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Kansas City Man Predicts ESurance Super Bowl Commercial Winner Before Announcement

Feb 08, 2014 | Updated Apr 10, 2014

Esurance, a car insurance provider, stole the thunder of every media giant that ponied up $4 million for a :30 second spot in this year's Super Bowl by running a brilliant campaign around Twitter. Esurance gave away $1.5 million to a single Twitter user who tweeted the hashtag #EsuranceSave30 between 4 p.m. ET Sunday, February 2nd, and 4 a.m. ET Tuesday, February 4th. In the process they nearly broke Twitter and stole the spotlight from the poor souls who spent $4 million to buy a Super Bowl ad. Esurance spokesman Danny Miller said the contest had received 2 million entries in less than 24 hours.

John Intrater was announced as the winner of the $1.5 million contest live on the Jimmy Kimmel show on February 5th.

But now, Esurance has had their thunder stolen by a man who predicted that John Intrater would be the winner of the contest a full 36 hours BEFORE it was announced on Kimmel's show.

Below is the prediction that JohnnyOptimist "Mark" made accurately by calling that John Intrater would win the $1.5 million prize on Knoda, a social prediction platform available on iPhone.

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The odds of predicting the winner? Approximately 3,000,000 to 1. Yes, that's right...3 MILLION to 1. JohnnyOptimist made his prediction at 10:35 am CT on Tuesday, February 4th. So how in the world is it possible that JohnnyOptimist was able to predict this? Did he have or get inside info? Is he truly a psychic? The answer is none of the above.

Turns out that JohnnyOptimist is Mark Hellevang, a Kansas City native. Below is what he had to say about his incredible prediction.

I was following the #EsuranceSave30 contest just to see how people were doing Super Bowl marketing campaigns. I was pretty intrigued by it and wanted to see if I could figure out the winner in advance. The contest ended Tuesday morning. That morning, when I woke up, I checked the Esurance Twitter account and noticed they had followed 10 new people that morning. Five of those were verified accounts so I dismissed them. The other five included the winner, John Intrater, and four others. The other four had entered thousands of times whereas John had only entered once. So I suspected John was the winner. John then tweeted out that he had gotten an email from a company called Prizelogic. He immediately deleted the tweet and then went radio silent. So at that moment, I felt like he was probably the winner. I just happened to be on Twitter for a few minutes when he made that tweet and then deleted it. Had I not been, I might not have known.

So why did Hellevang make the prediction on the tech app Knoda? The real reason was because his friends aren't always interested in what he says, but others in this community might be. He said, "I keep coming up with random predictions. Some of the predictions I come up with aren't necessarily interesting to my closest friends, but I can put them on Knoda and there's going to be people interested. Obviously for this one, I was the only one who thought it would happen. Everyone who voted on my prediction on Knoda, disagreed with me."

In this day and age, there are many creative ways for a brand to take the spotlight. Esurance worked up a brilliant campaign during the Super Bowl. Mark's prediction is now etched in the history books and he has earned bragging rights for life. However, I'm sure Esurance surely didn't expect a guy from Kansas City to shine the spotlight on him.