60 Seconds with Best Western's most "Awesomest Brothers"- Joel Levinson

60 Seconds with Best Western's most "Awesomest Brothers"- Joel Levinson

Best Western recently announced the winner of its Points for Free online video contest. The contest marked the 20th anniversary of the hotel’s Best Western Rewards program, Gold Crown Club International, by going back in time to the 80s. Contestants were instructed to dress up their break room water cooler with an 80s theme and film a video explaining why they should win a vacation. Contest winner Joel Levinson dressed a water cooler in classic 80s stonewashed denim jacket and blonde wig. His original song and presentation helped him win the grand prize of one million Best Western Rewards points. You might recognize Levinson from an interview we published in InsideFlyer last September, when he was competing in Delta’s SiteSeer contest.

InsideFlyer
How did you find out about the contest?
Joel Levinson
This is basically all I do now. I hunt online for contests and enter them. I saw this one and thought it was a really funny idea — dress your water cooler up.

IF
How did you decide on the concept for your entry and why do you think you won?
Levinson
We just happen to have a water cooler in our apartment so I went straight to it and I started thinking and cooked together a song and voila! I think my song was an accurate depiction of the 80s in 30 seconds. And the line I’m the happiest with is at the end, “My water cooler’s gotta swing by his dojo after work, but if you wanna hang out after that we’ll probably be at the mall.” I think that is the most pithy statement about the 80s ever made. And the word dojo really makes me laugh. I guess it was original and fun and they liked it and I was ecstatic to win.

IF
How did Best Western inform you that you had won the contest?
Levinson
As part of a Nature Valley contest I won, I just spent two weeks in the Arctic Circle with the Lindblad National Geographic Endeavor cruise line. When I got back home, there was an envelope for me that said, ‘Congratulations, you’re the winner. Sign this and get it back to us.’ It was great. Of all the things I’ve won, this is the most practical because Best Western Hotels are everywhere. I won’t have to worry about paying for a hotel room.

IF
What was your first thought when you heard you won the prize of one million Best Western points?
Levinson
Because I had read and knew how much the points were worth, my first thought was I could stop paying rent and move into a Best Western for four months. But then I thought there are better things I can do with them.

IF
What do you plan on doing with the points?
Levinson
Here’s the idea — my only job right now is winning contests. So I’m going to try to use them as a business investment. With all the Delta miles I have, I’m up to about 250,000 miles, and now I’ve got these million Best Western points. So every time I hear about a new contest, I’m going to use these miles and points to enter. For example, if I hear about a soup contest, I can fly to France, stay in Best Westerns and eat French onion soup. I can then fly to Russia and eat borscht, stay in Best Westerns, and all I’ll be paying for is the soup! That’s part of the plan. I also want to do something with my family. My brother just got married so I’d like to take him and his wife and maybe my mom and dad all on a family vacation somewhere. I have a roommate who is of Estonian descent who speaks Estonian but has never been there and I looked online and lo and behold, there are Best Westerns in Estonia too! I haven’t spent any points yet, but I can’t wait to get started.

IF
Are you entering any other contests?
Levinson
Yes. The one I’m putting together right now — and this is the big one — Klondike Bar is having a contest for $100,000. Here’s what I have been able to do. I was able to take Klondike Bars with me to the Arctic Circle and film them in front of live, wild polar bears on the Arctic ice. Right now, I’m in D.C. to pick up the last couple of shots in front of some monuments for that video and I’ll enter it after that. The contest is at www.klondikecontest.com. Mine will be the song with the images of polar bears in the Arctic Circle.

IF
Last year, you traveled with your brother as part of the Delta SiteSeer contest. Did you have a favorite destination? If so, what made it your favorite?
Levinson
Absolutely, Buenos Aires. The best part about it was it felt real. Dubai didn’t feel like a real city — it didn’t feel organic. And because Argentina just went through a rough time economically and is now coming out of it, things are still affordable and the people seem happy to have visitors. The city has a really interesting history and mix of cultures. And there’s no jet lag when you fly down there. I absolutely loved it.

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