After being cut off from her iPhone for 8 months, woman closes in on $100,000 prize

After being cut off from her iPhone for 8 months, woman closes in on $100,000 prize
Last December, we told you that Vitamin Water was running a promotion that would pay someone $100,000 if they gave up their smartphone for one year. Out of more than 100,000 entries, the company chose 29-year old Elana Mugdan from Queens, New York back in January. Mugdan, a fiction writer, gave up her Apple iPhone 5s and received a Kyocera flip phone that she is allowed to use to make calls and text. And once the year is up, she still has to pass a lie detector test in order to collect the dough. Besides the flip phone, she is allowed to access desktop or laptop computers and smart speakers.

According to, Mugdan has completed eight months of the "Scroll Free for a Year" challenge and has told the media that getting away from using a smartphone has made her more self-aware about some of her bad habits. But it hasn't been easy for Mugdan as a couple of times she found herself in situations where having a smartphone would have made her life much easier. One time she nearly got stranded in the SeaTac airport because she had written down a phone number incorrectly and had no way to find the right number. Nor could she arrange for an Uber or call a cab.

Another time, as she was driving late at night in an unfamiliar area, her car's "check engine" light went on. All she could do was keep her fingers crossed. Without GPS, she didn't know where she was and couldn't see how far away she was from the nearest rest stop. And without a phone that would allow her to share videos and photos or browse through social media, Mugdan says that she feels disconnected from others. Despite this isolated feeling, Mugdan says that she will never go back to using a smartphone after the contest ends.

Would you be able to give up your smartphone for a year?

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



2. jellmoo

Posts: 2623; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

An iPhone 5s? Can you imagine what the battery life must be on that thing after 6 years? Like, 34 minutes of screen on time.

3. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

She most probably have replaced her battery ..

4. matistight

Posts: 997; Member since: May 13, 2009

Or she thought "I have an old ass phone, I can do this challenge!"

9. jellmoo

Posts: 2623; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Does that even matter? The 5s has what, a 1500 mAh battery? It probably only had like an hour of SoT on release.

5. whatev

Posts: 2327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

She will buy a new iPhone, why do people lie like this? *rolls eyes

6. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

O would love to if given by chance and will buy new iphones.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31304; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Hopefully she holds out the rest of the way, and passes the lie detector test. That would be cool. Get that money ms., then buy a Note 10+.

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2334; Member since: May 04, 2015

Apple and PA bashing is illegal on this site and results in suspension. I know that first hand. Lol

14. DigitalBoy05

Posts: 278; Member since: Jun 04, 2011

“This is an excellent rectangle” -Ron Swanson

15. inFla

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Flip phone and computer access. Easy.

16. JCASS889

Posts: 564; Member since: May 18, 2018

So it's a challenge now to use a flip phone? Something we all did like 10 years ago without any issues? Hmmm

17. JCASS889

Posts: 564; Member since: May 18, 2018

Also is someone following her all day 24/7 to make sure she doesn't use one? There seems like way to many flaws on this.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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