A dog lover who is obsessed with her rescue Rottweiler opened up about how she regularly indulges him with treats from the $26,600 stash of freebies she has won by entering 100 competitions a day.
Veterinary technician Ria Mitchell, has been entering dog freebie contests for two years. The prizes include everything from a seven-day cruise to Spain and Portugal to high-end perfume, a designer watch, a year's supply of raw dog food and $6,600 in cash.
Meanwhile, Razor entertains his 15,000 plus Facebook fans with her adventures, which have won him presents including numerous toy bundles and a sofa to recline on when he feels tired!
Ria and Razor (PA Real Life/Collect)
Mitchell is considered an accomplished "comper," the name given to people who habitually enter giveaway competitions.
“Comping doesn't have to be time consuming. I spend 30 minutes maximum each night scrolling through social media and special forums for the latest giveaways," she said.
“I choose to do it at about 11pm, as, by then, all the competitions for that day will have been uploaded, so I don't have to go back and keep checking."
“I enter about 100 giveaways a day – but it's paid off. In just two years, I've easily won £20,000 worth of prizes, if not more."
Razor with the free dog food (PA Real Life/Collect)
Mitchell first tried her hand at comping in 2018, when she saw a set of Gucci, Dior and Chanel perfume up for grabs.
Entering simply by liking and sharing a Facebook post, she never dreamed she would be successful but, only days later, she was announced the winner.
“It made me realize that there is stuff out there to be won," she said.
A Boux Avenue gift card Ria won (PA Real Life/Collect)
She entered more giveaways and soon got her second win, a VIP experience at Marwell Zoo in Winchester, Hampshire.
In time, she learned that comping was a multi-faceted experience with numerous forums devoted solely to listing new contests as they are uploaded each day.
“When I found out about comping forums, the prizes started rolling in thick and fast. It meant I didn't have to scour the internet for prizes anymore. They would all be listed on one easy site, so I could go through them in one go," she said.
Ria on the cruise she won (PA Real Life/Collect)
Since then, Mitchell has scooped an impressive array of goodies, including a mini break to the Channel Island of Guernsey, a VIP experience at Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower in Hampshire, a $133 Selfridges voucher and $800 worth of Amazon vouchers.
“I've also won thousands in cash. The most I got in one go was £5,000, and the least was £600, which is still a lot of money," she said.
“It's nice to have these amazing prizes as treats, but comping also makes everyday life cheaper."
She is using her wins as a way to save some cash.
“For example, I win so much make up that I never have to buy it, which saves a fortune, as I use the more expensive brands like Laura Mercier and Bobby Brown," she said.
“I'm always trying to win stuff for Razor, too, and a lot of the cash goes on him. He's my baby and I love spoiling him rotten."
Previously spending about $77 on dog food for her beloved pup every month, Mitchell struck gold in January, when she won a year's supply completely free.
Some Ted Baker goodies Ria won (PA Real Life/Collect)
She also loves to treat her family and friends to prizes and uses her wins as presents, making Christmas and birthdays surprisingly cheap.
“My friends and family can't believe how lucky I am," she said. “They love it, though, as I often treat them, or give them the things I don't want."
“I won a shed in the past, which I gave to my nan, as I didn't have space for it. I also got a year's worth of free car services, which I gave to a friend. I couldn't drive at the time, but not long after, I won 40 hours' worth of lessons, which I'm currently taking."
A designer watch Ria won (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I get lots of nice perfume and aftershave, which I give away as presents, and last year, I got a lovely six-month subscription to a flower delivery service, which I treated my mum to," she added.
“Comping means I basically get Christmas for free, as well."
Hoping to inspire others, Mitchell is now sharing her top comping tips.
Ria's Selfridges voucher (PA Real Life/Collect)
“A lot of the competitions I enter involve signing up to a mailing list, so I have set up a different email address especially for comping," she said.
“That way, I won't lose important personal emails in amongst all the promotions and spam. Similarly, I bought myself a separate phone – just a little £10 one from Argos – as sometimes, you have to give your number, too, and I don't want to deal with loads of marketing calls."
Now, Mitchell is hoping her winning streak will last long enough for her to bag herself a free Christmas for the third year running.
And, Razor will be basking in her success, as he continues to be spoilt rotten by his owner.
“Comping is so easy to do and it's amazing how many incredible prizes there are out there," she said.
Razor with some toys that Ria won (PA Real Life/Collect)
“Sometimes, I go through a quiet patch, where months go by without a win, but you have to keep going, as your luck will change," she concluded.
“Prizes are constantly turning up at home and, half the time, I can't even remember entering the competition!"
“I never imagined when I started out that, two years later, I'd have scooped items worth £20,000 – or that I'd have had so much fun winning them."