The spirit of giving filled one winner of a contest organised by The Straits Times' digital magazine The Life during the festive season last year.
Housewife Dorothy Chang gave her prize, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G+ smartphone, to her husband as a gift to mark their 20th marriage anniversary. "My husband is a tech lover and he found the phone very useful, especially with the quick-charging function and exceptional camera quality," says the 49-year-old.
The Life, a monthly digital magazine on the finer things in life, launched the lucky draw contest in its bumper Christmas issue last month and asked readers to choose from five prizes: an eight-course meal for two at contemporary restaurant Corner House (worth $496), a two-night suite stay package at The Fullerton Bay Hotel (worth $3,376), a Cobra Ferrari luxury golf set and duffel bag (worth $5,150), a Roche Bobois armchair (worth $5,470) and the Samsung smartphone (worth $1,088).
The smartphone was the most popular choice, with more than 40 per cent of the 1,763 entrants opting for it, and the five winners were contacted via e-mail last month before Christmas.
With five multimedia components - style, food, travel, design and pursuits - The Life frequently organises contests for its readers, who download the e-magazine via The Straits Times Star E-Books app (available from the Apple App Store or Google Play for iPad or Android devices).
Public service officer Audrey Ho may also be giving away her prize, the Roche Bobois armchair, to good friends who are moving into their new homes. Roche Bobois is a high-end French furniture brand and this particular armchair features a modern twist on the traditional wood-framed design, upholstered in couture fabric by British designer Paul Smith.
"I picked the armchair because the stripes and arm rests looked interesting to me and I have always liked furniture design," says the 25-year-old who may also consider keeping it for her personal collection.
"I do not have many pieces in my collection, so this chair could be a lovely start."
For Ms Tay Zhi Wen, who recently graduated from the National University of Singapore and will start work as a civil servant in July, her win came as a surprise Christmas present for her and her family. The luxury golf set and leather duffel bag she picked from leading golf equipment manufacturer Cobra Ferrari will stand her in good stead as she has long harboured thoughts of picking up golf.
The 23-year-old, who was overseas on a vacation when she heard the news, says: "I was so surprised and happy. This is the first time I have won something from a lucky draw or contest. I cannot bear to use the bag yet because it is that great."
Mr Seah Zhenghong, 30, is also not making use of his prize yet. He may be redeeming his two-night suite package at The Fullerton Bay Hotel during Chinese New Year with his wife, Ms Lim Chun Kiat, 37. The bundle comes with champagne, a four- course dinner for two at The Clifford, Fullerton bears, limousine transfers and the service of a personal butler. "I was ecstatic when I heard the news and I really look forward to this staycation as I have been busy the past few weeks," says the analyst.
Ms Chua An Zhen, 24, ushered in the New Year by enjoying her prize of a sumptuous meal at modern French restaurant Corner House with her boyfriend, IT specialist Yeung Ying Lai, 26, on Jan 1. Ms Chua, who works in the banking industry, picked the eight-course spread as she has always wanted to experience fine-dining and molecular gastronomy. "The Corner House could not have been a better choice with the elegant and romantic setting, being located at the Singapore Botanic Gardens," she says. "The eight-course Discovery menu was an eye-opener, which fully showcased chef Jason Tan's creativity and eye for aesthetics."
One of their favourite dishes was the chef's signature dessert, the Cocao Pebbles. "We were enchanted by the presentation - the 'pebbles' looked real. And the mandarin sorbet was a refreshing contrast with the rich chocolate mousse encased inside."
A regular reader of Life!, Ms Chua says The Life e-magazine is an extension of the lifestyle section.
She explains: "What I like about the app is that it is interactive and features high-definition photographs such as those in the travel stories of the December issue."
HOW TO GET THE LIFE E-MAGAZINE FREE
2. Get The Life magazine inside the app. It is free, along with previous issues of the magazine. The Life is optimised for iPads and Android tablets.