Source: I work for a company that handles online rebates and promotions, including these types of Twitter/Instagram/FB contests. We deal with the FTC all the time.
He had a several radios and 2-3 phones and just madly speed-dialed into the station when each round was announced. He even had to disguise his voice because he won so often that the stations tried to avoid him winning.
I can't find the story but here is somebody similar:
I've found that I sometimes don't even receive the prize, and occasionally don't even know what the prize or radio station are when I'm calling in as it's reflexive at this point.
"The defendants’ letters led many consumers to believe that they had to pay a processing fee to receive the cash prize"
It's funny that this came up. Just the other day I heard them running a "text us to win" contest on the radio while driving and I thought I should create an app that enables find-and-share capabilities for text-to-win contests.
whatever I want written on some girl's body in chocolate (tried to get her to write Maxwell's equations, but she said no)
something from a gay porn star. I was afraid to dig through his twitter page to find the original contest...
-A "warm sense of fulfillment"
-1/8 oz of South OG marijuana
LA is the only exception, though the 'city' may be a appendage for places like Mexico City.
Do us Brits(/Irish) run more competitions?
I think it shows what's wrong with his idea: he has a prize that doesn't really have any significance to him. However I'm guessing other entrants to the contest (if there were any) actually are fans of the show, and would value the hat much higher.
It sounds like the bot could be made (slightly?) more intelligent, to avoid entering contests that you're certainly not eligible to.
so I had to spend a decent amount of time going though my DMs to find legit winner notifications.
Making the bot read DMs to find them seems an easier task than determining eligibility.
Reading through the winnings list gives an interesting idea of the scale of how many ticketable events happen globally... he only won a tiny fraction of the contests but there's already more tickets than any single person could ever make use of.
-tickets to Carrot Top at Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City
So I'm pretty sure there's going to always be a modicum of human involvement in the claiming part. It could auto reply with some PO box address maybe. He did note sometimes he didn't receive the item (ex: 'tupaware').
The author of this blog would find a very different functionality for his bot if he were located in, say, Australia.
More frustrating is just google-searching for products and whatnot.
Why? It's better to win everything possible to prevent other people from winning them.
That's not called a "philosophical difference". That is called "I'm an asshole".
I never would have thought..
HM Revenue & Customs doesn't regard lottery winnings as income, so all prizes are tax-free – hurray! However, there could be tax implications once you've banked your winnings.
HMRC has produced guidance in the context of freelancers who win prizes and the short version is that they view most prizes as taxable income of the freelancer.
Gambling income is tax free in the UK as I understand it, you pay tax to take part (the tax at that end is greater unless the company pays out more than it receives!).
(Having a website which looks like the DailyMail open at work (even during break) isn't the best look!)
I believe the same is true of gambling winnings (The reasoning being that you aren't given tax refunds when you lose, so it's unfair to tax when you win)
Prizes that you haven't payed for entry might be different.
Which becomes really interesting when you consider professional poker players.
Everything you receive from everyone is taxable income unless you can find a specific tax code saying that it isn't. Lottery winnings are taxable unless a section exempts them. Non-monitary prizes or awards from competitions are taxable.
As with most tax law, this is necessary to prevent widespread avoidance. Nobody would pay any taxes if only money income was taxed. We'd revert to a barter economy wherever possible, defeating the purpose of taxation. (ir employer pays employees with physical good via a company store.) If all competition winnings were exempt, employers might pay people in gambling tokens simply to avoid them having to pay taxes.
Yes, and it's why I would always cringe whenever I saw The Price Is Right with someone winning $50,000+ of stuff they didn't need (or often even want).
"OK. 1 more chance. If no one RTs, replies, or even talks about this tweet, I will donate £15,000 to a charity of your choice. Any questions?" --> 369 retweets, most by suspected bots.
I'm not big on competitions or surveys, but I occasionally participate in one spontaneously for amusement, and on those occasions where I've won something it's been highly enjoyable. I'm much less inclined to do if I think about mechanized competitor-bots or suchlike, and think that automating such activities is astonishingly selfish.
-lipstick from Avon
(and so on and so forth)
Can this be used for other purposes - like finding ideas for an app/website/biz, finding deep discounts on products etc?
I wonder if someone could create a winning bot.