Which spot the ball competitions should you play?
With online spot the ball being an ever increasingly popular format of running competitions, it seems that there are lots of options these days. Prizes vary from the typical car or cash prizes all the way to even houses. But are they all legitimate, and if so – should you play them?
Spend your money only on well established spot the ball competitions
Ones that are well established such as BOTB. There’s a reason why they have been running the competition since 1999, and by playing such competitions you can be sure that you’re not being scammed. Although, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in playing other spot the ball competitions.
And while the new competitions might provide slightly better odds for winning because of less players, but they also have a higher risk of:
- The competition being a scam
- The judging being fixed or just poorly executed
- The competition organisers might vanish unexpectedly and make a run for it with the money
- And the business running the competition might go under – and even if you win you will never receive your prize!
- Some competitions have Terms and Conditions designed so that the competition organisers know they will never make the ticket sales, but instead will give a small cash prize out (Especially these “Win a house in X”-type competitions!)
Simply put: Don’t play competitions with no track record!
Don’t play spot the ball competitions that are or end up being a one-off type of a competition, and don’t have any kind of a track record. It might be inviting, or it may seem like you have better chances of winning a completely new competition before other people find out about it. But you might also end up throwing away your money completely – if the competition itself or judging end up being a complete mess (if not a blatant scam). And the undoubtedly best way of finding out for you to see if a competition is a scam or not, is to wait and see if people actually win the prizes, and if the business running the spot the ball competition is transparent about their judging process and so on.
Example 1 – YourLaddr.com
One prime example of a competition one shouldn’t have played is YourLddr. They supposedly were going to give a house in Central London away to the winner, in case they would sell enough tickets (which they didn’t – again supposedly). Or one could even say they didn’t sell the amount of tickets required to give away the house as planned.
Tickets cost a whopping £10 each. And after they published the results and the judging video, it was quite obvious that anyone who had played the game would be slightly disgruntled. They also changed their Terms and Conditions multiple times, including the rewards that one could get for referring your friends.
As an example of this “YourLddr” and how their judging ‘worked’, have a look at their YouTube video of the judging:
(And decide for yourself if this was completely legitimate or not, or well executed)
(And yes the YouTube video is Unlisted – as in Hidden unless you have the link to it)
Now compare that to the way BOTB conducts their judging:
It’s not just the difference in production quality and value, but it’s the methodology and the fact that it all seems very dodgy. Therefore, the best thing you can do with such competitions is to save your money, and at least wait to see if they are a legitimate competition with fair judging process. As in, an actual skill-based game like spot the ball is supposed to be!
And now? Their website is down and they seem to have vanished completely. Spot the ball competition? More like “Spot the spot the ball competition company competition” am I right?
Example 2 – Supercoolstuff.co.uk
It looked like they were going to start giving out cars that you could play for with spot the ball, but only Land Rovers (Or maybe Range Rovers, can’t remember exactly anymore and can’t check as their site is down for ‘Maintenance‘). From what I can tell is that the competition never went live nor did anyone win anything. Their website looked nice and they used some people as their ‘ambassadors’ who were small celebrities I suppose somewhere in Africa, but a nice website and an endorsement from anyone doesn’t mean squat in the end if the competition doesn’t run at all.
Someone actually contacted the email given at the top of the page asking to review that website, to which I responded with the following email:
But after I sent the email I realised that the person who contacted was probably one of them as he was from the same town/city in Africa as the owner of the company and also in health care. They probably just wanted to promote their page for free, but got that message instead and realised that they’ve shot themselves in the foot with that one.
Ouch, awkward! 😀
Needless to say I never heard back as this response probably wasn’t what they wanted to hear.
And now if you go to their website you’ll be faced with this:
So it looks like the page is now down for “Under Maintenance” which may be essentially indefinitely. Surprising? Not really. I have waited some time before jumping the gun on this and calling it a money-grab, but the website has been down for maintenance for a really long time now – so I’m happy to call that a money-grab now with certainty.
They have since deleted all of their Social Media profiles such as their twitter @Super_Coolstuff which was heavily used to promote their business. You can still find some of their tweets in the Google Search results that don’t obviously lead anywhere since the account has been deleted.
If you happened to play this game & spend money on it – please contact PayPal or however you paid for the tickets to claim back for fraud!
Final thoughts on the spot the ball competitions you should or shouldn’t play
Make sure you make the final decision whether to play a spot the ball competition or not, and decide for yourself if a competition is legitimate or not. Don’t trust or give any value to ‘reviews’, celebrity endorsements, news articles (promoted content) or any other website no matter what they tell you.
(Apart from this website of course! 😛)
Don’t especially take the word of the companies themselves or for example a newspaper. Just because a competition has been featured on the Daily Mail or the Telegraph, it doesn’t mean that the competition itself will be successful. It won’t mean it will be good, or legitimate or worth your while either. This was exactly the method YourLddr also promoted their spot the ball competition with and this made it seem better and even more legitimate to some as they heavily promoted this fact that they have been featured in a few news sites.
Let the competition run for at least a few weeks so you can see if you are happy with the judging process, and if someone actually wins anything. Don’t take part in money-grabs.
Most of the time these new competitions vanish as quickly as they turn up, because the organisers don’t understand how difficult it is to get people playing their game. Some new competitions that are launched may have the best of intentions at heart, but they might fail and fall because people are very dubious about whether a competition is real or not.