How addicted are you to your smartphone? Vitaminwater wants to find out. The company just launched a contest that will pay one lucky (and disciplined) person $100,000 to give up using their smartphone for a year.

Why? Because Vitaminwater hates monotony, Natalia Suarez, associate brand manager, told CNBC. "We don't think there's anything more boring than mindlessly scrolling through your phone," she explained. By completing the challenge, the lucky winner will not only be $100,000 richer, but will also gain back a huge amount of free time to spend doing something fun and awesome. Getting that time back, not just for 2019 but the rest of your life, could be the real prize here.

Still, $100,000 is pretty sweet. It's likely enough for you to take a year's vacation from work, or take a trip around the world. You could buy a Tesla Model S or (base model) X, or two Model 3s, now that they're rolling off the assembly line. Or you could buy 40 percent of a $250,000  Virgin Galactic ticket to outer space. 

Have I convinced you that this challenge is worth accepting? If so, here's how you enter the contest: Begin by posting a message (it could be text, a video, or a photo) to Twitter or Instagram explaining how you'll use all your free time for a year that you're not spending on your smartphone. Make sure to use both hashtags: #NoPhoneforaYear and #contest. ​Be entertaining! This is the competitive part of the contest, where your message has to beat out all the others. You can submit up to four different messages in all. (Here's info on how to enter, and here are the complete contest rules.)

Has Vitaminwater considered the irony that in order to enter the contest you'll pretty much have to use your smartphone to take a photo or video and then upload it to Twitter or Instagram? They didn't say.

Anyhow, your submission(s) will be judged on originality, humor, whether they fit Vitaminwater's "brand tonality and persona," and quality--good writing, correct spelling and grammar, and a high-quality photo or video, if you include one. The deadline is January 8 and the author of the winning submission will be contacted around January 22 for the next step.

That winner will get the chance to take up Vitaminwater's smartphone-free-for-a-year challenge. He or she will be issued a 1996-style mobile phone, along with a yearlong plan. Smartphone free means no using your smartphone, no borrowing your friend or family member's smartphone, and no using a tablet. No exceptions--if you need to use a smartphone for work, don't enter the contest. And don't enter it if you've never used a smartphone--you actually have to give one up. Desktop and laptop computer use is OK during the smartphone-free year. So is using a voice-based device such as an Amazon Echo. Vitaminwater may check up on you during the year and you will have to take a lie detector test at the end of it to confirm that you didn't cheat.

If you didn't--get ready to spend that $100,000 (minus taxes). If you just couldn't live without your smartphone for a whole year but made it to the six-month mark, you'll get a consolation prize of $10,000. No word on whether you get to keep the 1996-era phone.

Published on: Dec 14, 2018
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