Most compers are fully aware of Pick My Postcode, the daily prize draw site that gives entrants the chance to win at least £200 in the main draw. In addition to the main draw there are surveys and videos to watch which give you extra chances to win. The site is funded by advertising and surveying entrants. It’s a clever system although one that many others have struggled to replicate on the same scale. However way back in 1999 there was a similar site called Freemoney.fm which at launch gave entrants the chance to win £1000 cash every single day.
£1000 Daily Draw
Dishing out a grand each day definitely made Freemoney.fm one of the must visit destinations for compers. Looking at the original site now via Wayback it just goes to show how much more trusting we all were back then – and how basic websites actually were. Version 1.0 of the Freemoney.fm site had a black background, a logo straight out of some logo builder that came free with computer magazines and not a lot else. To take part in the prize draw all you need to do is answer a marketing question and submit. All entries for that day then went into the daily prize draw.
One thing we didn’t realise was that the owners of Freemoney were partnering with Claritas (UK) Limited and Experian Limited. Things like read the terms and find out about the background of the promoters really didn’t seem to matter back in those days. As the months of 2000 progressed Freemoney.fm improved their website and introduced the character Mr Free (as seen in the bottom right of the image above). They also added a £1million lottery style competition, possibly in response to the arrival of The Daily Draw, whereby you had to guess an eight digit code in order to win the cash. A code was published daily and if you matched the number that you’d sent in then you won.
Over £300,000 Given Away
Whilst we know Freemoney.fm never created a millionaire we did find an old Wayback screenshot that indicated they’d paid out an incredible £369,000. Now you have to remember that this occurred back in the early days of the internet when affiliate marketing was in it’s infancy, Google Adsense didn’t exist and it wasn’t that easy to generate revenue. Being paid for banner advertising was popular but Freemoney didn’t seem to have that much. Furthermore not everyone was online as they are today either so when you compare Pick My Postcode offering £200 a day to Freemoney.fm’s £1000 then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that this model was unsustainable in it’s original form. Change was needed!
Change came in early 2002 with a new look website and significant changes to the prize structure. Freemoney went from dishing out £1000 a day (or £365,000 a year) to £1000 a month (£12,000 a year) plus some “valuable runners up prizes”. Looking through old winners lists these included Flying Lessons, One2One PAYG Nokia 3310, GameBoy Advance, 2 x Leather Coats and DVD Player with a copy of Shrek. Other site changes included dropping the £1million prize draw and the removal of Claritas (UK) Limited and Experian Limited from the terms. However a new prize draw was added which gave users the chance to win a share of £50,000 by referring players to site. The prizes were to be dished out if/when the site hit 200,000 registrations. We’re not sure if Freemoney ever got to 200,000 registrations nor when they called it a day but the last winners were announced at the end of 2003.
Time To Say Goodbye
Going into 2004 online competitions were mushrooming up everywhere and sites such as MyOffers were making their claim in the data collection space. We suspect that Freemoney couldn’t compete and the cost of creating so many winners in it’s early years eventually caught up with it. Freemoney is probably one of the sites many compers who were part of the early online comping communities will remember. Quite possibly because – we’re guessing here – that mainly compers won, especially in the early days. We were lucky enough to win on one occasion although that particular win is filed under “did they do that as a favour” because Loquax featured their site. Looking back now it seems insane to think that any site today could give away £1000 daily and make a profit – although Pick My Postcode have tried – so how Freemoney.fm expected to do so 20 years ago will remain a mystery.