All my life I have been entering contests. I have always been winning. My very first win was in 1987 when I was 7. The contest was to design a cover for my elementary school's annual writing book.
After that, it created a monster in me. I can enter these... and I can win?!
So the healthy addiction was created. I continued to win coloring contests, then that escalated to movies, shows, concerts, and in the last few years I've been hitting the big ticket items. I won a Sirius satellite radio, then a TV and DVD player/burner, then a $500 pyrex bong from The Hemporium on April 20th, and in 2013... I hit it big.
The website VICE had a Movember moustache contest. You had to submit a photo of your moustache for a chance to win $3000 from Harley Davidson Deely Canada. So I did.
It was a skimpy sad little duster I named The Freddie. But the contest wasn't about how great your 'stache was (there were some amazing ones in the contest too), it was about how many votes you could get within a month. So I shared my pic on Imgur, Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, and many others. I enlisted all of my friends to vote as much as they could.... and they sure did.
I KILLED IT! In December of 2013 I won. In the end I received 1948 votes. The next closest competitor was 958.
I won a $2500 Harley Davidson gift card and $500 towards motorcycle lessons. I have always wanted a motorcycle. So in the spring of 2014 I took my moto lessons from TooCool Motorcycle school (great school by the way, I highly recommend them), and then bought a 2014 Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883 from Kanes Harley Davidson Calgary. After the purchase of the bike and all the add-ons (racing tuner, pipes, stage one, etc) the $2500 didn't even dent the price. Great sales pitch Harley!
I have been riding all year, check out the video: GASOLINE. This win sparked my desire for more so I have been entering even more contests. I usually spend about an hour every Sunday going through about 30 links entering as much as I can. I hit another big win in November 2014 (November seems to be a lucky month for me).
A local radio station CJAY 92 had a contest called Live In It to Win It 2. It was five people living in a 2012 Ford Mustang Convertible for up to two weeks. The last person remaining won the car (valued at $22,950). You had to submit a three minute video describing why you should be chosen. So I entered. Check out my video entry: CJAY92 LIVE IN IT TO WIN IT 2 CONTEST - LEE'S VIDEO ENTRY.
I was chosen. The mustang was situated in the lobby of the 24 hour Grey Eagle casino. I went in with four other people on November 14th 2014 at 7AM. Check out the CJAY 92 Finalists video here. It was pretty cramped. It had five seats but really it only sat four 'cause that middle back seat wasn't really a seat but a hard, painful hump.
CJAY 92 set up five cameras and microphones in the car and streamed it on YouTube. I had all my friends watching and cheering me on. It was strange how many people told me that they loved watching it and followed me all day. It was pretty boring in the car and asked why they'd watch. My friends said it was like a reality show and that they knew someone in it and it was addicting. Some people watched ALL day. Each to their own I guess.
Before I went in I did some preparation. I researched all of the other contestants extensively. Googled them, Facebooked them, read all their tweets, and scrounged any info I could use against them. My plan was to go in and be a prick. Sing Nickleback loudly, love the Edmonton Oilers and Saskachewan Roughriders, and just piss people off. Although once I went in, another contestant Gene was the loud one. Everyone hated that and wouldn't let him sleep and would watch his every move. So I decided to be the nice guy and instill the stockholm syndrome. Kill 'em with kindness. Read the CTV article here. The article is poorly written but you get the idea. I also didn't shower for a week prior and the night before I ate three full heads of garlic. The garlic plan didn't completely work. I ended up "releasing" all of the garlic the night before I went into the car. My poor wife took the brunt of that one. Although the garlic seeped out my pours over the next few days. Even I was having a hard time putting up with that smell so I could only imagine how bad it actually was.
We had a ten minute break every three hours and rotated positions clockwise in the car once we entered after the breaks. We had to write four blogs a day. You can read my blog entries from in the car here. I was pretty ruthless in my blogs. I harnessed my inner Frank Underwood. I was reading all of the other contestants blogs while on my breaks to gather their strategies. Worked well. We were only provided water to drink and fed three meals a day. For breakfast we had two strips of bacon, two eggs, hashbrowns, and toast. For lunch, a chicken wrap, fries, and ranch dip. Finally for dinner we had sweet and sour pork. The only catch was whatever went into the car, stayed in the car. So they gave us MASSIVE portions so we couldn't eat it all. The extra food stayed inside the car and started to rot after three days. Let me tell you, that smell will never leave my mind.
The radio was an externally powered one that played CJAY 92, 24 hours, non-stop even when you TRIED to sleep. If you touched the radio you were disqualified. Sleep was not possible in the 24 hour casino though. They gave us daily challenges too. The first day they had on the dash an open can of corned beef, an opened can of tuna, and an opened can of Spam. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Spam but they wouldn't let me eat it - I asked. The next day was we had to wear hockey gloves for 24 hours. That's tough if you try to eat or write the blogs. The next challenge was Taylor Swifts Shake It Off playing for 24 hours on repeat. And the last challenge was we had to wear a seatbelt the whole day. If it slipped off for any reason you were disqualified. Tough when you tried to sleep. The seatbelt challenge eliminated two people at the end.
First eliminated was Gene for bringing in a lighter. He went for a smoke on break and forgot it was in his pocket. We weren't allowed to bring anything in and Ashly didn't like Gene for being loud and annoying (his strategy) and was watching him like a hawk. Then Sonia left. She was done and just voluntarily stepped out. Then Ashly, she forgot to put her seatbelt back on during the seatbelt challenge after getting in after a break. And finally John had his seatbelt slip off his shoulder while trying to sleep.
After 92 hours (almost four days), November 18th at 3:19AM, I won. I was so desensitized from being in the car that it took a moment to process. It actually took me a few weeks of seeing it in my driveway and actually driving the 'stang before it finally sunk in. A few days of post traumatic stress disorder definitely took its toll. When I was at home sleeping in my own bed, I often would wake up thinking I was still being filmed and had to remain still in the bed to keep the seatbelt on my shoulder. Messed me up but it was so worth it. Check out the few moments before I went in the car and after the win video: CJAY92 LIVE IN IT TO WIN IT 2 CONTEST - BEFORE I GO IN AND AFTER THE WIN.
A lot of people ask me "what was the hardest part?" It came down to two things. One was your mind. You start doubting yourself and start to question "what the hell am I doing here?!" There were times when I'd doze off and then wake up and be like "where the hell am I?!?!" The second was not what was in the car, but what was outside of the car. It was in a 24 hour casino. You don't sleep. From the constant dinging of slots, the loud air conditioning, to the people asking questions. There was a six hour period we called "the gauntlet" from 7PM - 3AM. It was a constant barrage of drunks. Hassling us, insulting us, asking us questions. "How long you in there for? Do you get breaks? Why don't you split it? Where do you pee?" Non-stop for six hours. One... after... the other. When it was just John and I at the end, we'd start voicing people's conversations and ignoring people. Got a bit delirious. It was quite the experience. I met some cool people, had a ton of fun, and WON A CAR!!! Who can say that?!
They had the car detailed (thank god) and removed the red CJAY 92 decal. It is grabber blue in color. I had the undercarriage coated, popped on winter tires, threw a few sandbags in the trunk, and I'm driving this puppy in the winter. Soooo fun! Although sometimes my mind faintly recalls the smell from when I was in, but I know it's not there. Secretly I like to blast Shake It Off loud as well. I love that song now, it's like it Clockwork Oranged me. Just when I stop at a light beside someone I'll shamingly turn it down and stop singing hehe. I know all the words.
This year I continue to win. So far since January 1st I have won...
• Motorcycle show 2015 tickets (x2).
• CPO Mozart and Schumann - two tickets from QR77 and two tickets from FOMO on Facebook.
• Reel Fun Film Festival tickets (x2).
I have also won advance movie screening passes. Since January 2015, I've won...
• Inherent Vice
• The Wedding Ringer
• American Sniper
• Mordecai (six tickets)
• A Most Violent Year
• Seventh Son
• The Duff
• Jupiter Ascending
• The Lazarus Effect
• Focus (six tickets)
I've decided I'm going to use this blog to review the latest screenings I've seen. So subscribe below if you'd like to hear my reviews... 'cause I'm just going to keep winning.
Next big win, house? Trip? We'll have to see.
People are just giving free stuff away. I just take what's mine.