Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Puzzle Champeens!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of competing in a jigsaw puzzle contest.  Sponsored by Wells Fargo, teams of four race each other to put together a 500 piece puzzle as fast as they can.  We were a team of three in the family division, our fourth laid low by illness.

It all started way too early for our high school competitor, who was quite tired from a sleepover.  But we got there in time to get a smaller table under the skylights, which was what we wanted.  The girls went off to a local Starbucks to bring back hot chocolate (our team name) and sweets for breakfast.

At 9am, the go signal was given and we started working.  The youngest on the horses, the high schooler on the frame, and I took care of sorting and organizing the pieces.  Then I worked on the all white sky.  Ninety minutes later the first team was done.  Luckily for us, it was an all-adult team, so we continued on.  The second and third place adult teams soon followed.

We each had different ways of working the puzzle and we changed sections frequently, but we were humming along in harmony.  We knew we were doing well because the volunteers kept coming by our table to look at our progress.  At 11am we were told that they were extending the contest by an additional half hour, as no family teams had finished.

And, in fact, no family team did finish.  However, our team had the fewest pieces (20) left to be put in when time was called at 11:30.  So Team Hot Chocolate! was declared the winner of the family division!  The girls were extremely excited and our news was immediately tweeted.  While we were waiting for the prizes to be awarded, we put in the last twenty pieces so we could take a photo of our finished puzzle.

The awards were four winter carnival scarves, one for each team member, plus $50 in gift cards for movie theaters and $50 in gift cards to a group of restaurants.  Plus the awesome reward of just being the fastest family puzzlers in town.  Sweet!

An interesting final note:  You might notice in the photo that there is an extra puzzle piece on the table. That is a double of one of the edge pieces, so our puzzle actually had 501 pieces in the bag.  Wells Fargo needs to have their puzzles made of a better quality next year, 'cause Hot Chocolate! is planning on a repeat!

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