RIVERVIEW — Brian Kleinschmidt sat in the kitchen of his Riverview home working on an arts and craft project with his daughter when word arrived that his creation may be witnessed by the largest television audience of the year and earn him $1 million.
Yes, a commercial he crafted may end up on air during the Super Bowl broadcast.
"I started screaming," Kleinschmidt said. "My fiancee started screaming from the other room, thinking that our daughter cut herself, and then our daughter started screaming because we were both screaming.
"We then all hugged and shared a laugh followed by a joyful cry."
Tears may have flowed after he received the email, but Kleinschmidt may laugh until he cries if his comical commercial emerges as the winner in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest. Doritos officials deemed Kleinschmidt's "Mis-Spelling Bee" as one of the 10 finalists Monday.
The spot depicts two students (Alex Council and Kara Chung) vying to actually lose the spelling bee because the runnerup receives Doritos. Kevin Kleinschmidt, Brian's father, plays the judge.
Online voting will determine which spot airs as well as who receives $1 million and a job at Universal Studios. It's heady stuff given that Kleinschmidt produced the piece with the help of family and friends and a meager $500 budget.
"I am up against professional filmmakers in the finals, so I'm really proud of what were able to do," Kleinschmidt said. "We are all so excited to take our little commercial shot in Ruskin, Fla., all the way to the Super Bowl."
Kleinschmidt, a former Amazing Race contestant who now operates three Anytime Fitness Centers in Hillsborough County, cherishes the opportunity to change people's lives through exercise. Still, the former University of Central Florida television major has retained an interest in creative and competitive outlets.
Now Kleinschmidt has to hope his effort earns enough worldwide votes to take the prize. Vote at vote4misspelling bee.com through Jan. 28. Learn more about the contest at crashthesuperbowl.doritos.com/finalists.