In December, Vitaminwater announced a call for applicants to go a year without their smartphone or tablet for the chance to win $100,000.
Now, one filmmaker and young adult fantasy author from New York is embarking on her attempt to go the full 365 days without her trusty smartphone by her side.
Vitaminwater announced Elana Mugdan as the winner on Friday, after sifting through tens of thousands of entries submitted on Twitter and Instagram. Mugdan’s submission, an infomercial-style video, reportedly stood out for its humor and brand relevance.
As of Friday, Mugdan will trade in her iPhone 5s for a Kyocera flip phone that Vitaminwater has provided. But it’s not just her own smartphone that Mugdan will have to avoid—she can’t use those belonging to anyone else, either. She will, however, be able to use laptops and desktop computers, and access her social media accounts from those devices. She is also permitted to use smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo, so long as they’re not connected to a smartphone.
While Mugdan acknowledged that it will be a challenge, she told CBS News, “I have no doubt I will make it through a year because there’s so much at stake here.” Not only could the money help Mugdan with her business as an indie author she explained, but also she noted that she is “constantly complaining about how much my smartphone gets in the way of all the work I have to do.”
But not all of the money will help fund Mugdan’s career. She told CNBC that she also plans to donate some of the funds to charities, targeting in particular those that support environmental and human rights causes, as well as something that tackles student loan debt.