Britain’s luckiest gran has scooped more than £100,000 worth of prizes – after winning hundreds of competitions.
Lorraine Harrison, 63, got hooked on entering prize draws and cereal box quizzes after she won a cuddly toy more than 20 years ago.
The golden gran now enters an average of five competitions, raffles or prize draws EVERY DAY.
Incredibly, since her winning streak Lorraine has not paid for a holiday, bicycle, car or washing machine.
But despite her good fortune, Lorraine refuses to play the Lottery saying the odds of winning “are just too small.”
Since 1990 she has won dozens of luxury holidays, spa breaks, mountain bikes, a brand new £18,000 car – and even a year’s supply of condoms.
Lorraine, a medical receptionist, is now entering competitions to win a holiday to coincide with her 25th wedding anniversary with husband Dave, 55, next year.
She said: “Ever since I won my first prize which was a cuddly teddy after entering a prize draw at Woolworths in 1990 I was bitten by the bug.
“I remember walking past the shop and a woman asking me if I wanted to take part in a free prize draw.
“The woman told me I could win a cuddly toy and then be entered into a national contest to win a holiday.
“I didn’t manage the big one but once I got the toy, I knew I wanted to do more contests.
“I used to do between 30 and 50 competitions every day. But with work and everything else I have on, I think I do about five now. But I am still winning.
“I’m not the sort of person that just enters for the sake of it. I wouldn’t try and win a skiing holiday, because that doesn’t appeal to me. I just look for things that I want or I know my family will enjoy.
“We have a saying in my family now that goes ‘if you want it, win it.’
“The strangest prize I ever got was a year’s supply of durex – and that was only 12 condoms. The also sent me a T-shirt with a picture of a sperm on it and a leather jacket.
“It was hilarious when it arrived.”
Incredibly, Lorraine, from Bramcote, Nottingham, has not had to fork out for a holiday in more than a decade.
She has netted nine holidays, including breaks to Florida, Barbados, Dubai and Egypt, as well as winning a flight on Concorde and the Orient Express.
Lorraine, who has three grown-up children and four grandchildren, is so successful she even keeps a spreadsheet detailing her competition wins.
And she believes she has spent just £100 on texts and stamps over the years entering the hundreds of competitions.
She said: “I just keep winning. I have a spreadsheet from a few years ago which totalled to just over £70,000 but it must be over £100,000 now.
“It takes me about three hours going round the supermarket because I read the backs of all the foods in case they are offering a prize draw or competition.
“Before the internet I used to do research at home and at the library during evenings and weekends and read rhyming books to come up with the best slogans.
“I have done quite a few slogan competitions but the best was for Kwik Save.
“I really got a feeling I would win that one and told my husband, Dave, as much, but when I didn’t hear back in the 28 days, I wrote to the company to find out.
“The same day I sent that letter, I got a letter saying I had won when I got home.
“My slogan was: ‘The store is light, the staff are bright, and prices are quite simply right.’ For that I won my first trip to Florida.
“It’s always best to enter competitions with a low entry rate, such as ones asking a question or for a slogan.
“You have to spend a bit of time and research the promoter to see what they’re looking for.”
The most valuable prize was a Toyota Prius, worth £17,995, which she won by mistake.
She added: “That was a contest with Asda and I only entered it on the last day of the closing date because I wanted to win the second prize which was a mountain bike.
“It was with a company called Respectful Eggs and all you had to do was send a text that said ‘respectful’. It cost me 25p and from that I was picked out of 19,000 people to win the prize.
“When I heard I’d won the car I was shocked. I didn’t keep it though and sold it as soon as it arrived so I could buy the mountain bike which I’d wanted in the first place.”
One of her favourite rewards was a trip she won with her daily newspaper, the Nottingham Post.
She said: “It was a trip on the Orient Express where we all dressed up in 1920s clothes, which was wonderful.
“It was a postcard competition and I sent mine in but decided to send a bright green one cut into a star shape.
“When the woman rang to tell me I had won, I asked if it was because of the colour, but she said it was because she picked it out of a bag and the sharp edge got caught under her nail.
“My family can’t believe what I’ve won. I ask them if they’ve entered anything and they say ‘no’, so I say well, ‘there you go then.’ You have to be in it to win it.
“I don’t smoke and I don’t drink, so I feel this is my treat. It’s my little bit of enjoyment. I don’t do the Lottery though, I’ve never seen the point because the odds of winning are just too small.”
Daughter Michelle Sumner said she remembered hearing her mum screaming from the living room after winning a holiday to Barbados through GMTV.
The 44-year-old, also of Sawley, said: “It was about 23 years ago and I was upstairs at home. I heard her screaming that she had won a holiday.
“She just got the bug from that and spent all her evenings doing competitions.
”It’s paid off. She’s really lucky but she’s put in a lot of effort. It’s her hobby.
“She’s won us at least three spa days and overnight stays, so we enjoy the benefits too.
“I’m really proud of her, she’s done really well. I’m always telling her to start playing the Lottery.”