The Advent Calendar Challenge 
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 Advent Calendar Challenge 

Welcome one and all to... The Advent Calendar Challenge 2004! Oh yes, it's back. Once again this year there is a mystery prize up for grabs, and the chance to have the title of Advent Calendar Challenge Champion bestowed upon you for 2004. Imagine what a lovely early Xmas present that would be on Christmas Eve. Brilliant don't you think?

I'll briefly explain the rules... the challenge is a game of prediction and guesswork - but with an edge of tactics I feel. Every year, cos I refuse to leave childhood behind, I get myself a chocolatey advent calender. The chocolate isn't important, but the picture shown inside each little door is. What you have to do is guess what is going to be in each little door. If your guess is right on any given day, you score points - the earlier in the month an item appears, the more points it is worth. You may change your guess as much as you want, and the person with the most points after door 24 is opened is the winner. For a reminder of last years competition winners (and what was behind each door each day last year), please see the archive.

  1  A MARSON ENG 69 pts  
  2  S RUTTER ENG 60 pts  
  3  C PRATT ENG 48 pts  
  4  E SCRIVIN ENG 45 pts  
  5  C TURNER ENG 35 pts  
  6  G FREELEY ENG 29 pts  
  7  E DEL CID MELERO ESP 26 pts  
  8  E COUGHLAN ENG 21 pts  
  9  P LAZENBY ENG 21 pts  
  10  D BYRON ENG 21 pts  
  11  M SCRIVIN ENG 20 pts  
  12  B PROCTER ENG 18 pts  
  13  M BIERLICH DEN 18 pts  
  14  M COUGHLAN ENG 14 pts  
  15  M OMAR ENG 11 pts  
  16  T WHITE ENG 11 pts  
  17  R TURNBULL ENG 6 pts  
  18  A DALE ENG 0 pts  
  19  A TURATI ITA/CAN 0 pts  
  20  D WILFORD ENG 0 pts  
  21  S ATTWOOD ENG 0 pts  
  22  W SCRIVIN ENG 0 pts  

Here are the items that were uncovered - at the end of the month I will take the calendar apart and scan in the pics - til then, descriptive will have to do:

  1 Angel 2 Presents 3 Snowman 4 Christmas Pudding 5 Santa 6 Present  
  7 Bell 8 Snowman 9 Teddy Bears 10 Mistletoe 11 Star 12 Robins  
  13 Christmas Tree 14 Snow 15 Penguin 16 Snowman & Tree 17 Cracker & Robins 18 Gingerbread Man  
  19 Crown 20 Teddy 21 Cake & Holly 22 Stocking 23 Holly 24 Stocking & Presents  

So, an exciting competition finally sees a winner in the form of Andy Marson. He took the lead on day 1 and never lost that lead, and despite always having someone threatening he was never truely challenged and took a deserved victory. Simon Rutter completes a DUMSS 1-2 with some solid guesswork and Chris Pratt was overjoyed to learn of his improvement to 3rd after a lowly 5th in 2003.

My sister bounced back from a disqualification in 2003 to take 4th and my department manager comes in in 5th after some good guesswork. Further down, I can;t help but notice that I came 11th, agonisingly just short of the top 10, and it is unfortunate to see a few ‘nil points’, including my mum and the defending all-time undefeated champion, who obviously now has to give up that title.

All in all a good, fun, enjoyable competition and a roaring success once again. I'd like to thank all the players for playing and hope you return again if it runs in 2005 :) The top 3 will all recieve a special certificate and the winner of course gets a mystery prize. All will be revealed to him and everyone in due course - and I also promise the 2003 winner will get his prize too :)