This Company Will Pay You $100,000 to Give Up Your Smartphone for a Year

Enhanced water company Vitaminwater recently launched a contest challenging entrants to give up their smartphones and tablets for a whole year. That’s a tough thing to do in this day and age, but the Coca Cola-owned company is ready to make it worth your while by putting up a $100,000 prize.

Vitaminwater’s #nophoneforayear challenge requires entrants to go a full 365 days without using a smartphone. That means giving up their own phone and tablet as well as agreeing not to use anyone else’s handhelds either. The selected person will have to sign a contract committing to no smartphone usage for the duration of the contest, and if they are found to have adhered to the strict rule for the duration of the contract, they will be rewarded with $100,000. Sounds easy enough, but first you have to convince the company that you’re the right person for the job.

Photo: Vitaminwater

To enter this unusual contest, you first have to a photo to Twitter or Instagram telling Vitamin Water why you need a break from your smartphone, and use the hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest. Submitted entries will be judged based on creativity, brand relevance, humor and quality. You have until January 8 to enter the contest, and the company will announce the selected participant on January 22.

It’s worth pointing out that the selected person will not be required to go completely phone-free. In fact, Vitaminwater will provide them with a “1996 era mobile phone” complete with a monthly plan for voice communication only.

Vitaminwater has confirmed that the contest is not some cruel prank, and brand manager Natalia Suarez told CNBC that it was simply an ingenious way to challenge people to do something interesting with their time.

“We don’t think there’s anything more boring than mindlessly scrolling through your phone, and this is an opportunity to take that stance against routine and give someone $100,000 to do something uniquely awesome with their time,” Suarez said.

You’re probably wondering how Vitaminwater plans on checking if the selected person actually respected their end of the deal. The complete list of rules has not yet been released, but the company did mention that the chosen participant will have to take a lie detector test before being awarded the $100,000 prize.

Some people couldn’t go a single day without checking their smartphones, and a year is a really long time, so Vitaminwater is also offering a consolation prize of $10,000 if the person selected for their contest goes at least 6 months without using a smartphone.

Oh, and if you’re looking at your handheld wondering if it qualifies as a smartphone, Vitaminwater provides a simple way to check: “if texting is a pleasant experience or you can get on the internet, it’s probably a smartphone”.