This Just In: Flip Phone Challenge Winners Chosen!

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See Who Could Live without Smartphones For a Whole Week! Here are the Six Lucky Winners

The wait is over. After reviewing more than 68,000 online submissions (indeed, a small village’s worth!), the team at—an online authorized reseller for Frontier Communications—has selected our Flip Phone Challenge winners.

We were so impressed by the overwhelming response that we chose (drum roll, please…) not just one, but SIX, lucky winners. Congratulations to our 2019 Flip Phone Challenge winners, who were notified and confirmed their participation this week! Check back soon to learn more about the winners.

These six participants will each earn $1,000 by exchanging their smartphone for a ’90s-esque flip phone for one full week and sharing their experience with us—the joys, challenges, tears(?!) and all. For more information about their brave undertaking, check out our contest page.

Name: Tyler Novak

City, State: Ballston Spa, NY

Age: 19


College student and popular vlogger, Tyler Novak hails from upstate New York. Tyler loves checking out new gadgets and tech gear and often does unboxing videos to show them off. “I’ve never taken a break from using an iPhone or a cellphone,” Tyler told News10. He’s excited for how the challenge will affect his day-to-day life. He lives with his family, where he regularly creates fun challenges, comparison videos, and gaming content. He hopes to someday become a state trooper and to continue running his YouTube channel.  

Name: Melissa Nichols 

City, State: Kathleen, FL

Age: 40 


Sunshine state journalist Melissa Nichols is excited at the prospect of going back in time. The self-proclaimed “social media queen” spends close to 12 to 14 hours a day on her phone and is interested to see how the week goes. Thanks to her profession, Melissa communicates mostly through text, and as someone who fields more than a hundred texts a day the pressure will really be on. One of her main concerns is being able to get around with nothing but a map. She admits she’s a bit geographically-challenged. “I will probably be late everywhere I’m going.” So for those of you who know Melissa, make sure you save her a seat at the table. 

Name: Somchay Keoamanivong

City, State: West Valley, UT

Age: 25


Somechay is ready to reclaim his life from smartphone usage. The 25-year-old spends as much as 11 hours a day using his phone to stay connected and enjoy his hobbies, such as Pokemon Go, and reading Manga. He’s excited to see if he’s up to the challenge of actually saying goodbye to his smartphone for a whole week. He admits he’s nervous about seeing his device laying around and how he’ll handle the temptation. “I’m gonna turn it off and put it away, that way I’m not tempted to use it.” 

By completing this challenge Somechay is hoping he’ll develop better habits such as getting to bed at a good time, being more productive during the day, and having better focus during workouts. When he’s not running his channel TeamRookie, he can be found fishing at some of Utah’s best lakes. 

Name: Hunter Hinshaw

City, State: Cookeville, TN

Age: 23


Hunter Hinshaw is a graduate student from Tennessee Technological University with a major in Mechanical Engineering and studies that focus on Robotic Metal Additive Manufacturing. He also manages the university’s innovation lab that caters to tech students. So it’s not a leap to say that Hunter loves technology. As an engineer, his home runs on smart technology, from smart bulbs and security apps, to Alexa and microwaves. Hunter is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m generally curious to see how life will be in modern-day with the removal of that modern technology of smart devices.” When he’s not wrapped up with school and tech, he can be found running his channel LockBotCRM, binging on Breaking Bad, and enjoying all things Transformers. 

Name: Julia Ryan

City, State: Fullerton, CA 

Age: 20


Julia Ryan might have a harder time than most completing the flip phone challenge. Californians are admittedly more relaxed and easygoing, but this challenge might test the limits of Julia’s Golden State pedigree  She is a self-professed technology addict who realizes this exercise will probably be a digital detox for her. With a high reliance on technology and a mortal need for GPS guidance, she’s promised more than a few tears as she tries to navigate this new world of flip phones for a whole week. 

Name: Bryce Jurgy

City, State: Orem, UT

Age: 30


Adventure man Bryce Jurgy is our final winner for the flip phone challenge. He and his wife Nellie and their little girl have a YouTube channel called The Jurgys, where they travel and have fun family adventures. Their channel came about after a breast cancer scare, and they decided they wanted to live life to the fullest and inspire other families to do the same. Now they’re traveling around in a renovated RV to see all 50 states. As a full-time vlogger and adventure video journalist, using a flip phone will be quite a culture shock. “I use my phone literally for everything. So going without it will be quite the task.” When Bryce isn’t filming Youtube content, he can be found enjoying time with his family, playing basketball, and learning guitar. 

A huge THANK YOU to each person who applied! We were blown away by your thoughtful, engaged, hilarious submissions. 

Media can contact with any questions.