Competition Blog

How to Win a Staring Contest

Written by: Kompster

We know you’ve been there.  You lock eyes with a complete stranger and for some reason you just can’t look away.  Locking eyes is a direct assault and the first person to look away is the wimp.  Most of the time these uncomfortable bouts are harmless but occasionally they end up with heated words and even fists.  We’re not condoning this sort of activity and would not recommend partaking in these silly tests of courage.  Believe it or not though, there are planned and organized staring contests held in a more friendly vein.

A staring contest also called a blinking contest, is a game (or sometimes a duel) in which two people stare into each other’s eyes and attempt to maintain eye contact for a longer period than their opponent. The game ends when one participant blinks or looks away.  At the longest staring contest on record,  Steven “Stare Master” Stagg finally blinked and bowed his head to Fergal “Eyesore” Fleming after 40 minutes and 59 seconds of sweat and determination in “So You Think You Can Stare” – where neither man blinked nor looked away for over 2/3 of an hour.

The “So You Think You Can Stare” competition was held in the city of Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory and attracted 45 people for stare-offs.  The contest was a bid to raise money for Cassie Brown and her son Hamish Doyle, who needed a specially-fit car for his wheelchair.  Jo Dodd, owner of Darwin’s Viva La Body, organized the fundraiser in 2011.  Four judges refereed the event and contestants set the staring contest record, which received world wide press.  A record, that to our knowledge, still stands.

So if you are looking for unique competition as a fundraiser, why not host your own staring competition.  You can even create a free page for it here on Kompster to promote it.

Here are 5 tips on how to win a staring contest

Moisten your eyes before you begin.  Close your eyes tightly and breath with a nice long blink a few minutes before the contest begins. Yawning can help produce tears, and some people use eye drops if its allowed.

Meditate and Zone Out.  Get your body in a comfortable position and don’t focus too hard on the person your facing off against, let your mind wander into a state of deep meditation, just don’t go so deep that you forget to keep your eyes open.

Squint when your eyes start to hurt. Squinting helps bring some moisture back to your eyes by limiting the amount of surface area exposed to the air and will prolong the time you can go without blinking.

Make your opponent laugh.  Some contests prohibit this but if not, try playing mind tricks, making goofy faces and gestures to fool your opponent into looking away.  If they fall for it, you will come out victorious.

Practice.  Great actors practice their roles in the mirror, and great staring contestants should do the same.  With a mirror you will also be able to see first hand what your opponent will see and plan your tricks.

Good luck.  We wish you the best in your starting endeavors.  Tell us about your staring contest experiences.


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