“Retweet to win” contests on Twitter make the costs of entering sweepstakes incredibly low. There are no forms to fill out, no email lists to sign up for, and no services to cancel. You simply click the retweet button on Twitter and wait to see if you won.
But computer engineer saw that ease as an invitation. Hunter Scott, a computer engineer from Schaumburg, Illinois, decided to build a Twitter bot that would enter every contest it could find. And over nine months, Scott claims to have won a four contests per day, resulting in more than a thousand prizes, Engadget reports.
Scott says the hardest part of the project was keeping the bot from getting banned on Twitter. Twitter has its own policies to prevent spamming, which stops you from following people ad infinitum, and from retweeting at too fast a clip. This last part could have been particularly damaging for Scott, but he says his Python script was able to take it into account. The bot ended up entering an astounding 165,000 contests.
Scott wasn’t able to claim all the prizes he won — specifically the most valuable prize, a $4,000 trip to New York fashion week. But he did snag off-the-wall goodies like a cowboy hat signed by the cast of a Mexican soap opera.
And Scott's story even has a heartwarming twist. “After a while of winning contests, I realized I could use my bot for good too,” Scott writes. “Lots of people raise money for charities by asking people to retweet. Sometimes they’re fake, but what do I care? I added search terms for tweets like this and had enough bandwidth to retweet every tweet of this kind without going over the rate limit.”
Here's a full list of Scott's haul:
SEE ALSO: Dick Costolo is likely exiting the Twitter board once it has a new CEO
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: The story behind the famously offensive twitter account that parodies Wall Street culture