‘Roommate of the Year’ Proposes to Roommate

by ARLnow.com April 23, 2012 at 10:06 am 4,553 42 Comments

Remember Columbia Pike resident Jesse McLaughlin, the government security analyst who was named the 2011 Apartments.com Roommate of the Year?

Well, it seems that McLaughlin’s good luck in the roommate department didn’t end there. He recently proposed to his roommate — his girlfriend, Lisa — and the pair are now engaged.

McLaughlin said he spent the prize money ($10,000 plus free rent for a year) on an engagement ring.

“I was able to spring for a ring with the money I saved by winning the grand prize and not having to pay rent this past year,” McLaughlin said in a press release. “If there had been any question before, now I am definitely Roommate of the Year, at least in my fiancee’s eyes!”

Apartments.com is now seeking entries for its 2012 Roommate of the Year contest.

  • RK

    Congrats! Should have sprung for a savings account instead, though!

    • JimPB

      RK: You spoke my mind.

    • Skeptical

      No kidding. Or a CD or some good safe stocks. A ring is romantic. A ridiculously extravagant ring is a sign someone’s seen too many chick flicks.

  • drax

    He blew 10k on a stupid ring?


    • Tabs

      Engagement rings are dumb. Men don’t wear them. It’s a total throwback. She’s been “claimed,” but he hasn’t.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Just because you think they’re dumb does not necessarily make them so. Some people like them, and it has nothing to do with being “claimed”. If you choose to interpret a ring that way, that’s fine, but don’t presume to speak for everyone out there.

        • Tabs

          Where did I “propose to speak for everyone out there”?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Had you started your comment with “in my opinion”, or “I think” then I would have thought you were speaking just for yourself. But by making broad statements regarding the dumbness of rings and what they “mean”, it seemed to me that you were stating opinions as if they were facts, and that you were speaking more broadly. If not, then sorry –

          • Tabs

            Prefacing a personal statement with “in my opinion” or “I believe/feel/think” is unnecessary.

            Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I think you meant “I believe that prefacing a personal statement…is unnecessary.”

            Please make appropriate adjustments in future posts. Thank you.

        • esmith69

          I’m an extremely frugal person but still spent what I consider a ridiculous amount of money on an engagement ring for my fiance. Yes, it’s dumb and totally illogical. I just look at it as one of those things that many women out there really seem to require. And no, she’s not materialistic at all, but for some reason was a stickler about this.

          I did initially offer to her to put a bunch of money into an escrow account as a demonstration of my committment–that idea didn’t go over too well.

          • DennisJaffe

            I hope you’re still engaged ;-).

          • drax

            I also spent a ridiculous amount of money on an engagement ring – but alot less than 10K!

    • sunflower

      incurable romantic!

      • sunflower

        this was a reply to drax

      • drax

        You can still buy a really nice ring for less than $10k (or whatever after taxes).

        • sunflower

          look at the third paragraph….he may have spent more than 10k

  • Bender

    Sounds like a bit of a scam here, winning the award fraudulently.

    A cohabiting couple are not really “roommates,” and certainly not for the purpose of determining who is the “best roommate.” Otherwise, that kind of penalizes those who will not sleep with their roommates or otherwise be nicer to them simply because they are in love with each other.

    • JimPB

      Good point.

    • drax

      Well, if it makes you feel better, once they are married they’ll stop sleeping with each other. 😉

      • sunflower

        wouldn’t want to spoil a good relationship by getting married!

    • JohnB2

      Definitely unfair to the normal roomates who were in the competition. Of course a roomate is going to be perfect if he/she has a crush on the other roomate.

    • novasteve

      I said this more crudely, but wasn’t approved. If you are having sex with someone you are living with, you aren’t roommates.

      • DCBuff

        Roommates with benefits?

  • DSS10

    +10K for an engagement ring….. Not smart, not smart at all….

    • CW

      Seriously; what is she going to expect the wedding to be like?

      As the old saying goes, “under-promise, over-deliver”.

    • JamesE

      $3k after taxes

  • Tabs

    When he won the contest, the issue of it being fraudulent came up.

    They definitely should have been disqualified!

  • sunflower

    and how would you phrase the official rules to avoid this?

    • Tabs

      “Those who live together as romantic and/or sexual partners are hereby disqualified from, err, entering the competition.”

      • C. Malone

        How do you guys know they were “dating” before the contest? Maybe they were just roommates and then started dating after he won.

        • novasteve

          “He recently proposed to his roommate — his girlfriend, Lisa — and the pair are now engaged.”

          They make it quite clear that his roommate was his girlfriend. Thus not a roommate at all.

        • drax

          “Dating.” Nice euphemism.

        • Tabs

          They said so when he won.

      • sunflower

        and who gets to police this?

  • Lisa

    Thanks for the article, ArlNow! We are so excited to be getting married in a few months and I couldn’t be more proud to be marrying the Roommate of the Year! Thanks for all your support through the contest and for spotlighting some local talent!

    • Tabs

      “Local talent”? Oh boy…

      • Lisa

        I definitely think so! And seemingly, so did America.

        • Tabs

          As they say in Australia, a legend…in his/her own lunchtime.

    • You’re welcome! Congratulations on the engagement and on representing Arlington so well in the contest.

      • Tabs

        Obviously friends of yours.

  • sunflower

    the local talent the posters are discussing should not be spotlighted!


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