me with THE Willy of Willy’s

On July 1, the Willy’s Road Trip promotion began.  I knocked out eight locations off the bat.  On July 2, I knocked out ten Willy’s, including the daunting Athens location.  On July 3, I visited eight more Willy’s and on July 4th, I visited the last Willy’s and didn’t hesitate when I got to my computer to submit the photos of all my receipts.

I got notification that I was the first one in on July 5, but a brief explanation that my submission would have to be verified and confirmed before I was officially anointed the first winner of the Willy’s Road Trip.  I figured, eh, no big deal, this shouldn’t take long, and that I had nothing to worry about because I followed the rules and stayed within parameters the entire way.

But then the waiting began.  I didn’t hear back throughout the remainder of the July 5.  Did something go awry?  I didn’t hear back on July 6.  Did they dislike my tactic of getting a cheapo item at most of the locations?  I didn’t hear back on July 7.  Did they not like the fact that I didn’t blow up Twitter or social media with their hashtag?

I was getting anxious.  Why was it taking Willy’s longer to verify my handful of receipts than it took me to drive nearly 300 miles in four days to visit?

And then I found out that someone else had also finished, in an also insanely short span of time.  Granted, I had the assurance that I was the first one to complete, but a sudden wave of additional anxiety sank in knowing that someone else was apparently unknowingly nipping on my heels the entire time.  Furthermore, it became apparently clear who this person was, because they had flooded the hashtag on Twitter with photos of themselves and their cute children at all the locations.  Despite my initial verification that I was first, I was beginning to wonder if Willy’s was trying to find a way to make this person the winner, and not me, because frankly, they looked better for the brand.

But then today, on July 8, I received my confirmation.  A tremendous weight felt lifted off my shoulders, and I can now officially be elated to be the first winner of the Willy’s Road Trip. 

I am for all intents and purposes, the burrito king, for the next year.  Gluttony and guile have finally paid off for once in my life.

The anxiety I once felt is now a feeling of triumph and satisfaction.  The presence of a worthy challenger is no longer a feeling of dread, but a feeling of gratefulness to know that in spite of their own gallant and tenacious efforts, they still fell short to me; admittedly, I felt that I had this entire contest in the bag, because I didn’t think there were any psychos like me out there, but I was obviously wrong as I unknowingly had company the entire road trip.

Victory would have been hollow and meaningless if there were nobody else trying.  And as it’s been stated so callously by Rand Paul, it is not enough to succeed; others must fail.  Nothing personal to second place, but I’m grateful for her efforts, as it validates my own insanity and drive.

Standby for more burrito-related stories, in case I get any sort of random attention on account of being psychotic enough to chase 52 free entrees.

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