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BBC 6 minute English-Are you a winner

BBC 6 minute English-Are you a winner

BBC 6 minute English-Are you a winner


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m joined today by Neil. Hello Neil

Neil: Hello Rob

Rob: Now Neil, I have a question for you – do you think you are a winner

Neil: You mean someone who has a lot of success in everything

Rob: Well, not exactly – I’m just talking about competitions – do you have a lot of success or luck in winning them

Neil: Competitions? No, not at all. I don’t think I’ve ever won a competition

Rob: Ah, bad luck. That means you’re not a ‘comper’. That’s an informal name for someone who takes part in – or enters – competitions on an almost semiprofessional basis. They spend a lot of time trying to win something

Neil: You mean winning prizes – or free gifts

Rob: I do. And Neil, you could win a prize if you can correctly answer today’s question. So, are you ready

Neil: I’m ready

Rob: Well, a lottery is one kind of competition where the prize is money. The biggest cash prizes can be won in the USA – but do you know what the biggest ever cash prize to be paid in America is? Is it

a) $590 million

b) $890 million

c) $1 billion

Neil: Well, things tend to be big in America, so I’m going to go for c) $1 billion dollars

Rob: I’d like to win that. We’ll find out if you are right or wrong later on. So let’s talk more about ‘compers’ – people who regularly take part in competitions. We could say they are hooked on – meaning addicted to – taking part

Neil: Yes, the lure – or attractiveness – of winning big prizes means these people just can’t stop answering quiz questions, writing slogans and captions or solving puzzles

Rob: Some people go to great lengths – or put a lot of effort into winning something – even if it’s just a box of chocolates or a coffee mug. It’s just the excitement of winning

Neil: But sometimes there are big prizes to win – a new car, a speedboat or a holiday of a lifetime. The only problem is that these prizes are either not easy to win or there are millions of people trying to win them

Rob: I’ve certainly never won anything as fantastic as that – but one man who has had plenty of good luck is Martin Dove, who is a retired lecturer and an expert comper

Neil: He certainly is. He’s won a yacht, a racehorse and lots of smaller prizes too. Let’s hear from him now. Listen out for the names he says people have called him

Martin Dove, a comper

I’ve been a comper for 40 years. It’s like admitting some addiction isn’t it really! Some people have called me the Master of Comping, the King of Comping, the Guru of Comping, but it’s just a word, it’s just a phrase, it’s just I was fairly high-profile

Rob: So, he says he was fairly high-profile – that means he was often seen in public, mentioned in newspapers, or appeared on television. And because he was high-profile he got called a few nicknames

Neil: …names like the master of comping – so someone who is very good or skilled at it. And the king of comping – not an actual royal king but someone is the best at doing something. And the guru of comping – that’s someone who other people respect and go to for advice about comping

Rob: Well, he knows his stuff and he still checks out competitions on cereal boxes and crisp packets for the next big win. He’s even written books on the subject and offered advice to other compers

Neil: But comping has changed, Rob. There are lots of competitions to enter on the internet now. Every webpage you look at seems to tempt us with a fantastic prize to be won

Rob: That’s true. But Martin Dove doesn’t think that is necessarily a good thing. Can you hear why

Martin Dove, a comper

The thing is now competitions are far easier to enter than they ever were. In the old days I could spend a fortnight crafting a slogan and really working hard and really being proud of it. Now all you have do is ‘click, click, click, click, click’ and because it only takes 30 seconds to do, 20 minutes you can knock out 40 competitions. And you can get a million entries now, so it’s a million to one

Neil: So, competitions online are easier to enter – you just have to click. Martin said he could enter about 40 competitions in just 20 minutes

Rob: But because it’s so easy, more people enter and so the odds – or chances of winning are less. Sometimes, a one in a million chance of winning – a very rare or unlikely chance. I wonder what your chances are of getting today’s question right Neil

Neil: One in three maybe

Rob: Maybe! Well, earlier I asked you what is the biggest ever cash prize to be paid out in a lottery in the USA? Is it

a) $590 million

b) $890 million

c) $1 billion

Neil: I said it was c) $1 billion

Rob: And you are wrong. It’s actually only $590 million; that was won by an 84 year-old woman in Florida last year. Neil, what’s the biggest prize you’ve ever won

Neil: I think I once, about 10 years ago, won £۱۰ on the British National Lottery

Rob: Wow, that’s a big win! Well, for getting today’s question wrong you get the consolation prize of reminding us of some of the words that we’ve heard today

Neil: OK, we heard

luck comper prizes lottery hooked on the lure slogans high-profile master guru the odds one in a million

Rob: OK. Thanks Neil – you really are a winner. Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed today’s programme. Please join us again soon for 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English

Both: Bye

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