Your Welding Story Could be Worth $5,000 Contest

Your Welding Story Could Be Worth $5,000

Enter the “So There I Was ...” Contest!

All the best welding stories start with “So there I was ...” Tell your welding story in the Miller “So There I Was …” Contest and you could win $5,000 worth of Miller® products and/or accessories!

Your story can be funny, a first-time welding experience, a time when you flexed your welding skills or just a favorite welding tale — if it gets the most votes, you’ll win the grand prize! Great runner-up prizes too: A new Digital Elite™ Series Gear Box™ helmet for the next three highest-voted stories.

This contest ended March 8th, 2021.  Thank you to all who participated! 


Contest Winners

1st Place - Christopher (6,077 Votes)

"So there I was in my kitchen in late 2018. I received a phone call from my good friend Barbara encouraging me to enter an upcoming lighting design competition. I laughed. Years of hard work, poor timing, sculpting for days straight with literally minutes of sleep to meet deadlines, cut throat art industry schemers and subsequent health issues were all I needed to walk away. All of this while working a ten hour "nine to five" job. Despite my love of sculpting, I had reached my breaking point. It wasn't worth it. It was no longer a labor of love. I went all out and physically burned out. I tried to make it in the big leagues and failed. I had since found my niche welding rails and that would be it for me. I changed the subject and began to tell Barbara about my new found love Roxana, and how I was sure that I had met "the one." Barbara's charm persisted and she knowingly appealed to my deeply competitive nature. The competition included some serious artists and design firms and Barbara knew this would be the persuasion required to change my mind. By the end of our 45 minute call we struck a deal. I would come out of "retirement" and do one last sculpture. I would do it only to impress Roxana and afterwards, Barbara would never mention the word art to me again. I went to work. I read the rules and entered the competition. The one prerequisite for the show was the use of fluorescent light bulbs. I was intrigued and experimented on my kitchen table late one night with glow sticks from a party supply store. I was fascinated with blue light and its meditative qualities. I played with multiple design concepts and saw potential for a lighted helix. I employed aluminum straps with double sided tape to my scale model and "Helix" was born. I was now fueled with motivation. In the weeks that followed I was hard at work in my studio with my trusty Millermatic 210 and countless tools and gauges. With great intensity, hours were spent shaping and forming tubes into the Helix loops and Roxana was heroic. Saturday evenings were the highlight of the build as Roxana would bring dinner and we would eat, weld, and laugh while enjoying our own personal soundtrack. I was content in my decision to build Helix as it created an unbreakable bond between Roxana and I. For the first time in as long as I can remember, the labor of love had returned and I crafted in peace. Helix took shape and looked better than I could have ever imagined. Helix stood 6 feet in height, 16 feet long and 8 feet wide with 75 T12 bulbs in perfect harmony. The final exhibition would be held in the competition sponsor's Brooklyn, New York lighting manufacturing plant. I would have five days to deliver, setup and finalize the installation. The onsite crew was amazing and went far beyond any and every expectation I had. The support was world class to say the least. As the other designs and sculptures arrived, I was as impressed as I was excited. Win or lose, it would be against the very best and I took great pride in being the fiercely independent artist/ underdog. Challenges came about and with less than 2 days to the show, I had to make some wiring changes. The crew went full in and we made up a considerable amount of time. On the eve of the opening the sponsor agreed to lock me into the factory overnight allowing for final preparation time. It was a 27 hour grind and we nailed it. In the early morning hours, the Beastie Boy's No Sleep till Brooklyn fittingly came over the radio. At 6am Friday on the morning of the show, I rushed home to sleep and return for that evening's opening. Friday night was magical. The show was fantastic red carpet and all. Despite complete exhaustion, we made it. Helix was described as a "show stopper" and I wasn't going to argue that. The winner would be announced at the following day's exhibit and street fair. Helix had given me everything I needed to walk away on top of the world and I was happy to go home with that alone. On Saturday I arrived well rested and soon learned that Helix had unanimously won the competition! Surrounded by my closest friends, we celebrated (in a state of shock) and Barbara was there with her trademark "I told you so" smile. Saturday night was a blur as we celebrated into Sunday morning. On Monday I went engagement ring shopping. Since Helix's triumph and at the "request" of my now wife Roxana, my work has been victorious in numerous design competitions spawning both public and private commissions. I've experienced a creative renaissance with no plans on stopping. I "blame" Barbara."

2nd Place - Taylor        (5,235 Votes)

"So there I was 15 years old and no idea where I was going in life. My family said I should probably take the local BOCES up on their school tour to see if any classes they offered interest me. So there I was at a school tour of the local BOCES. I thought I wanted something in the automotive industry - so I started there. During the tour I passed along the welding class and was drawn to the lights and the sparks. I decided to leave the tour and stay in the welding class for the duration of the tour. As soon as the day was over I knew where I wanted to go. The September of my 11th grade year I was the only female in my welding class. That year I passed my 3g on 1 inch plate. My senior year I took my 4g and 6g pipe(shown in pic). I also was a parliamentarian for SKILLS USA and competed in the local competition as the only female and won 1st place on Long Island. I then competed in the SKILLS USA state competition, but unfortunately did not place top 3. After BOCES I worked at a couple different welding jobs until I decided to go back to my roots and teach welding at BOCES. Today I continue to teach students who like me were lost before they were introduced to the art of welding."

3rd Place - Zac            (3,859 Votes)

"So there I was at age 5 wanting to be like my Dad, here I am now making that dream come true. It all started as I helped my Dad weld the ramps for a trailer. Throughout the years, he has taught me a lot. Now as a Junior in high school at ACCTC, I'm working on 6G pipe. I hope to continue to gain skills in the welding field and work toward a successful career. A huge thank you to my Dad and my high school teacher, Mr. Gillum."

4th Place - Josh             (501 Votes)

"So there I was welding clips on some beams in a small town family run shop and in walks the boss and says we got some one to help you do that I said great grab your gear and will get started so he come back from the break room with his shiny new helmet but says he has experience who am I to judge so I say go grab a set of horse's from out back like a flash he was gone I think to my self finally someone with some enthusiasm so I weld a clip or two and wonder where he is, maybe we got a smoker. I weld one more clip raise my hood and behold he has returned but empty handed I ask what happened he looked me dead in the eyes and said and I quote you no word of a lie "I COULDN'T FIND THE HORSES BECAUSE I COULDN'T FIND THE STABELS" I looked at him and said well you better tell the boss they all ran away I never laughed so hard in my life."

Funny Stories

Skilled Stories

First-Time Stories

Favorite Stories

Official Rules

Contest runs February 8, 2021, through March 8, 2021. Open only to legal residents of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec) at least 18 years or older. ARV of all prizes is $6,320 USD/$8,097.44 CAD. Sponsor: Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, 1635 W. Spencer St., P.O. Box 1079, Appleton, WI 54912-1079, USA. Full Official Rules available at