Serial-contest winners bag Kiss92 prize

In the last few years, dating couple Victoria Hoo, 23, and Nicolas Amet, 24, have taken part in various contests and won many prizes.

These include a Sony DSLR camera, a Canon Ixus digital-video camera, more than $1,000 in cash, a trip to Hong Kong with VIP tickets to a Manchester City football game, and $60,000 worth of prizes for their dream wedding.

After they received that last prize for winning radio station Kiss92FM's Perfect Match contest, netizens recognised them as serial contest winners.

Facebook users posted links to other contests that the pair had previously won, wondering how it was possible that they could be so lucky.

In fact, the answer is quite simple - they enter many contests, says Ms Hoo, who owns two fashion boutique stores.

"I love entering all kinds of competitions. Not many Singaporeans actually bother to take part in these contests and honestly, the prizes are really good," she says.

"I've liked entering contests since I was in secondary school."

She adds that Mr Amet, a fast-cars sales consultant, was initially dismissive of her contest-entering frenzy.

"He used to say to me, why do you always enter this kind of thing?" she says. "Then he entered a mio TV contest by himself without telling me and won, so now he's into it too."

They typically enter contests that require submissions of some kind, whether written, video or even in-person participation, says Ms Hoo, adding that they also enter road-show contests whenever they spot them.

"I think they are pretty easy to win, as a lot of Singaporeans find it embarrassing and shy away from this type of contests on stage. But we can laugh at ourselves," says Ms Hoo.

Adds Mr Amet: "Even if we don't win, we are not embarrassed."

This trait is what has clinched them so many prizes, say the couple.

"We're not easily embarrassed and we are just who we are. We are very authentic when we enter contests," says Ms Hoo.

Mr Amet adds that they also put themselves in the shoes of contest organisers. "I know that if I were going through a lot of entries, I would be so bored by reading long, uninteresting submissions," he says.

In the SingTel mio TV contest, he won a trip to Hong Kong to watch a Manchester City football match with a one-line submission.

When he was one of the five contestants short-listed for an interview, he realised that many of the other entrants had written long, impassioned pleas for the VIP tickets.

"I just wrote, 'I would divorce my wife for football'," recalls Mr Amet. "They were probably so happy to see a short answer that they picked mine."

He and Ms Hoo were one of three couples selected for Kiss92's Perfect Match contest after submitting a video and an application form.

While most other couples went the romantic route - sharing what they loved about each other while holding hands - Ms Hoo and Mr Amet made a video compiling various candid clips they had collected over the years of Ms Hoo startling Mr Amet by jumping out at him when he was not expecting it.

Ms Hoo says with a laugh that she is always trying to startle her friends and family, and would often hide a camera to capture their reactions.

They came out tops among the three final couples after doing well in each of the seven challenges, which included a lie detector test conducted by a former policeman, a cooking challenge, and a compatibility challenge with a marriage preparation counsellor.

The contest gave them their biggest prize yet - $60,000 worth of prizes to splurge on their dream wedding, including $8,888 in cash, a wedding gown from The Gown Warehouse, and a $10,000 wedding party at Parkroyal on Pickering.

They intend to get married in April next year.

Mr Amet says with a laugh that their prizes have been getting bigger and bigger, since Ms Hoo first won $500 in cash at a Halloween-themed roadshow contest three years ago.

They now intend to quit contests while they are ahead.

"We are retiring. We're probably going to take a break from contests for a while," says Mr Amet.

jennanid@sph.com.sg


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