Given that we live in the age of 24 hour sports news coverage, social media and we're almost always online, avoiding the result of a huge sporting event is pretty difficult to do.
For something as huge as the Super Bowl which took place on February 1st and drew the biggest viewing figures ever in the US (over 114 million people), you would think that it would be downright impossible.
However, there are (or more accurately were) 112 people doing their very best to avoid the result of the game in a bizarre competition that they're referring to as The Last Man in America to Know Who Won the Super Bowl, or just Last Man.
The idea of the game started back in 2008, with people deliberately trying to avoid learning the score ("The Knowledge") for as long as possible, and as is clearly defined in the FAQ on the official game's site, it's not a contest between those who are left to see who can make it to the end, but rather a challenge against yourself to see how long you can go without knowing. It's more of a community, with all the "runners" cheering each other on.
Since the game only went mainstream after the event (a post in The New Yorker brought it to popular attention) there were only 112 people in this year's edition, which has been whittled down to a mere seven for one reason or another. You can follow along with people talking about the contest via the hashtag #LastMan, where people who have been eliminated tend to post about their "cause of death".
Since the game has been in existence for a while, there are some records to contend with, including the all-time record holder J. Scott Fitzwater, "a #LastMan Hall of Famer whose record spans multiple years", while the shortest ever challenge was a mere eight seconds, a feat which belongs to one Rhett Butler, whose wife shouted about the result as soon as the game finished. Fitzwater was knocked out of this year's edition recently enough, but as one Twitter user pointed out, he chose the wrong program to watch if he was trying to avoid the result.
@jscottfitzwater "Last Week Tonight" was a dangerous selection, given the name alone. My condolences for your loss.
— Kenny Ocker (@KennyOcker) February 13, 2015
So far there are seven people still going, only two of whom use social media, according to an account that's keeping an eye on the results to date, and even has a spreadsheet about it.
We're down to 7 runners, but only 2 are tweeting on a somewhat regular basis. #Lastman
— Last Man 2015 (@findthelastman) February 13, 2015
Given all the attention that this year's game has garnered, the competition may well be a bit more fierce next year, but we'll hopefully have a result on who this year's #LastMan is at some stage before then. Or not, which would be even more impressive.