They came up with plans to prevent suicide and tackle climate change. Then on Day 4 of the reality TV challenge came a final twist: they had to figure out how to deal with the results of their experiment.
“I had my heart set on being the reality TV winner,” Mr. O’Neil, 42, told The Washington Times. “And I don’t think I won that contest. In fact, I’m embarrassed of that fact. I think I lost.”
Mr. O’Neil, an accountant who teaches mathematics at Evergreen State College in Washington, was one of 14 men and six women who started a self-funded challenge to create an app that would allow them to control their destiny by voting for their favorite candidate.
The six women and 12 men, in turn, had to vote and tell the person they most wanted to win — and then see how they were voted on by their supporters.
Mr. O’Neil, who was already a follower of Mr. Santorum, initially voted for Mr. Obama. Then he, along with his five male supporters, switched their votes to Mr. Santorum. But then the six women, with Mr. O’Neil and at least three of his male supporters, switched their votes to Mr. O’Neill. On Day 5, the men voted for Mr. O’Neill.
At that point, he says, he was so mad at Mr. O’Neill that he asked his wife, Megan, if he could stop the voting from continuing.
“She said, ‘Sure, you’ve got to do it,’” he said. “But then this is why I’m a husband! I can’t really stop my wife from doing something like that.”
After the final vote on Day 6, Mr. O’Neill says he was convinced that Mr. O’Neill had won. In the video, Mr. O’Neill says one of his supporters changed her vote to Mr. O’Neill after he cast the winning vote.
Mr. O’Neill says most of his supporters were women, but at least one man switched his vote because he supported Mr. O’Neill just as much as one woman who switched hers to Mr. O’Neill.