If you’re as much of a fan of ITV competitions as we are, you’ll know that every so often there’s a truly staggering cash prize on offer. They roll around several times a year, giving away upwards of £250,000.

Read on to learn more about how to enter.

The easiest way to enter is via itv.com/win, but you’ll need to learn a bit about the competition first. For example, there have in the past been questions you need to answer, particularly if there’s a free entry available.

Over at Enter Competitions Online you can find details of all the competitions at itv.com/win that are currently open.

The beauty of using a site like that is they tell you how to enter free, rather than going down the road that ITV want you to and pay a couple of quid for every entry either on their website or on your phone bill if you enter with your mobile by phoning in your entry or texting it.

You need to be very mindful of the maths with these competitions, as there’s a huge amount of people entering. It’s difficult to get the precise numbers of course, as ITV are unlikely to tell you how many people are entering.

The biggest prize they’ve offered to my knowledge is a million pounds, way back in 2015. With entries costing ‘just 2 quid’ according to Mr Peters, who graces our breakfast TV screens to tell us all about it, that must mean that half a million entries are needed to make the prize money back.

Presumably the phone companies and PayPal take their cut too – I’d imagine 10% is a very conservative guesstimate of what ITV fork out just to collect their entry fees. What’s more, it’s reasonable to assume that they make a healthy profit too – and we periodically see their dedicated team phoning the lucky winners.

It’s probably safe to say that the profit is at least as much as the prize, probably a lot more. So for the sake of argument, let’s assume £2 million was collected overall, which resulted from a million paid entries.

As we mentioned earlier, there’s always a free route to entry too, usually sending a letter in the post. It’s no coincidence that it’s the hardest way to enter that’s free, but I bet a lot of people do add their entry that way. We emailed Enter Competitions Online (the site we mentioned above) to see if they had seen any statistics, but got nothing back other than what amounted to a ‘sorry, we don’t know either’.

Admittedly then, this is all finger in the air stuff, but it must be safe to assume you’re in the region of a one in a million chance if you make a single entry into one of these huge cash prize draws. That’s probably not as extreme with the smaller ones, but still very small chances to win.

That’s the reason we agree that making the effort to post your entry is much more sensible, it might cost a bit for a stamp, but it’s significantly less expensive if you’re a serial comper, especially if you’re entering multiple times into each draw. I hate to think how big your phone bill is if that’s how you do it!

Keeping costs down is the best it’s going to get with TV comps. After all, nothing is really free, is it?