Have your say
Write a letter to the editor
Post on our bulletin board
Vote on our opinion polls
Sign up for daily emails
Sign up for newsflashes
Order a copy of the newspaper
back to list
|'WELL DONE - YOU'VE WON!'
12:30 - 08 April 2004
The Trip of a lifetime
lies ahead for a North Lincolnshire man - after he scooped a top prize
in a competition he had never knowingly entered.
Spicer, of Warley Road, Scunthorpe, paid £35 to a website which
automatically selects and enters him in 500 competitions a year. The
top trip to China was first prize in a competition with the British
Library and will allow him to take in the Great Wall, Ming Tombs and
the Forbidden City.
website Derek had signed up to, PrizeFocus.com, uses unique software
called Automated Competition Engine to enter its members into hundreds
of competitions every year.
Each of its members, who pay the
£34.95 12-month subscription, are sent a weekly e-mail to notify them
about the competitions they have entered.
And the company claims it has won its members new cars, mobile phones, digital cameras, holidays and laptop computers.
had only been signed up with the company a few months when he received
a letter from the British Library to say he had won a competition in
conjunction with their Chinese Printmaking exhibition.
Before this, Derek had never been any further than Jersey on holiday.
He said: "China is one of the places in the world I would really like to go.
couldn't believe it when I got the letter, so I phoned them up to check
it and it turned out to be genuine - I was chuffed." he added.
who makes roof trusses at Howarth Timber, said he had been entering
competitions with various internet companies for about five years and
had never won before.
He explained PrizeFocus.com was the only one which actually entered him into competitions.
The other companies just notified him about forthcoming ones so he could enter himself.
trip, courtesy of the China Travel and Information Centre Ltd, includes
a four-night stay in Beijing and three-nights in Xi'an - staying in
Derek's sister, Susan Macdonald is
accompanying him and they will also visit Xi'an's Terracotta Museum and
Shaanxi Provincial History Museum.
Derek won the competition because his entry was the first correct answer to be drawn at random.
spokesman for the British Library said: "The competition was open to
all that attended the Library's Chinese Woodblock Prints exhibition at
St Pancras in London, and via the Library's website at www.bl.uk.
"We are delighted Derek has won the prize, and wish him a happy and enjoyable holiday in China."
The next competition at the British Library will accompany their forthcoming Silk Road exhibition.
prize will include a tour of eight Chinese cities and tickets for the
overnight soft sleeper train from Beijing to Xi'an and Jia Pass to
Turpan. To enter visit www.bl.uk/silkroad from May 7.
What is the name of the world's earliest dated, printed book? THE DIAMOND SUTRA
How many years ago was printing invented in China? 1,500 YEARS AGO
3. What is the capital city of China? BEIJING