With 17 days to go to the start of The World Cup the #Tweepstake2014 has got off to the most phenomenal of starts.

At 6pm yesterday I invited Twitter folk to tweet me the phrase Count me in, Daddio! (I have no idea why, but that’s what we did four years ago for the last World Cup and so, second time around, it’s a tradition) and the first 32 to respond were indeed counted in. Daddio.

All their names were put into a hat. All the football teams in the competition were put into another hat. (Two hats; both the same; One £4, the other £2 in the sale, both from Primark; the best hats I’ve ever bought) And then my wife Zoe did the draw. And each team and winner of that team was announced, one at a time, on Twitter.

The tension was uncredible.

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It’s called a tweepstake, which is my made up Twitter word for sweepstake. And there will be prizes, but they are to be confirmed… they’ll be ok, don’t worry. Possibly a bit daft, but ok. But my guess is your all in this for the fun of it, not the glory or the daft prizes.

And, unlike a proper sweepstake, my Tweepstake was free to enter. However, I did invite all those in the tweepstake to ‘sponsor’ me in raising money for Alzheimer’s Society. I’m not running or swimming or anything crazy like that. I’m just going to write about The World Cup, and provide commentary and rubbishy thoughts on all the teams and the twitter folk who have adopted the teams. I’ll be doing that here and on Twitter (@simonmhickson). And let’s see if we can get the hashtag #Tweepstake2014 going.

The amazing thing is that within the first few hours we have raised £717 and 36 of you have sponsored me! That’s more than the chosen 32! That’s a phenomenal result! Thank you all. x

Now, for some kind of footbally reason, I have set a target of £1966. Can that be achieved before The World Cup ends? I certainly don’t expect those who have been astonishingly generous so far to sponsor again, but hopefully, along the way, we can draw in a few extra sponsors from those who missed out on the draw but are just happy to come along for the journey. You can sponsor me, this, whatever you want to call it, here.

Here’s the 32 who’ve made the Tweepstake and the teams they have drawn:

1- @BottyB- Uruguay
2- @Freig- Iran
3- @jasonpettigrove- Costa Rica
4- @Braggovic- Netherlands
5- @Christian_N_Orr- England
6- @NiicNok- Spain
7- @realandrewgreen- Switzerland
8- @redorbrownsauce- Nigeria
9- @SpiderMonkey987- Colombia
10- @zwanzig20- Australia
11- @gingerdisco99- Greece
12- @Mojorainbw- Brazil
13- @Zoleipar- France
14- @jaq421- Bosnia and Herzegovina
15- @lolers- Algeria
16- @Arfablue- Cameroon
17- @pettittsa- Italy
18- @wasaunders- Ecuador
19- @wristwatch42- Honduras
20- @jayscarblue- Ivory Coast
21- @Superblouse- Japan
22- @fiona_butler- Ghana
23- @hbnm1985- Belgium
24- @DarrenK73- Germany
25- @chislehurst- Russia
26- @joyfeed- Argentina
27- @anna_borowski- South Korea
28- @LadyLisaCusack- Croatia
29- @Lindaannbown- USA
30- @dusted1969- Chile
31- @ali_spencer- Portugal
32- @bluebox99- Mexico

Good luck, one and all. And again, a huge thank you. x

To get us all in the mood, here’s Los Ramblers with El Rock Del Mundial, the official anthem of the 1962  World Cup, held in Chile. Dedicated, today, to @dusted1969

 

Ok, it’s that time again folks. The World Cup is almost upon us. You know, the big football thing. Only 18 days to go.

The last World Cup was in 2010. That’s how special a deal it is; Like the Olympics and me getting a haircut it only takes place every four years.

Last time round I held a Tweepstake on Twitter. It was a last minute thing sparked by a sweepstake in the guardian. Here’s how it worked way back then; it kicked off at 8pm and the first 32 twitterers who got back to me were in. I then pulled the teams out of a hat and we had our tweepstake.

I can’t remember who won (the tweepstake or the World Cup). You’ll soon realise I’m no Alan Hansen. But, as we prepare to do it all again, I promise it will be fun and along the way I’ll keep you all constantly updated here on my blog and on Twitter. And I’ll work out a top notch prize for the winner of the Tweepstake.

And this time round I’d like to try and raise some money for The Alzheimer’s Society.

It’s free to join the Tweepstake, and it is on a first come first served basis. All I ask in return is that you please make a donation to The Alzheimer’s Society through the Just Giving page I will set up later today. A minimum donation of £10 would be great. It’s not too much to ask for the fun you will get, I promise. And, if you’re feeling generous, please do donate more. Donating more won’t guarantee you a Brazil, or Argentina, or Germany, but it will make you feel good.

So; 32 teams, £10 (minimum) donation to The Alzheimer’s Society; we should raise at least £320 (though, foolishly, I have set myself an unachievable £1966). That’s got to be worth doing hasn’t it? Even if you hate football. Or, particularly if you hate football. Look! The World Cup is not going away! It’s a worldwide football event! Don’t hide! Sponsor! Get involved! Enjoy it, or else!

Now. I must get on. I will set up a Just Giving page. And later today we can get going. First 32 and then we’re ready to go. Oh, and to gain entry you must tweet me the phrase; “Count me in, daddio!” The draw will be monitored by @zoleipar and Archie the dog. It will be fair and you’ll get who you get. Two hats; one full of teams, the other full of twitterers.

I don’t know if there be a rush and a push for this, or if I’ll have to hector and cajole. But, just in case there is a rush… and to give us all a few hours to build up some World Cup Fever… the official start for sponsoring will be 6pm tonight.

Yes! 6pm tonight! Just over 6 hours to go. Here’s Sucker (featuring @TrevorNeal) to get you in the mood. Let the countdown to #Tweepstake2014 commence!