The Power of User Generated Content: Puddle Jump Gone Wrong

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Colin Rudicil had no idea when he filmed a friendly bet, it would become an internet sensation. Right before the video starts, Colin, his friend Lakeem, and a few of his other high school buddies were walking to their local Family Dollar store. As they walked through the parking lot, the friends came upon a puddle. Someone says,

“We should get Lakeem to jump into that.”

The friends knew Lakeem would not jump into a puddle for free, so they decided the bet would be for Lakeem to jump into the puddle for a $1. After Lakeem accepts, you can see him raise his pant legs to avoid getting them wet and then he jumps. To everyone’s surprise, Lakeem did not jump into just any puddle. Lakeem jumped into a collapsed manhole that was about seven feet deep. It was so deep that Lakeem was completely submerged and one of his friends had to help him out of the hole.

“I thought we’d all get a nice laugh over him, you know, getting ankle deep in this puddle with his new shoes, but nope, nope; it was his whole body.”


After the video, Colin and his friends went into the Family Dollar to let them know they had a huge hole in their parking lot. The group bought their snacks and headed over to another friend’s house. Lakeem, who was soaking wet, was angry and thought his friends set him up. He got a ride home from a neighbour who had a flatbed truck to try and dry off. Once home, Colin and his friends watched back their video. They erupted in laughter and Colin knew he had to upload it to YouTube. By that next Monday, everyone at school had seen the video and were even asking Colin if he had seen it. 

“I had teachers coming up to me asking ‘Yo, did you see Lakeem jump in this?”

Eventually, everyone was talking about the video. Colin and his friends felt like local celebrities and couldn’t believe the number of people who had seen the video. To date, the “Puddle Jump Gone Wrong” has over 3 million views and has been copied over 620 times. Colin’s video has been all over, including Right This MinuteThe Blaze, and NY Daily News. He had never heard of a viral video company and the flood of calls came in immediately.

Colin says it feels weird to know he has a viral video and millions of people have seen a video he filmed. He says he felt a like a celebrity in his hometown and people were talking about it everywhere. Colin also says his parents were in disbelief and they thought the video was hilarious, but couldn’t believe it was getting as many views as it was. 

“It put Elkhart on the map, I guess, for a few weeks. I was seeing it on the news, the local news and CNN International. It was just wild… really crazy.”  

Colin says the guys are all spread out now and are doing everything from aspiring to be DJs to joining the Marines, and Colin is in Aviation school to become a pilot. He says he is following in his father’s footsteps and pursuing his dreams of flying planes, but he does have plans to get back into YouTube and gaming. 


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