Posted by: Kate | October 21, 2010

Caller Number 11

Yep, it happened again! I won another radio contest, this time to go see Comics Come Home in Boston on November 13. And this time I already have a babysitter that we know and trust, so I don’t even need to start panicking about child care.

I was thinking about it on my drive (which, incidentally, is the ONLY place I have ever won this sort of contest), and I believe this is the sixth event I’ve won tickets to.  Previously, there were tickets to see concerts by Fuel, Of a Revolution, a multi-band gathering (Sarah McLachlan, Melissa Etheridge, Gavin DeGraw and Guster), and Melissa Etheridge at both a sound check and the concert itself, plus entry to an Irish folk festival in Boston.  It’s luck, sure, but I also have kind of a system… I figured it’s probably safe to share, because how many of you live within the same listening area and spend enough time in your cars to lessen my chances?  Not too many, I think…

So, they’ll announce “11th caller” or whatever and I’ll dial, hit “end” at the busy signal, then “talk” and repeat cycle until I’ve called the same number of times as the magic number.  I figure it probably takes them about 10 seconds to answer, deliver bad news, and take the next call, so if I haven’t gotten through by that number I assume someone else has already won.

Then, and this is the key: once it starts ringing, DON’T HANG UP.  For whatever reason, I’ve found that they answer the “sorry, you didn’t win” callers within one or two rings, but the correct numbered call often rings at least ten or fifteen times before they answer.  No idea why, but if you can get through to a ring tone, hang tight, and make sure you’ve got good cell phone reception.  I remember parking at the side of the road in New Hampshire because I knew I was on my way out of network and I’d just won tickets to the Sarah McLachlan festival (plus her entire discography at the same time), and for this summer’s Melissa Etheridge win I pulled into a bank parking lot because I wasn’t sure what the reception might be like, and I didn’t want to just trust that I could call back and get the rest of my information to them if we got disconnected.

So, there you have it: the secret to my success, such as it is.  Go forth and win something.  I’m disqualified from another win for 60 days, anyway… at least from this station!



  1. Cool! I don’t usually call in to contests like this (usually I don’t really care about the prizes) but I can’t wait to try your system the next time I want to win something! 🙂

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