For the past several months, Hilton Head Island resident Matt Schneider has participated in New Yorker magazine's weekly cartoon caption contest.
The associate priest at All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head said he doesn't think too much about it -- he spends 10 minutes or so writing a pithy caption for an unfinished cartoon that will run in an upcoming edition of the national magazine.
"It's sort of an exercise for me. Some people do crosswords or Sudoku. I do the New Yorker caption contest," Schneider said.
But last week, he won.
Sitting in his living room early Monday morning, Schneider opened up his laptop, and went to the New Yorker's website. There, he found his published caption.
"I had no idea," Schneider said. "They told me I was going to be a finalist, but never told me I had won."
Each week, thousands submit their captions. Three finalists are selected and their captions are put to a vote online.
The cartoon Schneider captioned, which will be featured in the Nov. 11 issue of the magazine and is already published online, is of two cowboys sitting on top of knight chess pieces. His caption reads, "I suggest that you slowly back up two paces and take one step to the side."
The 339th winner of the contest, Schneider is in good company. Previous winners include film critic Robert Ebert and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Schneider has also submitted to The Week magazine's humor contest for several years. He's won an honorable mention there, and said he will continue submitting to both.
"Being a finalist is a lifetime highlight for me that's up there with getting married, having kids, and being ordained," Schneider wrote, before he won, in a blog post on mbird.com, a religious website called "Mockingbird" where he regularly writes. "So thank you, The New Yorker for this wonderfully ego-boosting honor."