MEET Julia Kiss – Hartlepool’s very own queen of competitions.
In the last four years, the self-confessed competition addict has celebrated winning more than 50 prizes.
The 46-year old has enjoyed mini-cruises around Amsterdam, a once-in-a-lifetime trip in a hot air balloon, a cruise around the Mediterranean and sat behind the wheel in a brand new car.
Julia has enjoyed appearances on national television, won a brand new mountain bike and £500 worth of new carpets.
But it isn’t always weeks spent with celebrity chef’s on glorious European cruises.
Other prizes Julia has won include a wok, an apron, a keyring – and even some fake tan.
Julia, who lives in the Fens area of Hartlepool, said people constantly tell her how lucky she is but reckons with the amount of competitions she enters the list of prizes is bound to be a long one.
“I enter absolutely every competition I see,” said Julia, who works as an information analyst at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
“You can’t win it if you don’t have a go, so I always think I have got nothing to lose.
“But some of the competitions aren’t just about luck, they involve quite a bit of skill.”
The Mail recently told of how Julia made it to the final of a cooking competition on ITV’s This Morning.
As well as hitting the jackpot on television, Julia has also won prizes from wine companies, lifestyle magazines and even crime websites.
Competitions in the Mail have also proved very successful.
But it isn’t just Julia who reaps the rewards of the constant flow of prizes.
“I actually give a lot of what I win away,” she added.
“Some of the prizes I would never use, so I think they would be better off with someone else.
“They come in quite useful when it comes to birthdays as well.
“The cruises and trips away are usually for two people, so that means someone always gets to come with me.
“My sisters have enjoyed quite a few prizes over the years.”
After a successful start to 2011, Julia says she has all intentions of carrying on with her competition entries.
“I always think I am going to win every competition I enter. I have just won a half-day cookery course with Jean Cristophe Novelli, which I am really looking forward to.
“Hopefully there will be a few more wins before the year is out.”
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