Miami, Florida (PressExposure) July 27, 2011 -- A UCF alumnus has a 1-in-25 shot at a million dollars.
Chris Yarn, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in communications, entered the Gain "Smell Like a Million Bucks" contest on Facebook just a few days before the July 7 deadline.
Contestants were required to film a 60-second or less video and say "I use Gain and I smell like a million bucks." Yarn's video was among nearly 500 other contestants' videos. According to competition rules, the winner of the competition will receive $100,000 a year for ten years.
"This is the largest single prize for an online video contest in history," Yarn said.
Finalists were chosen based on total number of views they received, multiplied by a creative score.
Yarn said he got the call from Gain about being in the top 25 while watching the Women's World Cup soccer semifinals at a local sports pub.
"I was just smiling; I couldn't believe it," Yarn said.
Yarn took time off from his job as an insurance salesman to get the word out about his video. He also got help from UCF digital media graduates Tom Grobmyer and James Pfleiderer to make his website - voteyarn.com. He even filmed a second video for the website in which he teaches people how they can vote and watch his video.
Yarn's video includes a catchy rap song in which he reaches out to homeowners who find themselves upside down in the housing crisis.
"I've got about 20 friends that live in Orlando who all graduated from UCF and stayed here and bought houses, and I had the thought that I want to deliver the message that it is ridiculous a lot of young, middle class people with college degrees are working hard and these banks will not refinance or modify our house loans that we got when we graduated. We are getting hammered with ridiculous interest rates," Yarn said.
Florida placed third with 46 percent of all mortgaged properties upside down in CoreLogic's 2011 Negative Equity Report. Nevada claimed the top spot, followed by Arizona.
Realtor Tom Nestor agrees that the housing market is in a crisis.
"The banks do not want to modify or refinance anyone that is upside down on their house. They initially will tell people that they will help them out with a modification, but they say they have to be 90 days delinquent. So, the people stop paying their house payment and wait 90 days. Then they apply again for a loan modification," he said.
"Only less than 1 percent of all loan modifications get approved. It is a huge scam," Nestor said.
Yarn said that if he won he would use the money to pay off his mortgage. He also said in the video that he would like to re-marry his wife, Michelle.
Michelle, who is also a UCF grad, used her radio/television degree to help Chris film and direct the video. According to Chris, they filmed the video in about six hours, which was then edited down to 60 seconds.
Michelle said that with her radio/television degree and Chris' communications degree, they joined forces to complete the video.
"We were up against people with professional cameras, editing equipment, sound boards; studio people who clearly know what they are doing and do this on a regular basis. And then you have someone like Chris who saw [the competition], had a great idea and wanted to bring it to life."
The final round of the contest ends on August 1. Voters can vote once per day for the video of their choice on Gain's Facebook page under the contest tab.