Groupon Guy Does London

Josh Stevens, an accountant from Chicago, Illinois, is currently on the 10-day London leg of his challenge to live successfully for a year, solely off the use and exchange of vouchers.

Stevens, seen here sipping a cup of tea outside Buckingham Palace (though it’s not clear what voucher he used to get that), was set the challenge by Groupon, which has notched up 8m subscribers in the UK since its launch here last year. Groupon offers a daily promotion on a wide range of attractions, goods and services which the company has negotiated with local businesses. The deal, which can save customers up to 70 per cent off the original price, goes ahead if enough people buy.

Stevens began his journey in Chicago last May, when he was chosen from hundreds of applicants to live off Groupon vouchers for a year. His wallet was confiscated, his apartment was let and he was banned from seeing family and friends. Since then he has visited over 40 cities across the US, and has nearly 12,000 followers on Facebook. When he completes the contest next month, he will win $100,000 (£61,000).

In London, the challenge demands that Stevens must participate in a minimum of one voucher activity per day, which could be anything from sky diving to body waxing. He must also complete at least 15 fun ‘dares’. Above all, he must use the power of his online social network and make friends with locals who can help him accomplish these feats.

So far, he has succeeded in bartering a place to stay, haggled for an Oyster Card to get him round the city, and swapped a few coupons for some basic necessities. Vouchers have enabled him to tuck into his first full English breakfast, enjoy a massage at a London beauty spa, and see the comic production of the complete works of Shakespeare.

There’s more information about the challenge here.