How one radio station’s gimmicky competition turned deadly – this is the story of KDND’s Hold Your Wee for a Wii contest.
In 2007, Nintendo Wii’s were hard to get. The gaming console was so popular that the masses lined up to get their hands on one. Just after the holidays were over, one radio station decided to hold a contest and give away a brand-new console as the prize. Disappointed parents who couldn’t purchase one before the holidays ended had another chance. It seemed like California station KDND had come up with a winning idea. No one knew the dark turn the contest would take; soon enough, one contestant died.
In theory, the contest was simple, comical fun. Drink a lot of water and hold your pee as long as possible; the person who holds out the longest wins the Nintendo Wii console. The whole premise is in the title: Hold Your Wee for a Wii.
On January 12, 2007, several contestants gathered, including Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old mother of three. They gathered in a room where they were regularly supplied with 8 ounces of water; if a contestant could not finish the water in a timely manner or spit up the water, they were eliminated. Radio hosts checked in on the contestants as the contest continued. It all seemed like fun, although increasingly uncomfortable for the contestants.
As time passed, knowledgeable callers voiced concerns over the contestants drinking too much water. To that, the Hold Your Wee for a Wii radio hosts explained that the contestants had signed waivers and the station was not liable. (I’m hoping there was also a concern for the contestant’s health, but maybe the hosts only addressed the legality. If so, that’s disappointing.) Unfortunately, their concerns were ignored, and a mother trying to win a Wii for her three kids died instead.
As the contest continued, contestants dwindled, and even Jennifer Strange couldn’t take it anymore. It is said that she looked pregnant from the amount of water she had consumed during the contest. She happily accepted her consolation prize (concert tickets) and headed home. No one knew that her brain began to swell to a life-threatening degree due to drinking too much water (2 gallons). She was dead only hours after leaving the competition.
Find out more about the aftermath, as well as other vital details about the contest Hold Your Wee for a Wii, in the video below: