One Hunter Scott had an idea. Scott wrote on his blog that he noticed that on Twitter there are contests and wondered if anyone ever wins those contests. He then went on to set up an experiment. Scott went on a fact finding mission to discover if anyone wins these Twitter contests. He sat down and wrote a Python script that searches for keywords in tweets like “retweet to win” which proceeds to retweet them.
Most of these contests however required one to follow the poster but there was a problem: Twitter only allows you to follow upto 2000 people if you’re below 100 people and so he used a system that let him follow the most recent contests. This method let him keep the follow/unfollow rate below the rate limit. Very clever!
Now for the numbers. He had let that script for 9 months and surprisingly, he had entered an astounding 165,000 contests and won only 1000. According to him, a large percentage of the things he won were tickets to events, logos and graphics. Scott also won currency to online games, an autographed cowboy hat and a trip to New York that was valued at $4,000!! He even listed all his winnings here. In addition, he also took a picture of some of the winnings:
His system was not perfect. The bot could not differentiate between the real & fake contests and it also retweeted contests which were mimicked from others. Scott also said that the most difficult part of this experiment was “preventing the bot from getting banned by Twitter” which could have jeopardized the whole project.
I bet there could be other Twitter users who create or have been using scripts to win contests online and we have seen such cases on our Twitter timeline.
Source: Hunter Scott blog