Snoring Ecuadoran Wins Spain’s Siesta Contest

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A doctor checks as people sleep a siesta during the first Siesta Championship in Madrid, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010.

AP Photo/Paul White

It’s not often a snoring habit wins you praise in life –never mind cash. But in a crowded mall in Madrid Sunday, a snoring Ecuadoran took first prize in Spain’s first ever Siesta contest.  

The 62 year-old unemployed security worker Pedro Soria Lopez won $1400 for his 17 minute snooze, reports Sky News.  Even though a runner-up slept for 18 minutes, Lopez beat him due to his impressive 70-decibel snores.  (See why people snore in the first place.)

The 360 contestants were organized into groups of five and were given 20 minutes to lie down on couches and sleep for as long as possible.  Each contestant was timed by a doctor with a pulse-measuring device to determine how long they spent snoozing.  Meanwhile, a judge awarded points for snoring, odd sleeping positions and striking pajamas.

As Newsfeed previously mentioned, the nine-day snoozathon had been organized as a way to champion the Spanish siesta.  The tradition of napping after lunch is dying out as longer working hours restrict Spaniards from taking siestas, but interest is international. Two Americans studying in Madrid read about the contest online and won 2nd and 3rd place in their individual round.  (Via Sky News)