Pete Bentley's Story
We started serious comping when we both retired in the 90’s. Previously we had only dabbled. Our ﬁrst biggie was a ‘Honeymoon in Las Vegas’ courtesy of Debenhams and Red perfume and considering we had been married some 35 years, it was a welcome belated rather grand ‘honeymoon’. One outcome of this win was that if you bought your travellers cheques from RBS, you could enter a comp to win a £800 camcorder. On arriving home there was the LWE saying yes, we had won that too!
The bug had bitten. We entered more and more comps thanks to the newsletter and the prizes kept rolling in. These included £800 set of golf clubs, trips to Amsterdam and Paris with included £200 to spend at a top Paris restaurant (that didn’t go to far with wine at £100 a bottle, “we don’t serve beer sir”!) and a VIP London weekend with £100 to spend at Harrods. Other prize wins to London included a meal for four at Planet Hollywood and Brian Turners restaurant.
A week in Lanzarote was followed by a week in Israel for a family of four thanks to Jaffa Oranges. The winning call was taken by our grown-up daughter, who said she would fret if left ‘home alone’ and claimed she was equivalent to two 15-year olds! She was allowed to come with us. The borders to Jordan had just opened so we were able to visit Petra, a really breathtaking experience.
Cooking has also been a competition forte and one year we represented the North of England in the ﬁnals at the NEC cooking with Brian Turner and winning a year’s supply of food thanks to Baxter’s foods and £1,000 from Tesco. TV beckoned with a hamper from ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ followed by its sequel on Sky TV ‘The Heat is On’. This was followed by a trip to Birmingham for ‘Meals in Minutes’, cooking with Ainsley Harriet. A win on Jim Davidson’s ‘Big Break’ found us in Thailand for two weeks then a week in Malaysia. Our last cooking win was in a British Chicken recipe comp and resulted in another trip to London for a cooking class.We don’t win everything though. We are still looking for the car and have been in three ﬁ nals down to the last 10, but no luck. The last close shave was on another TV show where we just missed out on £50,000. You got nothing for coming second apart from a nice weekend in London.
One of our favourite wins was a trip to Mauritius thanks to Kuoni, which lead to us winning ‘Photo of the Year’ in CC. What a surprise to see yourself on the front cover of your favourite mag.
Our 300 prizes include holidays to Las Vegas, Lanzarote, Eilat, Paris, Amsterdam, 4 x London, regency chair, golf clubs, Michael Owen football boots, £2,000 shopping vouchers, food for a year, camcorder, 4 x camera, microwave, set of pans, innumerable videos, T-shirts, CDs, tickets out, cinema tickets, sports tickets etc. Three Christmas hampers, train tickets and lots of cuddly toys which always go down well with our grandchildren.