Renters Around The Country Are Frantically Cleaning Up Their Apartments, Taking Out The Trash And Making Delicious Meals As They Prepare To Showcase Roommate Greatness In The Fifth Annual Roommate of the Year Video Contest

One Lucky and Deserving Roomie Will Receive Free Rent for a Year Plus $10,000; and the Roommate Video Shorts Contest Returns with $250 Weekly Prizes

Apr 09, 2013, 05:00 ET from

CHICAGO, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- celebrates the fifth year of its popular Roommate of the Year video contest --  just launched at  --  as they once again seek America's best, greatest, fantastic, fabulous, amazing, wonderful roommate. The lucky roomie who wins the grand prize in this national competition will be living a little easier with a year of free rent plus $10,000 in cash. In addition to the grand prize contest, last year's Roommate Video Shorts contest returns, recognizing and rewarding smaller feats of roommate greatness with four weekly prizes of a $250 gift card. All talented and terrific roommates are encouraged to go to to learn how to enter either the grand prize contest and/or the video shorts contest, as well as view past winning videos for inspiration. The deadline for contest entries is noon ET on May 20, 2013.

Last year, Dan Bakst, now a graduate of the University of Florida in Tampa, FL, bested video entries that came in from across the country to be crowned Roommate of the Year by Bakst earned the title and the grand prize with his musical video entitled The All-Star Roommate Musical, which showcased how Bakst was a better roommate than a cardboard robot. His winning style, along with the three other previous contest winners, can be seen at Bakst remains a Tampa, FL resident and a good roommate.  

"I was surprised and happy to find out I'd been named the Roommate of the Year," said Bakst. "I'd entered the previous year and hadn't been named a finalist, so now having the title just goes to show that roommate dreams can come true," Bakst laughed. "Plus, now I'm able to use part of my winnings to go to graduate school. My parents were right. Being a good roommate is important!"

Through this annual contest, underscores the importance of finding and being a good roommate. There are more than 60 percent of renters currently living with a roommate—friends, spouses, significant others, children or even pets— according to a recent survey.

"In first quarter of this year, rents were still rising nationwide in response to demand," said Tammy Kotula, spokesperson.  "As people continue to share costs and space by having a roommate, living in harmony is crucial to creating a happy living environment.  Our contest allows people to showcase, to the world, how they contribute to roommate well-being in a creative way. Being a good roommate makes for a happy home."  

There are two ways renters can spotlight their roommate-worthiness; through submitting a robust two-minute video for a chance at the grand prize, and/or submission of a :30 second video for the Roommate Video Shorts contest.

"The Roommate Video Shorts was introduced last year as a quick and easy way to show off roommate greatness. In this quickie contest, people can highlight one special roommate talent, spectacular stunt, or feat of roommate excellence that could win them a $250 gift card," Kotula explained. "We'll be choosing four weekly winners from coast-to-coast.  These exceptional roommates can also enter the grand prize contest if their roommate greatness is too amazing to be contained to only one."

How to Enter 2013 Roommate of the Year Grand Prize Contest
Get out the video camera, get creative and get one step closer to winning free rent for a year, plus $10,000 in cash and the coveted 2013 title of Roommate of the Year. Renters across the nation are invited to enter the Roommate of the Year contest by submitting a video entry of two minutes or less to

Entrants are challenged to showcase the specific attributes that qualify them to be Roommate of the Year by featuring their inner roomie in one of the four contest categories. For detailed information on how to enter, including specific video instructions, an official entry form and contest rules, go to All entries must be received by noon ET on May 20, 2013.

Roommate of the Year Contest Categories Roommate of the Year contest entrants should distinguish themselves from all of the other roommates around the country. Finding the category that best defines their special roommate skills is job number one. Categories are:

  • The Loveable Compulsive
    • It's not a glamorous job, but somebody has to do it. Making sure the electric bill gets paid each month and scrubbing the microwave after someone's "soup explosion" two months ago sometimes makes you feel like you are running a daycare in your apartment. But all that work is about to pay off big. Show us how you manage the household while still maintaining your sanity and a year of FREE Rent could leave you with one less item on that LONG to-do list.
  • The Purr-fect Pet Owner
    • Sometimes the best roommates aren't even human. They may not pay rent, but pets are great at making us laugh or helping us get through tough times. Show us what makes you the best roommate to your pets, including games you play together or tricks that they have learned and that freeloader can start pulling his or her weight by helping you win FREE Rent for a Year.
  • The Environmentalist
    • Do you wash out and reuse plastic baggies? Switch out energy-guzzling 150W bulbs for CFLs? Know what "1," "3," "5," or "7" means on plastic bottles? If you're the roommate who makes living "green" a priority, this is your category. Show us your efforts to help save the planet and we could be recycling a year of FREE Rent into your bank account (and promising to turn off the lights when we leave a room!).
  • The All-Star Roomie
    • If you have special roommate qualities that don't fit the categories, or don't want to commit to only one area of roommate greatness, use this entry to submit your video. Get crazy, get creative! But don't just tell us why you're the best roommate – show us – and you could win FREE Rent for a Year.

Renters' entries will be judged with equal weight on (1) originality and creativity, (2) overall "wow" factor, (3) persuasive argument and (4) style and production. Judging will take place in three stages.

How to Become Roommate of the Year and Win Free Rent for One Year Plus $10,000 in Cash
All entries will be narrowed down to a field of up to 15 finalists, selected across all categories by a panel of  judges looking for entries that best fit the criteria for Roommate of the Year. Once the finalists are selected, America, along with the panel of qualified judges, will vote for their favorite roomie using the judging criteria to narrow down the competition to five winners. From the five winners, one grand prize winner will be named and receive free rent for one year, plus $10,000 in cash, along with roommate bragging rights. The four runner-up winners will each receive $500.

How to Enter 2013 Roommate Video Shorts Contest
Maybe you can flip a pancake 15 feet in the air, or make a bed in 10 seconds flat. Maybe you're ambidextrous and can dust and vacuum at the same time, or you cook like a five-star chef. Whatever your special skill is that makes you the most remarkable roommate, capture it on video and enter for your chance to win one of four weekly $250 cash prizes. Flip cam, phone cam or shoe cam(!)…anything goes in the Roommate Video Shorts contest. Make your video entry as simple or sensational as you want in :30 second or less and submit it to Beginning the week of April 22, 2013, one winner per week will be decided upon and announced by the third party judging panel and will win a $250 gift card.

Roommate Video Short contest entrants who feel there is still more to prove are encouraged to enter the Roommate of the Year Grand Prize contest.

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