The List: Five competitions with unusual prizes

The winner of this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction, awarded to the novel that best captures the spirit of PG Wodehouse, is announced on Tuesday. Among other prizes, the winner gets a Gloucester Old Spot pig named in their honour as a tribute to Wodehouse’s Empress of Blandings, which features Lord Emsworth, a man obsessed with his award-winning pig. Here are five more competitions with unusual prizes.

1. Le Prince Maurice Prize

For this literary event, the prize-giving ceremony takes place at the glamorous Constance Le Prince Maurice hotel in Mauritius on June 11. The winning author is awarded a romantic two-week retreat at the hotel. The prize alternates between an English-speaking writer and a French-speaking one. This year, it’s France’s turn.

2. Twenty Quid Music Prize

A light-hearted version of the Mercury Prize, the Twenty Quid Music Prize, created by music journalist Peter Robinson of website Popjustice, is given to the best British pop single of the year. Previous winners include “The Promise” (2009) by Girls Aloud. Nicola Roberts from the band turned up at the pub hosting the ceremony to receive her prize. The shortlist for this year will be announced at the same date as the Mercury Prize in July.

3. Wife-carrying world championship

This Finnish competition, which made its debut in 1992, draws entrants from all over the world. Couples compete on a 253.5m track, and the record is held by Estonians Margo Uusorg and Birgit Ulricht, who finished in 55.5 seconds. The prize is the wife’s weight in beer.

4. Cheese-rolling competition

This competition, held in Cooper’s Hill, Gloucestershire, since the early 1800s, sees each competitor rolling a Double Gloucester round cheese down a steep hill. This year’s competition was cancelled after a dispute between organisers and competitors, upset by plans to introduce a £20 ($32) per head entry fee. Unofficial competitions look set to go ahead anyway, with the whole winning cheese, weighing up to 8lb, as the prize for the fastest runner down the hill.

5. Paris Hilton’s Dubai best friend

The heiress has already starred in series where she chose an American and a British “best friend forever”. In the current run, showing on MTV UK, Hilton goes to Dubai, where her would-be friends compete to share “special moments” with her. The Dubai production is not as racy as the previous versions of the programme, with challenges that include painting a camel with saffron. The prize, as the show title suggests, is to become Paris Hilton’s BFF in Dubai.

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