Man creates Twitter bot that enters competitions automatically (and wins more than 1,000 prizes)

Everyone loves the person who manages to beat the system

Siobhan Fenton
Thursday 06 August 2015 16:46 BST
Hunter Scott has explained how he won more than a thousand competitions in a year
Hunter Scott has explained how he won more than a thousand competitions in a year

Anyone with a Twitter account will be familiar with online posts by companies asking people to retweet their messages in order to enter competitions.

Running along the lines of ‘RT for a chance to win [X]’, businesses have latched on to the marketing ploy as a way to get users to bring the company’s message into their followers’ timelines.

Now, someone has developed a bot to do just that - and he's won more than a thousand prizes as a result.

In an article explaining his technique, Hunter Scott revealed that he wrote a Python script which: logs on to Twitter, searches for the phrase ‘retweet to win’ and then retweets said posts.

In total, his bot (named @racer236) retweeted the posts of more than 165,000 competitions and won 1,000 prizes over a nine-month period.

He explained: “I won a lot of cool stuff, and getting mysterious things through my mailbox each day was pretty fun.

“The most valuable thing I won was a trip to New York Fashion Week, which included a limo ride to the show if you lived in a state near New York for you and a friend, and $500 spending money.”

However, he admitted that some of the prizes weren’t as useful to him as others: “My favourite thing that I won was a cowboy hat autographed by the stars of a Mexican soap opera that I had never heard of. I love it because it really embodies the random outcome of these competitions.”

Statistically speaking, the bot's success rate worked out at just under 1 per cent.

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