Burlington, Wis. — The annual World Champion Liar contest is soliciting entries from anyone who isn't a politician.
"They are considered professionals," says John Soeth, president of the Burlington Liar's Club, which has the event. "The contest is for amateurs only."
Although the contest has attracted thousands of lies, these days it typically draws only a few hundred entries.
Soeth says the number is especially low during election years. "We don't get as many lies because they're all used up."
There are rules: No lies about people. "Tall tales aren't meant to be believed and they don't hurt anyone," Soeth says.
No fee is required, but an entrant can submit $1 to become an honorary member. Soeth said he gets letters all the time saying that dollars are enclosed, but they're really lying.
Last year's winner was Gordon Zwicky, 72, of Oshkosh, who out-fibbed 299 other entries from 31 states and Canada.
Zwicky said he and his wife won the lottery and decided to drive to Florida, and a neighbor told them they would be fine as long as they paid attention to the road signs.
Thirty miles from home they saw a sign reading "Clean Restrooms Ahead."
By the time they reached Florida two months later they had cleaned 450 restrooms using 267 rolls of paper towels, three cases of bowl cleaner and 86 bottles of Windex.
They were so tired, he said, that they immediately returned home.