|Summer, 1929 - Clarinetist/bandleader Artie Shaw writes an essay that wins him a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles, in a contest sponsored by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. The trip changed the path of his life. While in Los Angeles, Artie joined Irving Aaronson's Commanders, a touring big band based in L.A. While touring with the group, Shaw was introduced to the music of Stravinsky, Debussy, Bartok, Ravel and other classical masters. In the process, he "discovered a whole new world," as he would later write in his semi-biographical novel, The Trouble with Cinderella.|
|Spring, 1993 - Janice & Richard Cox, from Annapolis, Maryland, wrote a 250-word essay and sent in a $100 entry fee which won them a 188-year-old country inn in Center Lovell, Maine. Their entry was one of over 5,000 judged (7000+ were submitted!) to Bil & Susie Mosca, the prior owners.
Janice & Richard still operate the inn today!
|Summer, 1994 - Art student Jay Mulligan, from Boston, Massachusetts, wrote an essay which won him Connie Doolan's Pub in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland in the very first Guinness "Win Your Own Pub" essay contest.|
|Summer, 1995 - Frank Gallagher, a 65-year-old Fort Lauderdale retiree, wins the Kilgoban Pub, a 150-year-old establishment in Bantry, West Cork, Ireland. He and his wife, June, moved to Ireland to take possession of the pub.|
|Winter, 1995 - Philip Bonner, a 48-year-old dentist from Fairburn, Georgia, wins an eleven-day trip to three international destinations of his choice.|
|Summer, 1996 - Shann Weston, a 45-year-old state wildlife specialist and mother of two from Portland, Oregon, wins the Seanachaoi Pub in the ancient village of Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland. Shann was one of the 10 finalists, selected from over 55,000 entries, to travel to Killaloe to compete for the keys to the pub.|
|Summer, 1996 - another article about Shann Weston's win above.|
|Summer, 1997 - Douglas Knight, a professional music technician and recording engineer from Minneapolis, Minnesota, wins J. Morrisey's Pub in Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland. He and his wife, Suzanne, now call the pub "home."|
|Summer, 1997 - another article about Douglas Knight's win above.|
|Spring, 1998 - Graham Warner, from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, wins a Cessna Turbo 337B Super Skymaster airplane with an original essay entitled "Flight of Fantasy" which he submitted in a corked, antique bottle.|
|Summer, 1998 - Trevor O'Driscoll, a 22-year-old paralegal from New York wrote a 50-word essay that won him Finucane's Pub in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland.|
|Summer, 1998 - Edward A. Novak, III wins a trip for two to Stuttgart, Germany with his essay entitled|
"The Feeling You Get."
|Summer, 1999 - Erika Lee, from Portland, Oregon, wins the keys to J. O'Sullivan's Pub in Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland.|
|AUDIO INTERVIEW 3/17/01: On Winning a Pub (14.4 | 28.8)|
[requires a sound card - be patient - may take a few minutes to load]
National Public Radio All Things Considered Host Lisa Simeone talks with Portland, Oregon native Erika Lee, who now lives in New Castle West in County Limerick, Ireland. Two years ago, Erika became the proprietor of "J. O'Sullivans," after winning the "win your own pub contest" sponsored by Guinness. She's enjoying her new life. (4:00)
|Summer, 1999 - Cheryl Barnes, of Nicholasville, Kentucky, penned the Grand Prize-winning entry in the Sears/Kenmore "Dream Kitchen Contest".|
|Summer, 1999 - Horace Jacobson, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wins a new Volkswagen Beetle with a 100-word essay.|
|January, 2000 - Nat Conig wins $2000 with an essay entry in the WorldStories "Writer's Life: What's Your Story" contest.|
|Spring, 2000 - Marc Alexander writes an essay that wins him the SurfSide Café in Santa Barbara, California. Congratulations Marc!|
|Summer, 2000 - Terry & Kendra Walsh submitted the winning essay in the Cooking Light Magazine 2000-2001 $30,000 Kitchen Makeover Contest. Theirs was selected from over 5000 entries!|
|October, 2000 - Kandiace Buchheister from Las Vegas NV wins a café in the Colorado mountains with a unique recipe for success. Read the winning entry here. Congratulations Kandiace!|
|Summer, 2001 - Bill & Cathy Scott, of Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote the winning essay in the Cooking Light Magazine 2001-2002 $35,000 Kitchen Makeover Contest.|
|July, 2001 - David McNair, of Vancouver, British Columbia, wins an $800,000 home in Manhattan Beach, CA, with $195 and a well-worded essay! David's was one of over 3000 entries that contest organizer Ben Waldrep (pictured at left) received by his contest deadline. Read more about the contest here.|
|December, 2001 - Erik Olson of Middleton, Wisconsin, wrote the essay that won him the grand prize of a Lamborghini Countach Replica. Congratulations Eric!|
|Summer, 2002 - Cathy & Aaron Zimmer, of Aurora, Colorado, were the winners of the Cooking Light 2002-2003 $35,000 Kitchen Makeover Contest. A committee of the magazine's representatives chose the Zimmer's entry from thousands received from all across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.|
|November, 2002 - New Scientist magazine held a unique and weird essay competition which offered the winner a prize of a second chance at life, rather than the inevitability of death, via a cryonics treatment at the Cryonics Institute of Michigan, a procedure normally costing $28,000. When the winner of the New Scientist promotion would eventually be pronounced legally dead, he or she would be prepared and cooled to a temperature where physical decay of the body stops. The person would then be suspended in liquid nitrogen at –196°, in a state known as cryonic preservation. When and if medical technology allowed, the winner would hopefully then be healed, revived and awoken to extended life in youthful good health.
As an alternative prize, in case the winner preferred to live now, rather than live later, New Scientist offered a week in Hawaii with the opportunity to peer billions of years back in time by observing distant parts of the Universe from the Mauna Kea Observatory.
The author of the winning essay, a woman from Great Britain who asked to remain anonymous, chose to Rest In Poi with the trip to Hawaii.
|February, 2003 - Jackie Kuehn, a music-theory instructor and piano teacher at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and her husband, John, a music professor at IUP, will be spending three nights and four days in Vienna, the top prize in a nationwide Starbucks Coffee Match Made over Coffee essay contest. Jackie's 250-word love story won out more than 600 other entries! "I wrote the story about our 28th anniversary," she said. "With so much divorce in the world, I wanted to show that there are marriages that work and are happy." Congratulations Jackie!
|August, 2003 - As part of a unique promotion on behalf of one of their sponsors (Gerald N. Minnich Funeral Home), the Hagerstown (MD) Suns baseball team, a class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, conducted an essay contest asking entrants to describe their future funeral. John Davidson, of Fayetteville, PA, won a funeral worth $5,500 - $6,000 for submitting the best essay. It is his desire to not collect the prize for many years to come!|
|March, 2004 - Mayor Martin O'Malley awarded Erica Emmanuela Jones a $5000 home-purchase award as the winner in the Baltimore Live Essay Contest.
|October, 2004 - Claudia O'Keefe from Frankford, West Virginia, USA, was awarded $20,000 for her essay entitled "The Traveling Bra Salesman's Lesson". The essay will appear in the prestigious annual publication from The Economist: The World in 2005.|
|March, 2007 - Bloomington-resident Vicente Adame was presented with a $250,000 check, the top prize in "The Great American Homeowner Challenge Essay Contest", sponsored by Wells Fargo Home Mortgages. Adame won the prize with an essay he wrote about his journey from his dirt-floor childhood home in Mexico to his current Victorian home in Indiana. More than 21,000 people nationally entered the contest.
|September, 2007 - Viola Phillips, an unemployed great-grandmother, wrote the winning 200-word essay while living temporarily with a friend in Clinton, Iowa. After being notified that she was the winner, Phillips stated that she "cried and could hardly talk." "Then my heart was just so big that I could hardly stand up." In her essay, Phillips explained that she knew that if she kept her faith in God, he would take care of her, as she took care of Lexes (age 4) and Joshua (age 5), the two grandchildren that were left on her doorstep.
As if giving the three-story house away wasn't enough, Nicole and Cory Thoman, who organized the contest, also helped Phillips move everything from her temporary residence in Clinton to Blencoe.
Entries with entry fees were received from 18 states.
|October, 2009 - Homeless woman's story wins her a house of her own! Karelyn Sutton, a mother of two was among
about 100 central Ohioans who entered an essay contest to win the house from the Stone Equity Group, a California company that buys and sells foreclosed homes. The company had asked participants
to explain why they wanted the home. What the company received were tales of homelessness, abuse and desperation. Sutton, 32, entered the contest after separating from her
husband, whom she met a decade ago in her native Nicaragua, while he was in the U.S. military. She said her husband kept their Hilliard home and their belongings (including her clothes),
leaving no place for her and her children, ages 9 and 7. Sutton said she has worked two years for a car dealership, clearing car titles, and that the money she earns is enough to
maintain a home but not to cover a mortgage. Sutton noticed the contest while searching online apartment ads.
|October 12, 2009 - The 24 Hours of LeMons held the first-ever essay contest in which the grand prize was a 1958 Wartburg 311 Sedan. The writer of the best essay had to come retrieve the car at the Lamest Day, a 24-hour LeMons event at Nelson Ledges Raceway in Ohio. Wasting no time, Win-A-Wartburg contest winner Jim Thwaite started wrenching on the car as soon as he arrived at Nelson. A few hours later, this was the result.
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