CHICAGO, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Today Apartments.com announces the grand prize winner in its fifth annual Roommate of the Year contest. Besting video entries submitted from coast to coast, Ali Ijaz of San Marcos, Texas proved he was dressed for success as a future Roommate of the Year in his video entry entitled Mr. Suit Does It All in Style. Ijaz earned the coveted title, as well as the grand prize of free rent for one year plus $10,000 in cash, by capturing the hearts of both the online voters and the Apartments.com judging panel. As the fifth grand prize winner in the annual Roommate of the Year contest, Ijaz joins an impressive line-up of worthy roommates, each of whom enjoyed living rent-free for one year as a result of proving their roommate prowess.
"Being named 'Roommate of the Year' has allowed our past contest winners to pursue life-changing opportunities," said Tammy Kotula, Apartments.com spokesperson. "By not having to pay rent for a year, our first winner, Keaton Davis, was able to spend a summer as a television production intern in New York City. Andrew Prestler, our second winner, paid for college. Our third winner, Jesse McLaughlin, used some of the savings to get engaged and last year's winner, Dan Bakst, plans to use the savings to go to graduate school. We are excited to see what opportunities Ali pursues as a result of winning this significant prize."
Entering his video in The All-Star Roomie category, which recognizes those special qualities transcending more than one area of roommate greatness, Ijaz wears a suit like no other roommate in the world! No, he isn't a debonair secret agent or well-dressed corporate executive, yet he belts out a jingle in style to show how he cooks scrambled eggs, cleans up messes, and takes care of pets—even miniature-sized goats.
Once Ijaz was selected as one of five finalists, the public vote was open and America weighed in on who should be named Roommate of the Year. In addition to earning the respect of online voters, Ijaz distinguished himself from the field of finalists when his entry was evaluated with equal weight on originality and creativity, overall wow factor, persuasive argument and style and production by the Apartments.com judging panel.
Ijaz, who was a second year contest participant having entered a video in the 2012 Roommate of the Year contest, is currently an MBA student at Texas State University and resides in San Marcos, Texas. His previous entry was not chosen as a finalist, but within the past year Ijaz feels he became an even better roommate and was able to create a more competitive video. Ijaz said that creating this year's video involved more than a week of scripting, filming, and editing. Ijaz based the video concept on roommate horror stories he has heard over the years. Ijaz plans to use the savings from his year of free rent to develop a local online marketing company he created.
In addition to the grand prize winner, four other entrants were named 2013 Roommate of the Year contest runner-up winners. The runner-up winners, each of whom received a cash prize of $500, include Sharod Bell of McDonough, Georgia who was on a secret mission involving shadowy household chores in his video Compulsive Noir; Aldo Pineda of Charlotte, North Carolina who was wanted in three states for being so awesome in his video Aldo Pineda—The All-Star roommate; Giovanna Pietri of Kissimmee, Florida, who showed how her roommates "flip" for her in her video entitled Retro Roommate of the Year; and Justin Yapp of Madison, Wisconsin who struck a chord with his music video I am my own All-Star Roomie.
Ali Ijaz's grand-prize winning video submission Mr. Suit Does It All in Style, as well as all four runner-up videos, can be viewed at www.roommateoftheyear.com.
Apartments.com (http://www.apartments.com) is a leading national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing millions of rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. By incorporating the most relevant products to reach renters including personalized searches and highly visual ads featuring live chat, real-time rent, online video walk-through demonstrations, professional photography, a mobile website and iPhone and Android apps, Apartments.com creates easy access to its listings. Providing unmatched exposure to its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements and featured partnerships and more than 120 newspaper websites and innovative emerging media, Apartments.com reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic and highly-engaged renters to leasing offices nationwide. Apartments.com is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC. The Apartments.com network of apartment rental websites includes Apartment Home Living (http://www.apartmenthomeliving.com), a leading social media apartment website distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live; Rental Homes Plus (http://www.rentalhomesplus.com), an online destination where house hunters who prefer to rent can choose from a robust inventory of houses, condos, town houses, duplexes and apartments from around the country; and Rentfish (http://www.rentfish.com), a national apartment website offering customizable searches by neighborhood, favorite coffee spot, sports arena, famous landmark and more.