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October 19, 2006

Winning on the Radio

Filed under Celebrity, High School, Photos

When I was in high school, I used to call in for radio contests from K98 in Austin. I spent a lot of time doing homework and listening to the radio. They gave away something every hour. Since I spent at least 3 hours a night on homework, I usually got at least 3 attempts to win.

I ended up winning...a lot. I got in a competition with my high school buddy Chris Lowe. I finished with just over 100 wins at the end of high school, but Chris beat me by a few (lucky bastard!).

There was one night where I won three consecutive giveaways.

At school, people would ask me to win them tickets to an upcoming concerts...and sometimes I actually did it.

K98 had a policy where you could only win once a month. I won so many times that the DJ's started to recognize me. To keep winning, I started giving out names of family and friends.

Most of the stuff I won was crap, but I did win a few good things. The best was this time when I won front row tickets and backstage passes for the Poison/David Lee Roth concert for naming a small sample from a song. I took my brother for his birthday. After they pried the groupies off of the band, they got together to take a picture with us. The girl next to me was our K98 host for the concert. 

Another time I won $300 for naming the last 3 songs played.

I don't have all my winnings recorded, but here are a bunch of them...

  1. David Lee Roth/Poison Concert Tickets
  2. $300
  3. Van Halen 5150 Concert Tickets 
  4. Evil Dead II Movie Premier Passes
  5. Oingo Boingo Concert Tickets
  6. Debbie Gibson Cassette
  7. Aerosmith and Dokken Cassettes
  8. Astroworld Tickets
  9. Bleacher Creature T-Shirt
  10. Chance to win Bon Jovi Concert tickets in Hawaii (I didn't win)
  11. Cherry 7-Up 6 Pack
  12. Cory Hart Cassette
  13. Chicago Concert Tickets
  14. Eddie Money Album
  15. Europe Concert Tickets
  16. Fabulous Thunderbirds Cassette
  17. Health Show
  18. Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Def Leppard, Pink Floyd, U2, and Tina Turner Cassettes
  19. Kool and the Gang Concert Tickets
  20. Win by my Mom (I handed phone to my Mom when I knew I was going to win)
  21. Lita Ford Concert Tickets
  22. Morris Day and the Time Concert Tickets
  23. Jody Watley Cassette and 4 Movie Passes
  24. Movie Passes
  25. Pepe Shirt
  26. Pepsi Power Pack
  27. Rain Man Cassette and Sunglasses
  28. Fabulous Thunderbirds Cassette and K98 T-Shirt
  29. Willie Nelson Wrangler Music Invitational Concert Tickets
  30. Willow Movie Passes

Comments (8)

MoFo Chill:

Ha - that brings back memories! Some of us never won because unlike you we didn't have that fancy new speed redial button. We had to use manual push button, or worse old rotary, phones to keep dialing back after the inevitable busy signal.

Found your blog after Googling K98 Austin. I used to work there from the late 70s-early 80s. You probably won some stuff from me. I enjoyed reading about your radio exploits!

Did you ever get an Arbitron diary? (Ratings). We did all those contests in hopes that people holding those ratings books would stay glued to their radios and increase our numbers.

Back then, K98 had an incredible 15-19% share. By comparison, number one stations now have 7-8 shares. Our morning show had a ridiculous 54 share! We were # in Austin and #6 nationwide for audience share at one point.

Thanks for your entry!
Keith Jacobs

Hi Keith...thanks for posting.

Nope, I never had a Arbitron diary...although I was a Nielsen family for TV ratings during the mid-80's. Sounds like the right people already had the diaries based on the ratings!

I looked at your scrapbook...you were definitely on air when I was in Austin. It's a nice read of radio stations I grew up with.




Remember when you and I went trick-or-treating in my neighborhood (as semi-adults) and then went down the 6th street?

You harassed the on-site radio station guys until they gave you free passes to U2's "Rattle and Hum" movie. Remember that?

I miss K98 sometimes. I miss the RAFT RACE!
Remember after Return of the Jedi came out they had a Raft Race ad on K98 that sounded like Ewoks singing the song from Jedi but with raft race lyrics? Ahh those were the days with K98 and the raft race. Thanks for the memories!

I won a second phone line in high school from K98 by the way. Thanks K98!

I remember how often Dave would win. I remember going with him to pick something up, late in his career as a prize-winning prize winner. The secretary was very blasé when presenting him with his prize.

I also remember that ROTJ parody song too. Thanks for BRINGING that back.

I can't believe you never won one of our K98 Homegrown Albums! Better check in all your collection and see...Some of us K98 jocks still have copies that we are trying to get rid of!

I miss K98 too. Those WERE the days. Radio was fun and DJs could actually make a decent living at it. Everything has changed now and the same crap is on the air in every city in the U.S. In fact, most stations play one or more "tracked" shows that are pre-recorded and computer-inserted. I know of many that are completely tracked.

It is hard to believe how hard people tried to win swag from us. One time, I nearly started a riot at Zilker Park by giving away t-shirts. Then, we gave away a house one time at another station and the winner seemed bored. It was much better to give away 100,000 t-shirts or pizzas than a 100,000 house.


@ Keith

You mean stations like "Jack" and "Bob"



man...i got to your blog b/c of the mention of the raft race ewoks song from 83. EVERY time a song gets stuck in my head or someone mentions that a song is stuck in their head...here comes those GD ewoks. Raft race down on town lake from austin's K98...Raft race August SIIIIxthh.


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