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By Emily Milner

I have extreme guilt over the contest I announced when last I blogged here (in, um, November. Yes. I know.) in that I have yet to announce a winner. It is ridiculous that I have not yet done so, given that it’s been two months since the deadline I proposed, but I let the initial deadline pass during my Christmas insanity. Then every time I thought of it I felt stupid for not having done anything with it and wanted to avoid it some more. Don’t ask me how many other things in my life I do this with.

I had just four commenters, and I wasn’t sure whether they all intended to enter, but given the long delay, I am offering copies of Variant to all four commenters. That would be Theric, Kellie, Rosalyn, and Kerri. You’re all winners! You can get reading for the Whitneys.

And now I want to know: what is the coolest thing you have ever won? Do you enter blog contests, like the major haul Design Mom gives away each Christmas? Or that HGTV dream home giveaway? Or radio contests? Do any of you have a knack for winning things, a lucky charm? Is it a waste of time to even enter? I figure someone has to win…

I have won two cookbooks, and they are both excellent: Annette Lyon’s Chocolate Never Faileth, which I won by entering a drawing at a book signing, and Luisa Perkins’ Comfortably Yum, which I won by buying a copy of Variant and entering her contest. I have not won a KitchenAid mixer, or a $500 gift card to Old Navy, or a designer stroller, or any one of the many other contests I have attempted to win. This makes me wonder if there’s some kind of cosmic Winning Gift, and my winning two cookbooks has made it so I’m not destined to win anything else again for a long time.

Then there are contests that require actual skill, like the Whitneys, or the new Mormon Lit Blitz writing contest. Writers sent in their pieces, 1000 words or less, and the fifteen finalists are being posted, one a day, so we can all read and discuss and vote on our favorites. The winner gets a new Kindle. I am a fan of the contest, because I love any idea that makes Mormon lit fresh and exciting, and also because it’s so fun to see familiar faces there: Kathryn Soper, Kerry Spencer, Terresa Wellborn, Sandra Taylor, and Deja Earley, all of whom have published with us in the journal or on the blog. And William Morris, who runs Motley Vision and edited Monsters and Mormons. I’ve enjoyed the writing so far. That’s a contest requiring a combination of skill and charm, and I wish all the finalists well. If they ever host another one, maybe I’ll try my hand at it.

But you know, winning something unexpected, requiring only luck, is like a gift from the universe, and if the universe decides to send me cookbooks, who am I to argue? What has the universe sent you lately?

About Emily Milner

(Poetry Board) graduated from BYU in Comparative Literature, but it was long enough ago that most of what she learned has leaked out. She would like to mention other hobbies or interests, but to be honest she spends most of her free time reading (although she does enjoy attempting yoga). She used to blog at hearingvoices.wordpress.com. For now, though, Segullah is her only blogging home, and it's a good one.

22 thoughts on “Winners”

  1. Our best win was a 3 day all-inclusive trip to Disneyland with hotel and park hopper tickets. We'd never pay to stay in a Disney resort but got to stay in the Grand California Hotel for free–sweet!

  2. Growing up I didn't win anything. But as an adult, I've decided that I'm a winner, and ever since then I've done pretty well. It started when I won a sweet mountain bike during our college days. I gave it to my new husband and we had that bike for almost 20 years and certainly got our money's worth! 😉

    I've won books: In fact I've won two copies of the same book in different contests (where the prize wasn't set when I entered). J Scott Savage's book Farworld and can't wait for that series to be completed.

    I've won a leather backpack, round trip airline tickets, and numerous small things.

    I used to never get good parking spots, but in similar manner, I decided that I now have good parking karma, and ever since then it's been true. I don't know how these things work, but somehow they have been.

    Wish I'd entered the Variant contest! It's on my list of books at the library. ♥

  3. I've won a camera, a Clairsonic skin care system and a television. But my best win was a set of knives from Pioneer Woman. 15,000 comments and I won!

  4. I won a pizza once. I was listening to the radio on my way home, and the announcer started asking "who said this: 'Ask for me tomorrow–'" just as I pulled into the driveway. I rushed into the house before he'd even finished the quote and got on the phone in time to tell him that the rest of the quote was "and you shall find me a grave man." and the speaker was Mercutio in ROMEO AND JULIET.

    A lot of excitement for a pizza, I must say.

    But I did win something cooler once.

    I was on a Yucatan cruise with my mom, and I entered a contest for internet time in the ship's computer room. And I won! That made it possible for me to email family members while we were on the cruise–and to hear about a hurricane out in the Gulf that we might have to worry about. Never saw it, but knowing about it did make the cruise a little more exciting.

  5. I've won a lot of things, but not because of luck. I usually had to work hard to get the prizes. But I think my favorite prize, ever, was just luck. We'd lived in San Diego since our marriage, because my husband was stationed there with the Navy. Now, after 13 years, we were leaving the Navy and California. We loved the zoo. Our last year there was the zoo's celebration of 75 years. They'd made commemorative pins that had been offered for sale, one at a time, throughout the year, but you had to go to the zoo to buy them. Before we moved away, we went for one last visit to the zoo. There was a drawing for the complete set of pins, so we put in our entry for the give-away. WE WON!! The pins were mailed to us at our new home in another state, and I cannot describe the joy. It was like a letter from home. I still love them.

  6. I came in first in an olympic distance triathlon once. There were only 3 – 5 other competitors in my age group, but I was still proud of myself. 🙂

  7. I have won a few things on blogs which makes me feel a little lucky! Some of my best wins have been a Stokke chair and a Baby Hawk mei tai carrier. My mom says I'm her luckiest child and that I won Harlem Globetrotter tickets when I was 3.

  8. We were required to buy raffle tickets to sell when our son played baseball. I did NOT want to go to the hassle of selling them (and I was mad about being forced to do it) so I put my name on all of them, prayed and told the Lord that winning would be a nice blessing for paying tithing, and handed them in. I honestly wasn't SERIOUS about winning but when my name was drawn for the $500 mall gift certificate I didn't complain.

  9. I won a $20 gift card to amazon from entering a blog contest, on my first try,back in '09. So now I enter them with the hopes to win more…nope…nothing…nada
    When we first moved to our current town, it was real easy to win something from the local radio station. We won a pack of 4 tickets to both Disneyland and Legoland.

  10. I completed a crossword puzzle in Climbing magazine, back when I thought I would become one until I injured my knee and it didn't heal for six months. I sent in the puzzle and I won the drawing for a rain jacket. It probably retailed for about $100. Probably my biggest win.

  11. I've won a few writing contests before, but my luck with "luck" contests isn't very good. I think the best thing I won was a $25 Amazon gift card, but I'll take free books any day! (Also, I already have a copy of Variant–is there someone else you might want to give the book to?)

  12. Okay, I'm loving these prizes because it tells me that yes, people do actually win things sometimes! And I remembered a couple of things I've won that I forgot to mention: a gift card to Amazon.com, interestingly enough from Rob Wells because I preordered a copy of Variant! So buying Variant has gotten me both an Amazon gift card and a free cookbook. That there is a lucky book.

    I also won a free babysitting night at the Little Gym my son goes to, because I saw their Facebook message first and called and sang them a silly song.

    It's good to know that the winners of those ginormous Pioneer Woman contests are real. I will keep entering, and maybe use Blue's trick of telling myself I am lucky. We'll see what the universe brings me next.

    Theric and Rosalyn and Kel and Kerri, I have emailed you, so let me know if you did not receive the email.

  13. Oh, exciting to have won!

    I've won the odd book in the past, and a voucher for a free Slurpee. Oh, and last month I won a cupcake carrier (for 1 cupcake) and a Muppets DVD pack. Last month was very surprising!

  14. OK, I'll be the dissenter. I don't win things. I don't win because I don't enter. It's probably because I don't trust the world to give back more than what I loose by entering. I'm sure that the contest is out to get my vital info to sell to some unscrupulous third party who will steal my identity. There is a part of me that says getting something for nothing is uncomfortably out of balance with reality.

    And if I'm being completely honest I think blog giveaways are trite. If your blog is full of good content why lure people with a giveaway? I think getting free recipes from Pioneer woman is a good enough motivator to keep me checking back. And reading great thoughtful posts, with good comments, on Segullah is more than enough payoff for putting it on my favorites list.

    Ok, so I must admit that I do enter writing contests even though I've never won. I don't think they're a contest though, it's more of a competition based on skill, not pull a number out of a hat based on pure chance.

  15. Oh, Emily, you are making me laugh today! I have never won anything out of luck. Ever. I did win a contest in Parenting magazine once. They asked you to write in so many words or less why you needed their designers to redecorate your child's bedroom. My little piece was witty and charming and a few months later they called and said I had won! Wow! But, unfortunately, that same week I found out we had to move out of state. Because they wanted to do the remodel the same month we were moving (and we were going to sell the house and move into a rental, which they wouldn't remodel), I didn't get the prize.

    I hope my prize-that-wasn't did not "count" in the cosmic winning calculator! 😉

  16. Great stories of winning. Cool about the drawing prompt and the mall certificate. I've won some contest based on skill, some on luck: speech contests, pie making, chili making, writing, teaching, acting. A cookie bouquet at a dinner theatre, a huge kitchen supplies bingo basket at a school fundraiser. I am probably the most tickled about winning a haiku writing contest for the daily dictated theme. (I'm delighted more because it's a recognizable paper rather than because of the intrinsic merits of my haiku.) My day's theme was "swimming pool." And then winning made me eligible to win a free book among the winners for that month–and I got the luck of the draw. USA Today still has my poem up. http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/2004-04-04-haiku_x.htm


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