If you've spent any time on Twitter at all, you've definitely come across some promotional tweet that asks you to follow or retweet in order to win a contest.
You know, something like this:
Well, Hunter Scott used a little bit of coding know-how to build a Twitter bot to do that work for him. He chronicled the experience over at Quartz.
I wrote a Python script that logs into Twitter, searches for tweets that say something along the lines of "retweet to win!" and then retweets them. I'm not sure if anyone else has done this before, but I didn't see any evidence of other bots that were behaving like mine. I did however see evidence of real people who were manually doing the job of my bot by retweeting hundreds of contests over several hours.
[O]ver the 9 months I ran my script, I entered approximately 165,000 contests. Of those, I won around 1,000. So that means my win rate was just over half a percent, which is pretty miserable, especially when you consider that a good portion of those winnings were things like logos and graphics, which is Twitter slang for a customized image for use in a gaming or YouTube profile.
Another very large percentage of the things I won were tickets to events. I did manage to go to an event that I won tickets to, but the majority of them were for concerts and events in other countries that I obviously couldn't go to. I also won a lot of currency to online games (like FIFA). And when the game Destiny was giving out beta codes, I won about 30 of them through as many contests. I won a lot of cool stuff too though, and getting mysterious things in my mailbox each day was pretty fun.
His haul does look pretty sweet:
But that's not even close to all that he won. Scott documented the full list, consisting of hundreds upon hundreds of items, here.
He said in the piece that his favorite prize was the cowboy hat signed by actors in a Mexican soap opera he'd never seen.
He doesn't say whether he took the bot offline, so it's very possible that it's still out there, just winning stuff.