Retina iPad Mini. Source: Apple.

During the first half of November, we ran The Motley Fool's first contest where readers had a chance to win a free Apple Retina iPad Mini. We asked you Fools to submit an entry telling us why you love The Motley Fool, and we picked the three most Foolish responses as winners. We received over 3,500 responses from readers sharing a wide variety of reasons -- and we read every single one of them.

Some were long, others were short. Some were heartfelt, others were lighthearted. Some were pretty funny! Ultimately, Foolishness can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but we had to pick the responses that really stood out as the most Foolish. Without further ado, here are the winning entries.

Chris K. provided us with a recipe for Foolishness:

I love the Motley Fool for its use of key ingredients in making Foolishly delicious investments. Start with solid fundamental analysis ground in key metrics, mix with technical data points until consistency reaches historical support. Once fundamentals are mixed with technicals, seek some Foolish critics (Iron Chef Fools). Once fully baked, serves a recipe for gains any Fool would love. Enjoy! 

Terri B. sent in a short, simple, yet powerful message that hits home at exactly what the Fool is all about:

I love the Motley Fool because you empower us. You take the interested do-it-yourselfer to a whole new place and it is unlike what any other investment advisory service offers. You empower us. It's that simple, Fool. 

Dave R. thought long and hard about sending in something witty, but decided that honesty was the best policy:

You know, I struggled to find an answer that would stand out...  I thought of witty, funny, zany, ironic... something that would be fitting of being a Fool... All seemed to fall a little flat.

So I'm just going to go with sincere.

The Fool changed the way I invest. I hear a coworker's latest hot tip, or see the market dip or dive, and while everyone is running around with their hair on fire I get to sit back, relax, and remember that I'm a Fool. I invest in great companies for the long term. The tides of today don't affect me anymore, and I sleep well at night because of it.

So that's why I love the Fool...  It anchors me to sanity, especially when I need it.

Thanks, Fool!

Congratulations to the iPad winners!

Editor's note: Submissions were lightly edited for style.