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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recession Got You Hurting? Live Off Groupon For a Year

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Calling all of our unemployed Bay Area peeps, we have a crazy way for you to travel the US, with zero expenses, and make $100,000. The catch is you are not allowed to spend any of your own money; you are to live only off Groupons, which are basically just collective coupons provided by The other part of the catch is you give up all your worldly possessions, including your apartment, the clothes on your back, even your toothbrush.

The only thing you get to "keep" is your health insurance (which you probably don't have anyway).

  • Via Living Your Dream

The Live Off Groupon for a Year contest was just announced this morning and already gotten over 100 emails from people who want to participate (deadline is February 24th). Groupon is a great way to try things in the city, because you can get up to 75% off everything from teeth whitening to trapeze classes. Launched in 2008, Groupon has quickly grown to over 40 US cities, by using collective buying power to offering consumers deals on things to do, eat, and try in their city. We love Groupon because it supports local businesses, while giving us amazing bargains during the recession.

We wanted to make sure someone from SF wins this contest, because we at the SF Weekly are doing our best to lower the unemployment rate, one person at a time.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2010_02_04_at_6.31.54_pm.png

Plus, we think this sounds hilarious. We had a chance to do a Q & A

with Andrew Mason the CEO and Founder of Groupon to give you the

insider 411 on the contest. Please let us know (in the comments or on

Twitter) if you're auditioning, because we'll gladly use the collective

SF lobbying power to help one of our own win.

Why did you start this contest?

Since we started Groupon we joked around about the idea of could

someone survive off of nothing but Groupon, and about after 30 seconds

of rational thought leads one to the conclusion - No, of course you

can't, but we still think it would be fun to try. It will be an

interesting social experiment. It means you are eating a lot of sushi,

you're going to do a lot of yoga, you will have beautiful fingernails

and it should be an interesting life for someone. They are going to

have freakishly white teeth, their teeth are going to reflect all light

by the time this is over.

Does the person get a stipend of any kind?

No, no stipend of any kind. We are going to be ruthlessly hard judges.

Part of it is it's going to be fun to watch this person do nothing but

Groupon experiences. We don't care how sad the story is, if you cheat

eleven months into the contest and use money for whatever reason you

will lose.

Will you only pick one person?

We're planning on doing one person. We've had requests for people to do

it as a couple, but we don't think it would be nearly as much fun to

watch if the person had the emotional support of a loved one.

Are you going to live stream the contestant?

Yes, definitely. Whoever wins is going to get a cell phone, a computer,

and they will be blogging about their experience. Plus we will give

them a GPS so people in the community will be able to locate this

person and go out and share Groupon experiences. This person will

travel around the country. This will be a bottomless Groupon wallet.

How will they pay the tip or tax if they go to a restaurant?

They can bring people in the community out with them. The people in the community are going to pay for the tax and tip.

How are they going to travel from city to city? Are you going to handle airfare?

No, we are going to get bus Groupons. We are going to do hotel

Groupons. We are taking all the personal possessions of the person,

like everything they own, down to their clothes and we're going to make

them a suit out of paper Groupons and release them into the city.

They'll have Groupons to hotels and some places where they can lodge.

But they won't have any books, or toothpaste, or toiletries. It should

be interesting.

What do you consider cheating?

Cheating would be selling your Groupons for cash, or if you call your mom and borrow money.

Follow us on Twitter at @springfever and @sfweekly.

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Irene McGee


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