Taco Time Northwest crowned its Ultimate Fan on January 4 after an intensive five-and-a-half week competition in culmination of its 50th anniversary celebration.
Dan Podhola, from Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood, proved his loyalty and passion for Taco Time NW and out-earned the competition, winning a $10,000 grand prize.
The Ultimate Fan Challenge pitted families, friends, and strangers against each other to prove their devotion to Taco Time NW, earning points for answering trivia questions, uploading photos, creating videos, and completing social media challenges.
“It feels pretty awesome to be the Ultimate Fan,” Podhola says. “I’ve been buzzing about it since I won. The whole process was really fun, from going on an adventure with my kids to visit 25 Taco Time locations to startling the Taco Time employee when I was filming my commercial. It’s been a great experience.”
Participants faced five levels of challenges, each more difficult and worth more points than the previous stage.
Challenges progressed through categories beginning with trivia, including historical, educational, and pop culture questions; social, requiring social media interaction; photo,to upload and share Taco Time-centric photos; ambassador, with challenges that required sharing information about Taco Time; and culminating with ultimate challenges that required time, creativity, and dedication.
Fans rapped, sang, danced, and animated their way to earn points toward the coveted title of Ultimate Fan.
Podhola accumulated 2,163 points in the competition by working his way through all five categories, from creating a video demonstrating the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine to visiting Carpinito Brothers Farms in Kent, Washington, where Taco Time NW seasonally sources its lettuce.
Three second-place finishers—Jessica Podhola, also from Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood; Robert Brown from Tacoma; and Benny Phanichkul from Seattle—each received $1,000 for their valiant efforts.
Twenty-two third-place finishers each received a $100 Cactus Card.
“Congratulations to Dan and all of our winners,” says Brandon Petersen, marketing manager of Taco Time NW. “Our fans really outdid themselves with creative and funny photos and videos. We’re excited to venture into our next 50 years with such amazing fans to support us.”
The Ultimate Fan Challenge culminates Taco Time NW’s yearlong 50th-anniversary celebration. Throughout 2012, Taco Time NW launched a number of programs to thank the community for its support, including the Taco Time Traveler, which has been distributing free food at community events throughout Western Washington.