comes through the post once a month for just under £5, while many of her friends are also compers. She mostly considers herself a creative comper and a purchase necessary comper. Creative could be anything from a picture posted to social media to a video on Youtube, while purchase necessary means the comper has to buy the product to have a chance of winning.

“Lee loves chocolate, beer and crisps. So if I’m going to put those things in the trolley, why not look at which has got a competition going and have a chance of winning something as well?”

Kazzy Minton on her travels around the world with husband Lee.
Behind the scenes in Senja, Norway, where Kazzy was filmed for a week 'under the midnight sun' -Credit:Nikolas Gogstad Anderson/Visit Norway
Kazzy Minton on her travels around the world with husband Lee.
A camera crew accompanied Kazzy and two other lucky winners for the whole week - which Kazzy said was the best experience of her life -Credit:Nikolas Gogstad Anderson/Visit Norway

Her lucky streak started from her first entry - a pair of daffodil earrings from a competition by Henryka Jewellery three years ago. “My sister sent it to me because she knows how much the daffodil symbol means to me,” Kazzy explained. “It was weird. Sometimes you get those funny feelings and I really knew I was going to win them.

“My younger sister did these competitions often. I honestly used to think: ‘I don’t know how she’s got the time for that.’ But I saw these daffodils and I saw Abigail in them. On the last day she was well enough to come out of hospital we took her to Singleton Park in Swansea and daffodils were in bloom everywhere.

“I know it sounds silly but I felt like the competition had been sent to me. All you had to do to win was like the page, like the post, and tag someone - so I tagged my sister back. A few days later I got an email saying I’d won.”

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A couple of weeks later she won a Pringles competition for an Xbox. “I got the bug then,” she said. “My children couldn’t believe it. My daughter had been waiting for months for one. They all wanted it so I had to spin the wheel to decide who got it.

“I then joined the Lucky Learners group on Facebook and realised there is a whole community of compers that are so generous and send each other competitions. It’s a fabulous network of people. I’ve made really lovely friends on there. In fact my comping friend Annie in Scotland, who I met through one of the groups, invited me to go on an all inclusive holiday to Crete she won last year through Instagram.

“I don’t keep comps to myself. I put them on the group so everyone has a chance. When my friend wins something amazing I’m as chuffed for them as I would be for me. It’s a really joyous thing. We all put our wins in the group and congratulate each other.”

Mother-of-five Kazzy won a garden makeover in a San Miguel competition. “I knew I was going to win that as well,” she recallws. “I had this really strong feeling about it. I’d wanted to have my garden done for years. I’ve got lighting, a bar which is unbelievable, a fire pit, sofas - it’s just superb. We live in a lovely part of the world and being there looking out over the beach is just stunning.”

Lee, who Kazzy met 10 years ago when she went into his parlour for a tattoo, has also got the bug for the artsy entries. “Lee is very much a creative comper. He loves that side of it - making the videos or photos and getting it just right. He’s an artist in every way - we both are.”

Lee, 57, won the couple a Corona Island trip through a Corona beer giveaway through Instagram. He won it with a picture of his Corona tropical can beside a picture he was painting on his easel on the beach. “It was an incredible holiday,” Kazzy said. “The island only allows 20 tourists at a time. We were so lucky. We literally had toucans and parrots right beside us while we were eating breakfast.”

Norway has been Kazzy’s favourite win yet. “Just amazing,” she remembered of her trip above the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia where the sun doesn’t set between May and July. “It was the best experience of my life. I’d seen it on social media through something called The Timeless Society by Visit Norway. I sent in my 200 words on why I wanted to go. The following weekend I got told I was through to the next round and would I make a video, which I did just standing out the back chatting away and showing myself as I am. Then I had a message saying I was through to the final stage and I had a Zoom call with the director - which I thought meant the director of Visit Norway, but I realised I was actually going to be in a documentary.

“When I got there I met the other two winners - a girl from London and a young man from Italy. We flew to Bardufoss Airport and then we were driven to Senja. When we got there there was a crew of 12 waiting for us and for the whole week we had the cameras on us. I was a bit taken aback but it was an unforgettable experience. They told us to hand in our phones and watches at the start and the whole time I had no idea what the time was because the sun never sets there at that time of the year. We hiked, kayaked, paddle boarded, did yoga. One of Norway’s best chefs came out to cook for us too. It’s the only holiday I’ve ever taken solo and I cried my eyes out leaving there.”

Hundreds of prizes later, her love for the morning comping grind hasn’t waned. In fact, she’s as hungry as ever. “This morning I’ve mostly got my usual stuff,” she said, looking through her to-do list. “I have three videos waiting to be made and edited for TikTok, which I’ll put on my Youtube channel as well.

“Yesterday I made a TikTok video very similar to the video I did for the Norway trip, but this one is with Visit Finland for a week in Helsinki. I’m getting excited now because I’m counting down to my thousandth prize and I want to have a little celebration when I get there. It’s been a really exciting few years and has given us a lot of stories to tell.”