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Neknominate, also known as Neck and Nominate in the United Kingdom, is a drinking game in which participants record themselves partaking in a physically extreme activity after chugging alcoholic beverages and challenge others to outdrink them in the identical fashion.
According to the British tabloid The Tab, the “neck and nominate” game existed in Cambridge, England as far back as 2008. On November 29th, 2012, YouTuber Will Green uploaded a video titled “Neck and Nominate,” in which a young man drinks a beer in front of a woman’s townhouse door before looking at the camera and calling out a nomination (shown below).
On January 18th, 2013, the StaffsMensFootball YouTube channel uploaded a video titled “Demps Neck and Nominate”, in which a student wearing briefs lays in the snow on a college campus and drinks a beer before nominating another student (video is no longer available). On January 24th, YouTuber Tom Jeffery uploaded a video titled “TJ Neck & Nominate”, in which a man wearing swim briefs standing inside a hole in the ground pours milk over his head and proceeds to chug down a glass of beer before nominating someone named “Spartacus” to the challenge. (shown below, right).
On January 2nd, 2014, a Facebook page titled “Neknominate” was launched to highlight various instances of “neck and nominate” challenges, garnering upwards of 19,000 likes within the first month. On January 5th, the @NekNominate Twitter feed was created with the same purpose. On January 7th, another Facebook page titled “The Best Neknominate Videos” was launched, which soon became the unofficial hub page for Neknominations after accumulating nearly 200,000 likes in the next three weeks. On the same day, YouTuber ProblemedGamer uploaded a segment from the Australian television news program A Current Affair reporting on the neknominate drinking game (shown below).
On January 11th, Urban Dictionary user redthehat submitted an entry for “neknominate,” describing the game as the “mating ritual of Aussie Bogans.” On the following day, the single topic blog BestNeknominations was launched. On January 15th, The Daily Mail published an article about the trend. On January 16th, YouTuber Hamudi uploaded a video titled “Ronald McDonald’s Extreme Neknominate,” in which a man dressed in a clown costume drinks copious amounts of alcohol in combination with other drugs (shown below).
As of late January 2014, a search query for “neknominate” on YouTube yielded more than 4,300 video results, however, by mid-February, a bulk of video uploads had been removed from the site for violating the terms of service.
On January 27th, 2014, Canadian production company Andy Media uploaded a YouTube video titled “RAKnomination: Pizza Delivery to the Homeless During Extreme Cold Alert,” in which they deliver free pizza and warm drinks to the homeless during an extreme cold weather alert in Toronto.
On February 3rd, two Facebook pages Kindness Nomination and "RAKnomination were created to jump start #RAKnomination, a spin-off game in which people would film themselves while carrying out a random act of kindness, share the video online and nominate another person in their social network to do the same within 24 hours. In just little over three weeks, the Facebook pages accumulated nearly 30,000 likes in aggregate.
Also on February 3rd, British nursing student Michelle Kent launched a “cleavage selfie” photo fad campaign for to raise money for breast cancer charities under the names “Bangers to Cancer” and “NipNominate.” the latter being a parody of the drinking game. The photo fad was picked up by several U.K. news outlets, with some reports claiming that thousands of women have shared cleavage photos online.
On February 19th, yet another parody of the drinking game was born with the hashtag #Nicnominate on Twitter. In the game, each participant is asked to post a picture of Nicolas Cage, along with a one-word description of his mood and the names of two nominees who would carry on the deed.
In February 2014, the drinking game was linked to a number of alcohol poisoning deaths across Ireland and the United Kingdom. Following the string of deaths linked to Neknominate, lawyers suggested that anyone who dares a friend to participate in the game could be charged with manslaughter if the stunt results in death.
- On February 1st, 20-year-old Irish club DJ Ross Cummins (shown below, far left) was found dead at his home after allegedly participating in Neknomination at a friend’s house on the night before.
- On February 6th, 19-year-old Irish hurling player Jonny Byrne  drowned to death after chugging down a pint and jumping into the River Barrow in Carlow.
- On February 9th, 20-year-old British hospitality worker Isaac Richardson (below, center-left) was found dead at the hostel he worked at after binge-drinking a mixture of whiskey and vodka as part of the game.
- That same day, 29-year-old Welsh man Stephen Brookes (below, center-right) from Cardiff was found dead after he was filmed on camera downing a pint of vodka on the night before.
- On February 10th, 20-year-old British man Bradley Eames (below, far right) from Nottingham was found dead at his home after playing the game, despite his friends’ Facebook pleas for him to stop.