Don’t Eat That Weirdly Shaped Cheeto! It Could Be Worth $60,000

The TPH crew on the hunt

Cheetos are one of life’s guiltiest (and greatest) pleasures.

I’ve never seen any other “cheese” that leaves such a telltale residue on your fingers, but let’s not think about that…

Instead, let’s focus on what matters: the crunchy, neon goodness — and the fact an oddly shaped Cheeto could win you $60,000.

That’s right: Find a Cheeto that looks like something else — an animal, a famous person, an object, etc. — and you could win some serious cash.

Here are all the chee-tails.

How to Win $50,000 for Finding Unique Cheetos

Cheetos is on the hunt for uniquely shaped Cheetos, and it’s willing to pay for them.

If you peruse Cheetos’ Community Gallery, you’ll see the other Cheetos you’re up against. There are kissing Cheetos, a sorry excuse for a sea monster and a surprisingly convincing squirrel.  

You can enter up to 50 Cheetos per day, and every Monday from now until August 15, a panel of judges will select one finalist.

Each finalist will win $10,000, and the four with the highest cumulative scores will advance to the voting round.

Public voting will take place between August 24 and 31; the Cheeto with the most votes will win the $50,000 grand prize!

That means your weird Cheeto could be your ticket to winning a total of $60,000.

According to the contest’s official rules, submissions are judged on:

  • Visual interest (33%): “How unique is your Cheetos snack and how well does it match your description”?
  • Buzzworthiness (34%): “How buzz-worthy is your Cheetos snack, title and description”?
  • Creativity (33%): “How creative is your title and description of the Cheetos snack”?

Think you may have found a winning Cheeto? First, resist the urge to eat it.

Second, follow these instructions:  

  1. Take a photo of your Cheeto; the site suggests using a white background and no flash.
  1. Place your Cheeto in a plastic bag for safekeeping. If you win, you’ll be asked to “authenticate” it.
  1. Create a profile on the Cheetos website.
  1. Upload your Cheeto’s photo, then add a creative (and unique!) title and description.
  1. Select one of the following categories: activities, animals, fantasy, history, music, science, sports, transportation or other.
  1. Click “Submit.” If your Cheeto wins, you’ll be notified by phone, email or mail.

No telling yet if there’s an award for the orangiest fingers… but at least you’ll enjoy yourself while searching for the winning Cheeto!

Your Turn: What’s the weirdest-shaped Cheeto you’ve ever seen?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.