Can someone live for one year off Groupons alone? Earn or spend no money, forgo family and friends and not self-destruct or starve? The answer is yes, now that Josh Stevens has completed the yearlong journey he set out on May 10, 2010.
The challenge was extreme, to say the least. Groupon founder Andrew Mason hosted a competition to find someone willing to suspend his or her entire life for 365 days: no work, no school, no holidays or family events. The person would have an endless supply of Groupons in all the cities that Groupon serves, a blog to document each experience and, should the constestant survive, a $100,000 prize.
Stevens is now $100,000 richer, but anyone who has read his blog knows he's also had the experience of a lifetime. He's been everywhere Groupon has an outpost, from Detroit to London. He's gotten fancy haircuts, raced cars, stayed in posh hotels (and some not so posh) and bartered for plane tickets and cab rides.
Groupon has had quite a year, as well: turning down an offer of $6 billion from Google, expanding to 500 markets in 44 countries and preparing for an IPO with an estimated worth of up to $25 billion, depending on who's doing the estimating.
Not a day goes by without a Groupon story in the news, be it a new market or venture like Groupon Now — a location-based deal offered via mobile device — or the newest announced partnership with Live Nation Entertainment to offer concert tickets via the service. GrouponLive is expected to launch in June.
As Stevens completes his yearlong odyssey and bags his $100,000 prize, it's hard not to imagine him celebrating at a summer concert in Chicago, where both he and Groupon are from. The ticket of course, will be a discounted one via GrouponLive.