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Winning the Caption Contest


by sylviau

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Over my time on Neopets, I have seen many guides, but never one on how to win the caption contest. This is for one main reason: People have started to believe that it is impossible to win and only the lucky can win. I’ve even heard people say that chances of winning are 9,674,562,458,243 to 1! THEY ARE WRONG!!!

It is NOT about luck, but you don’t have to be a very funny person either. I’m not a really funny person, but I won a first place trophy in the 824th caption contest, and it was only my third caption contest entry! Others, though, have been entering for years with no luck. That’s why this guide is here to help. And I believe that you can only write a successful guide if you have a trophy in what you’re writing a guide about, so feel free to check if I really have the trophy. *pokes look-up*

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

What is the caption contest?

The caption contest is a contest where you are presented with a caption (picture) and you must submit a witty (funny) phrase to go along with it. The captions are then selected by TNT (theneopetsteam) and put on the voting page where users vote for their favourites. You can vote once every 4 hours.

TROPHIES AND PRIZES

The captions with the most votes win. You can win from 5000-10,000np, a trophy, and an item. Here is how TNT decides who gets what item. (This is a question that I asked that got in the editorial):

I recently won a Caption Contest and received a trophy, 10k, and a Snowickle. *Hugs Snowy* I was wondering, do you always give out items worth millions, or does it vary (like someone might get something worth 50k)? ~sylviau

Oh WOW, lucky! Basically, there is a prize list that has quite a few things on it. Most of these are items ranging in price from 5 - 10k (like codestones), but there are also paint brushes and really rare items. When you win a competition that gives a prize from that list, our program randomly selects an item and gives it to the winner. It may seem a bit unfair that one person could win a codestone while another might win a Snowickle, but everyone has the same odds of getting something nice from a single win. If you want to improve your odds of winning something extraordinary, simply participate as much as you can and hope to win!

(And these prizes are good. My snowickle is worth 2,500,000np on the trading post (TP).)

Even though it might not seem like it, there are really three types of trophies that you can win:

  • Gold with a 1 in the speech bubble (on my look-up)
  • Silver with a 2
  • Bronze with a 3

But it’s not only the top 3 captions that win the prizes. Everyone on the page will get something. I, for instance, had the second highest amount of votes and still got the first place trophy.

BEFORE YOU WRITE

Before you actually start writing the caption, it might be a good idea to flip through past captions to get ideas and inspiration. But don’t plagiarize (copy someone’s ides or caption) because you can get frozen for that. This might help you understand what TNT accepts. But remember, they’re only human and can’t possibly go through all of the hundreds of thousands of entries submitted. After all, the caption contest is one of the most popular competitions.

It also helps if you’re original, but resending your caption won’t help give you an advantage or a higher chance of winning.

WRITING AND SUBMITTING THE CAPTION

Here you are at the most important part, writing the caption. Use these tips to guide you.

- Be creative, don’t do something that’s already been done, and don’t plagiarize.

- Don’t be offensive, and don’t involve violence in your caption.

- Make it relevant to the picture.

- Try looking at the caption from someone else’s point of view. (A tree, a volcano, grass).

- State the obvious. Sometimes the direct route is the best route.

- Use proper grammar, capitalization and punctuation.

- Do NOT use chatspeak unless it’s relevant to your caption.

- Try to relate to other events around Neopia. (Altador cup, Chocolate ball).

- Be witty in your own creative way.

- Irony is a good way to make people laugh. For example: I used irony in my entry (caption contest 824, second from the top) in a comical manner.

- Don’t be afraid to send in multiple entries. You have an unlimited amount of entries that can be submitted.

- Have fun, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t win. Try, try, and try again.

GAINING VOTES

If you’ve gotten this far, then the hard part is over. All that’s left now is the voting. But don’t think that votes are going to come in if you just sit there and twiddle your thumbs. Vote for yourself. You can vote once every 4 hours, so use that to your advantage.

Advertise!

Another method of gaining votes is to advertise on the neoboards. Unfortunately, you can’t do this unless you’re over 13 or have the permission slip signed. But I couldn’t advertise either, so no worries; you can still win.

Now back to the neoboards. I would suggest making a topic on the game boards. But don’t post something like: VOTE 4 ME NOOBS or CAN U PLZ VOTE 4 ME I’LL GIVE U A PAINTBRUSH!!! Instead, politely mention that the caption contest is in progress.

Tips:

- include a link to the voting page

- politely include which caption is yours under the link telling them that it’s yours

- Do NOT use chatspeak

- Don’t beg or make faulty promises or bribes (you’ll get warned)

- Don’t be disappointed if others don’t vote for you

- Don’t harass anyone

ONCE YOU HAVE WON

If you’ve won, meaning that you see your caption under the “past captions page” once a new contest has started, then you’ll have a shiny trophy, an item, and a certain amount of neopoints coming to you. I mentioned before how the prizes are awarded, but there is one more piece of information that you should know about. It takes about a week for your stuff to arrive. You will know when you receive a letter from theneopetsteam telling you that you have won. (The letter comes through even if you are under 13). You will see a trophy in your cabinet, neopoints out, and an item in your inventory. (Go fetch the item, because it might be worth millions).

Well, I hope that this guide has helped you, because you never know, you just might be the next snowickle owner in Neopia. Thanks for reading!

*~sylviau

This will be my second publication in the Neopian Times. My next guide should be coming out soon, so keep reading and submitting those captions.

 
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