My Winnings: Not Quite a Million

Post length: 872 words, almost 4 minutes.

Update: following a string of comments relating to the relationship between Purely Creative and WeWanna, I’ve asked both parties for a comment. You can read about that in this blog post.

Way back in February I wrote about my attempt to win £1 million from a scratchcard I found on the train without going through the expensive claim lines the try to get you to call. I also wrote about the possible prizes and contemplated what I might do if I won any of them. On the 30th February, only 9 days after I sent off my final claim, I got a letter in the post giving me that all-important information: what I had won.

There were a couple of bumps along the road, such as never getting a postal response to my request for a claim number, and it was a big long-winded, but all in all the process of claiming my prizes by post was remarkably simple. It had also only cost me £1.64 — two first class stamps and two second class stamps — for each prize. (As I said a moment ago I probably didn’t even need to do the first stage, I actually ended up getting my claim number from Purely Creative via email support.) There was one other curiosity about stamps in the final round of the postal back and forth: then never actually used the stamps I sent to them. When I had sent my scratch cards off to them I had attached a second class stamp as instructed, I did the same for both of the scratch cards I posted, however when I got the final prize vouchers back they both came in envelopes with first class stamps on them (see images below). I wonder what they do with all of those second class stamps.

Inside each envelope was a neat little wallet “with complements.” Inside that a voucher telling me what I had won and how to claim it. When I had been looking into what the possible prizes were I had found a company, Wewanna, who seemed to do the two lowest prizes in the game. Sure enough when I opened the complement cards, I found a printed sheet with details of how to claim my prizes from the Wewanna website. As predicted I had won the “VIP Hair Makeover Experience” and the afternoon Thames cruise prizes.

There were two claim options: each voucher had a claim number on it which I had to enter into the Wewanna website in order to claim; or I could return the voucher I had, having filled in my personal details on the back, to a given address. I decided to take the website option. In order to continue through the claim process on the website I had to fill in a form very similar to the one on the back of the voucher, this took me to a PDF with more things to fill in and send. (In fact it turned out I didn’t really need to fill in the online form on this site and, in fact, it might not have even submitted properly. The second time I was asked to fill it in, to claim my cruise, I didn’t enter any details and simply clicked to continue. This worked and I was given the PDF as I expected.) The PDF form asked for some more personal details, and also asked me to fill in details of when I was available to take the prize. I had to give 4 possible dates, at least 4 weeks from now, each a minimum of 2 weeks apart, with at least one weekday choice. I also had to send a £5 deposit.

It was this which put me off continuing. Up until now the costs to me have been pretty minimal, while a £10 deposit for two things which I am almost certain I wouldn’t be able to claim when it came to it (I’m pretty sure they’d pick the mid-week date, and not give me much notice) is quite substantial. (To be fair, they do say they will give the deposit back after you have claimed the prize, or if you do not claim it at all by applying through the post.)

I’m also happy that I have completed my experiment now too — the point of doing all this was to see how much effort it was, or even if it was possible all all, to claim one of these scratchcard prizes without having to call the premium rate number. I’m happy I proved it is possible, even if it took a good few months to claim the lowest level prizes. It is a bit of a shame that I couldn’t claim the cruise prize but it would be too hard for me to deal with the uncertainty of the prize date.

And so to conclude: if ever you see one of these scratchcards on the train, have a check to see what the lowest level prize is — it’s almost certainly a winner of that — and if it’s something of interest, and you have plenty of time to spare in order to claim it, then go for it. Even better, you might just win that top prize.

Posted on Wednesday 18th July, 2012 at 11:46 pm in Obiter dicta.
It was tagged with , , , , , .

29 comments

found your article so interesting..I found myself conducting a very similar experiment!determined not to be scammed but curious I too invested the initially asked for stamps x 2 ( had two “prizes” on the go)as you say weeks/months seemed to go by between communication and I’ve now reached the point where I do/don’t invest the £5 x2 !!!
I have emailed wewanna asking for the names of any of the restaurants currently involved in the 3 Course meal for Two which is one of my prizes…on the pretext of finding out the standard of restaurants involved before I commit. not an unreasonable request if things are genuine??I wanted to ask if they were indeed Purely Creative/if adrian williams,wendy ruck or catherine cummings were involved with wewanna….but decided to go with a soft question for the first one!

has anyone ever successfully sampled a meal for two anywhere I wonder courtesy of wewanna/purely creative??? my other “prize” is a ride in a hot air balloon…………..daren’t even think about challengeing the authenticity of that: might get taken up and never brought back down if I did!

Posted on 14th Feb 2013 at 12:42 pm by carol armstrong.

HI,

I have gone through the process and now have a date for the hot air balloon flight in a few weeks time. I have to email them 2 weeks before event date.
I have emailed today to ask for some more information on the event day – so it will be interesting what comes back. There email address for bookings is overflowing so the email was returned, I phoned and was told to re-sent to enquiries@wewanna.co.uk. I will keep you posted. Hopefully I will get my balloon flight in April – this has cost me £5 so far and a lot of time and effort and the cost of sending my form back registered post – £1.55

Posted on 14th Mar 2013 at 2:35 pm by Chris Aaa.

Good luck with it. I hope you have a great day out. I wish I’d been able to go through with one of my prizes (the cruise would have been nice) but I couldn’t guarantee I would be available at the short notice they required.

It would be great to hear how it goes, and I’d love to see a photo of the day out as evidence it is possible to get something through this route!

Posted on 14th Mar 2013 at 7:34 pm by Jonathon.

I’ve also been going through the process for a few months – by post – to see how far I can go before it goes pear shaped. I sent off my £10 for the two prizes (two separate scratch cards) and today I received not only a date and venue for my spa and afternoon tea but my £10 cheque back. However now urging me to send £14.99 for a “mystery prize” worth up to £500. Is it worth £15 to see it through? Has anyone else been asked for this?

Posted on 13th May 2013 at 12:27 pm by Pam B.

Interesting. As I didn’t follow through at the voucher stage (because of the mid-week problem) I don’t know what happens next.

If it were me I’d be curious to find out what this “mystery prize” is, and given you didn’t actually have to pay the deposit you were expecting I’d be tempted to give it a go… but it’s up to you. If you do go for it then let us know what happens!

Posted on 15th May 2013 at 12:14 pm by Jonathon.

How did it go? I’ve just got to the £5 deposit stage for the three course meal having just sent off stamps and done it by post. Painless so far. I’m also self employed so might be able to make some of the mid-week dates and take my retired uncle. It might be too much a hassle though.

Posted on 14th May 2013 at 5:44 pm by Richard Darbourne.

I would suspect, if you can arrange to go out in the day, it wouldn’t really be too much hassle now. You’ve done the hard work, might as well follow through if you ask me!

Posted on 15th May 2013 at 12:16 pm by Jonathon.

I did manage to get a free haircut out of purly creative/Wewanna but now I have four ‘experiences’ booked and either purely creative or WeWanna appear to have gone bust as WeWanna say they have all been cancelled and I should contact Purely Creative. £15 down the drain!

Posted on 10th Jun 2013 at 8:07 pm by Karen Gardner.

Aw that’s awful, I’m sorry to hear that. At least you got the haircut! I know it seems like a lot of effort but given you got this far maybe you should follow up with Purely Creative and see what they say. You might at least get your £15 back!

Posted on 12th Jun 2013 at 10:33 pm by Jonathon.

Yes Purely Creative say WeWanna are in breach of contract and WeWanna are blaming PC. I’m going to report them to someone! I think it’s the Gambling Commission . They’re always getting into trouble apparently.

Posted on 14th Jun 2013 at 10:38 pm by Karen Gardner.

I made it all the way to having a 20 June river cruise with afternoon tea booked. My wife mistakingly thought it said 2 June. We showed up that day and the cruise company very nicely allowed us a free ride that day (since we showed up) and even let us keep the voucher for the real ride on the 20th. Anyway, on 7 June I received a letter saying the booking was cancelled without much explanation. It informed me to all WeWanna for further details.

I called WeWanna and they said they are working on finding me a replacement. They took my name and number and said they’d call me back. I’m still waiting on that call, just like I’m still waiting on the refund of the 10£ “deposit”. I’m not going to hold my breath.

Also, the cruise was a 2 hour Thames cruise with “afternoon tea”. The afternoon tea is actually just a cup of tea in a stirofoam cup and a scone… Also, you could book the cruise at the dock for 9£/person. I definitely don’t think the prize was worth the effort! However, it looks like I might be one of the lone victors who actually managed to get my prize!

Good luck everybody.

Posted on 25th Jun 2013 at 9:47 am by aaron.

I paid the £5 and had a lovely afternoon tea for 2 – salmon sandwiches, cake, tea and scones with jam and cream. We had use of outdoor hot tub, sauna and swimming pool with the choice to add treatments (we didn’t!). The ‘prize’ was well worth the outlay! I have now got to the point of paying £14.99 and have ‘won’ a week of luxury self catering accommodation in Tenerife for 6. Just have to pay for flights…….

Posted on 25th Jun 2013 at 10:09 am by Rebekah.

I have been dealing with Wewanna for some time now and won’t go into too much detail,suffice to say that I have been through the ‘experiences'(turned down,mainly for reasons of date inconvenience etc) – I then sent off £14.99 for the ‘mystery prize’ (to my shame) only to be offered the Tenerife self-catering holiday,which turned out to be a Time Share hotel – bearing in mind I’m a 73 year old on Pension Credit, I asked for my money back & after some time & me threatening to report them to the Office of Fair Trading & Tony Hetherington (Mail on Sunday) they emailed me telling me they would refund the money – However, no refund yet & I have now received a letter saying that Purely Creative will be dealing with it and I will have to contact them!
If I Don’t get the refund (my cheque was made out to & cashed by Wewanna) I will be sending the whole files to the OFT etc _ Time these people were STOPPED!

Posted on 26th Jun 2013 at 9:58 am by John Clement.

Have just been emailed by Wewanna’s Customer Services Department and they have assured me that my £14.99 refund (referred to in my earlier blog)WILL be sent out and that I will be advised when it is sent too – it seems that, if you have the time to persevere – and state your case properly – they do react after all…my opinion of Wewanna has, accordingly, been much improved!

Posted on 26th Jun 2013 at 12:19 pm by John Clement.

This is a very interesting, I have had several answers to my prize applications by post one was the river cruise which we enjoyed and another was a haircut which my wife enjoyed and I have apparently won a balloon experience which I’m waiting for.
I have been asked for a deposit for a mystery prize but reading of the above I think I will pass on that as I don’t want to pay the indecent airline costs to Tenerife for a week’s holiday which can be bought cheaply as a package anyway.

I have also received several cheap watches which I have been able to give away to teenagers.

Posted on 3rd Jul 2013 at 3:24 pm by Martin Freye.

I have read in a lot of places about the watches. Quite a few on eBay too!

Posted on 8th Jul 2013 at 1:33 pm by Jonathon.

Afternoon,
Thought I would briefly share my experience.
Since about last Autumn I have been sending forms etc backwards and forwards. My girlfriend and I enjoyed a spa day and afternoon tea in Edinburgh in December at a hotel we chose and on dates we chose. We were dissapointed when trying to book a ghost tour as non of our dates or locations were offered. We too have recently paid out the £14.99 for the ‘worth £500’ and like many above landed the Tenerife holiday. No news of any time share commitments yet and Trip advisor rates the resort. Also in the last 7 days had another letter through for a further “prize worth between £350 and £500”, so with everythng going so well up to now I sent a further £14.99 off. My prize has apparently been dispatched according to my login on the website, I am just waiting in anticipation.

Posted on 9th Jul 2013 at 3:54 pm by Graham Cooper.

Hi All,
Having successfully won £10 twice through the postal route for claiming on these scratch cards in the past, I went ahead and claimed for two other prizes earlier this year: a meal for 2 and a hot air balloon ride.
I went through all the steps as described in the original post, and went one step further by actually sending a £5 cheque as a refundable deposit on each prize, and specifying 4 dates across a period of several months in accordance with the instructions.
Having received the claim number and award notification from Purely Creative, I was dealing with WeWanna from the prize award onwards.
Months have gone by and 3 of the 4 dates I picked have passed. I received some unsolicited junk mail from WeWanna offering me the chance to purchase a mystery gift and had to send them an email opting out of direct marketing. Today, just 4 weeks ahead of the last of my dates, I received 2 letters from WeWanna with my original cheques attached. This is what the letter says:
“We are writing to advise you that Wewanna are no longer dealing with the fulfilment of your award . We would like to apologise for any disappointment this may cause and recommend that you contact the promoter Purely Creative on 0870 0500 755 to discuss your options for them to fulfil their obligations to you.

As a gesture of goodwill we would like to offer you

A week of luxury accommodation in Tenerife for up to four people …

The Pearly Grey Ocean Club in southern Tenerife is in a perfect position overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offering uninterrupted views across to the picturesque island of La Gomera .Based in the village of Callao Salvaje, it is just ten minutes’ drive away from Playa de Las Americas and twenty minutes from the airport. The village itself is off the main road and away from the hustle and bustle of the busier holiday resorts, but still offers a wide selection of bars and restaurants to meet every taste. There are 112 luxury self-catering apartments plus all the usual facilities you would find at a luxury resort including a wrap-around deck with heated pool, bar and restaurant and 24 hour security .

If you would like to receive more information and discuss availability please complete and return the
enclosed form.

If you have sent us a £5 cash or Postal Order deposit and have not received a refund please
complete your details on the enclosed form.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to discuss it by writing to us at the address
above.”

Posted on 18th Jul 2013 at 11:35 am by Secret Squirrel.

It sounds like WeWanna and Purely Creative have parted ways. Given the increasing number of people commenting on this, I will approach both companies and see if I can get a statement. It would be interesting to get it from their point of view.

Posted on 18th Jul 2013 at 1:21 pm by Jonathon.

We did experience the meal for two at a Italian restaurant in Manchester. The budget menu was offered and it was ok. The Balloon Flight was cancelled ? gone out of business and a Teneriffe Holiday Pearly Grey Ocean Club Calio Salvacci, was offered. Advised to book flight that evening and then e mail to confirm accommodation. I did not book the flight but decided to sleep on it an investigate further. Is this a scam? I feel it is. If we had booked the flights with Ryanair £345 it is likely there would then would
then be no accommodation available. I will err on the side of caution and select a holiday of my choice at a time and place of choice rather than being bamboozled into the situation which would be out of my control.

Posted on 25th Jul 2013 at 9:22 am by albert devlin.

I’ve just written a followup post about the current situation with Purely Creative and WeWanna after asking them both for comment. You can read that here.

Posted on 25th Jul 2013 at 4:28 pm by Jonathon.

[…] a year ago I wrote a blog post summing up the results of my experiment to claim a couple of prizes from a Purely Creative […]

Posted on 25th Jul 2013 at 4:20 pm by Flutt.co.uk » Purely Creative and WeWanna: Some Clarifcation.

Further to my post from 18 July, I followed up on WeWanna’s suggestion to “contact the promoter Purely Creative to discuss your options for them to fulfil their obligations to you”. I sent a brief letter to the Purely Creative Head Office and copied it to their claims department, asking how they would compensate me.
I just had a call from ‘Ravina’ at Purely Creative who informed me that Purely Creative was taking ‘aggressive legal action’ against WeWanna, and that matters were being dealt with by Purely Creative’s solicitors and they intend to still provide me with the experiences I won, once they have pursued WeWanna for them.
The plot thickens!

Posted on 30th Jul 2013 at 12:09 pm by Secret Squirrel.

This is similar to what I was told and published here, but I wasn’t aware people would have to wait for the legal proceedings to play out before getting their experiences. Keep us posted!

Posted on 31st Jul 2013 at 7:24 am by Jonathon.

I won on two scratchcards – one a meal for two, other a balloon flight. I had no response to my claim for meal for two, but contacted Purely Creative recently and they sent it ( not sure where I am with that as balloon trip has been taking all my time). I sent my 4 date choices for balloon, the first date came and went, the second was due next week -I got the We Wanna cancelled letter 2 days ago. I will NOT be going for the ‘goodwill gesture’ of a week of luxury s/c accom in Tenerife Pearl Grey Ocean Club – same place as mystery prize I won by sending in £14.99 previously, and as others say – is not worth winning – can get a nice all inclusive holiday for around same price as all the food and flights I’d have to buy – and no doubt have to attend a presentation whilst there re: timeshare. I googled the Pearl Ocean resort and found that you can actually get a holiday there for 6, for £250 – but you have to agree to go to a presentation to buy one of the properties. I have just emailed Purely Creative to ask them what they will do about my award – but told them I don’t want a balloon flight any more (one of the reasons – based on choosing dates and short notice, like Jonathon). So, we’ll see what they say – no doubt will get an answer re the legal proceedings too!

Posted on 31st Jul 2013 at 12:33 pm by Bertie Lamb.

I won an ipad on my scratchcard. I claimed my prize, heard nothing!
I contacted them by phone and was told I was mistaken, it was a VIP cruise on the river Thames!
I filled in numerous forms,enclosed 2nd class stamps and a £5 refundable deposit. On one of the forms I had to submit available dates which I did.On the form it said we would contact you with a weeks notice. All of the dates have expired and I have heard nothing.
In my experience Purely Creative and Wewanna seem to make claiming prizes very difficult.
My advice is to keep clear of these two organisations

Posted on 4th Sep 2013 at 2:14 pm by Dave McDonnell.

From what I’ve heard this seems unusual. There are quite a few people who have contacted me to say they received the prizes they won and were very happy with it.

I wonder if you’ve been caught up in the recent problems relating to the relationship between Purely Creative and WeWanna, though (see this post). I would suggest you contact Purely Creative’s customer services and go from there. Good luck.

Posted on 13th Sep 2013 at 7:34 am by Jonathon.

Since my last post in May, similar experiences to everyone else. I did send the £14.99 and was offered the holiday which I politely declined as I’ve no desire to be harangued into buying a time share property. The lady who phoned to chase me up me was astonished I didn’t want the holiday and said I could get cheap flights for £300 each! I then got the letter saying that WeWanna was no longer involved etc., and heard nothing from Purely Creative when I enquired of Ravina whether my spa afternoon tea which was already booked would actually take place. It didn’t. I got the same spiel about agressive legal action blah. Next I got a letter from WeWanna in July telling me they “deeply value” their relationship with me and they would like to “afford me the highest level of service”. As a gesture of goodwill they asked me to choose a free gift. Guess what? a week of luxury accommodation in Tenerife, or a heart monitor watch, or a 50ft expandable garden hose or a panoramic canvas of my favourite image. When I stopped laughing long enough I went for the 50ft hose just for the hell of it and you won’t be surpised to hear that it has all gone quiet since. I do have a very fat file of letters and forms from them and whilst I knew it was going to be a scam and laughed at the ridiculous saga, it is not funny for those who can ill afford to be £15 out of pocket. I haven’t pursued it any more but it would be good to see them get their come uppance.

Posted on 24th Sep 2013 at 4:25 pm by Pam B.

Purely creative’s 2014 card had extra hoops to jump through even then you might only have got a mystery prize.

You only need to check the amounst like 6663805 x week for 4 in Portugal you pay travel,food,drink and hol insurance with additional T&C which likley means if less than four go they have to make up any charges lost for missing participants.
6655496 x Paul Smith fragrance. Amazon lowest price £3.97, or a snifter on the wrist. And remember call cost +for each claim number. My suggestion if you must claim numbers by post.
When you are claiming send the card by recorded/ registered post especially the big prizes. READ T&C GET IT RIGHT or you’ll lose out.

Posted on 14th Aug 2015 at 2:08 pm by Rob.

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