Registration for 2020

2020 Sign-up Is Not Open Yet! Wait for it…

A lottery date has not be announced to pick the contestants for October 17, 2020 Pun-Off. It will be approximately  5 – 6 weeks before October 17.

What is the lottery process?

The Punniest of Show (POS) and PunSlinger lotteries are independent, so a person may win a contestant spot in either or both lotteries. Registration is at, which sends persons who register a confirmation email. It is NOT a confirmation that you are a contestant, just in the lottery.

The top 32 randomly chosen persons in each lottery will be offered via email a contestant place. The rest will be rank-ordered on a Stand-By List to be offered a position only if selected contestants drop out. You may register to be on the Stand-By List for the 2020 Pun-Off even after the lottery is over.

After the lottery date until the Pun-Off event whenever there are drop-outs, persons next in line on the stand-by list will be notified via email if they are  moved up to the competitors list and will have 24 hours to respond they want to compete. Persons who do not respond will be moved to the bottom of the Stand-By List.

On the day of the Pun-Off, contestants and persons on the Stand-By List should come early to the Registration Table and we will complete your contestant application form.

Pun-Off registration

2019 Registration volunteer Andy Balinsky. Photo by McBride


Why is there a lottery to enter? In 2015, all the contestant slots filled up in less than 10 minutes, so we felt that the first-come, first-served system was unfair to people who couldn’t get to a web connection right at noon. It rewarded those with fast internet connections and flexible work schedules. Now everyone who wishes to be a contestant has 48-hours to register for a chance to compete.

How are the lotteries run? Thirty-two contestants will be chosen by a computer randomization of the submitted lottery names. The Punniest of Show (POS) and PunSlinger lottery are independent, so a person may win a contestant spot in either or both lotteries, depending on what they registered for. Persons who miss the cut-off will be placed in rank order sequence on a Stand-By List and notified by email if contestants slot opens if they are first on the Stand-By List. After the lotteries conclude, you may still register on to be placed on the Stand-By List.

What about that cool Punster of the Year (P.O.T.Y.) dinner the night before? Everybody is invited, even non-contestants! Check out our web page for details.

Is my lottery ticket or contestant spot transferable? NO. If you need to drop out, your place will go to another person on the standby-waiting list.

What if I entered the lottery but I was NOT chosen in the lottery for one of the 32 contestant slots? You are now on the Stand-by List. We almost always have some “no-show” contestants on the day of the Pun-Off. So if you are on the Stand-By List and attend, come early before 11:45 am to check-in at the Pun-Off registration table.

Before You enter

  • Watch some YouTube videos, read our FAQ and Rules and Bite Your Tongue so you know jest what the Annual Pun-Off World Championship is all about. Check your calendar and make work and travel plans. Are you ready for this?
  • Clean Up Your Act to be “family friendly.” To wit “…double entendre and risqué references will usually go over the heads of the innocent while being appreciated by the mature, but we do hope that all contestants will think twice about deliberately including overt sexual references or other adult themes in their prepared material. We feel a responsibility to our audience, many of whom are young and impressionable, to present a program that is not intentionally offensive in its nature. We are especially eager to see that our event is perceived as a “family friendly” one. Everyone will be on the “honor system” in this matter.”
  • Be advised that the Pun-Off is a free, public, entertainment event so you will be photographed and your stage performance recorded and distributed for posterity, and you consent to this recording and distribution.
  • Punniest of Show(POS)  accepts team entries, but please only enter the “captain’s” name.
  • POS and PunSlingers are independent from each other, so you may join EITHER one or BOTH!

In summary

  1. The registration web site will be open at noon CDT on the lottery date, and will remain open for 48 hours.
  2. The 43rd Annual Pun-Off registration page will be on, for which you will need to create a free account. It is not necessary to create an account prior to the registration dat, but you are welcome to do so.
  3. Please double check the accuracy of your registration information so that we may contact you.
  4. Eventbrite will send you an email confirmation that your entry has been accepted. This will NOT be a confirmation that you will be in the event; that email will come in several days after we have run the lottery.
  5. We will stop accepting lottery registrations at noon CDT the 3rd day after the opening day. but you may still register to be on the stand-by list.
  6. In several days, you should receive an email stating that you are either officially in the competition or on the stand-by list.
  7. Until the day of the event, you will be notified via email if you have been moved from the stand-by list to the competitors list. You will have 24 hours to respond that you plan to compete. If you do not respond, you will be moved back to the bottom of the stand-by list. 
  8. On the day of the Pun-Off, come before 11:45 AM to the registration table. 


One response to “Registration for 2020

  1. Date for the 2015 Pun-Off is Saturday, May 9th. Contestant registration traditionally opens at noon (central time) on April 1st and all positions usually fill up very rapidly. Watch this site for occasional updates and details. You may also wish to visit the Pun-Off page on FaceBook where many contestants and organizers often conjugate and collaborate.

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