Now in year five, the Bubbas: Key West People’s Choice Awards have taken on an ever-evolving life of their own. And while this Saturday’s awards banquet will reveal 86 winners, showcase a ton of comedy and raise thousands of dollars for charity, little is talked about after the curtains are closed.

Yet for many Bubbas award winners, the honor of being voted best in Key West can be a life-changing event. This year, we interviewed five previous winners and asked:

How has winning a Bubba changed your life?

Bobby Mongell | Owner of Hogfish, Roostica and Geiger Key Marina | winner of most Bubba awards since 2014

“I know it sounds strange,” said Mongelli. “But ever since I won my last Bubba I haven’t had to iron a single shirt. Every piece of clothing comes out of the dryer wrinkle free.”

Bobby’s wife Michelle added, “He doesn’t know how to iron, so this has definitely been a great contribution to our marriage.”

Bascom Grooms | Owner of Bascom Grooms Real Estate | Multiple Bubba Winner for Best Realtor and Best Real Estate Office

“I went home after last year’s Bubbas and immediately noticed that I had free movie channels that I’ve never paid for,” said Grooms. “Who knew how enlightening Cinemax can be after 11:30 p.m.?”

Cara Higgins | Partner at Horan & Higgins | Winner of Best Law Firm

“For some reason, dogs have always sensed an element of danger in me,” said Higgins. “But immediately after my Bubba

victory, dogs just stopped barking at me. I even petted my neighbor’s pug, Mr. Bubbles, the other day. And that dog has hated me for years.”

Bill Lay | Owner of La Trattoria and Virgilio’s | Multiple winner including Best Martini

“I was blown away last year,” said Lay. “The next day after the Bubbas, I received a call from the president. I know he’s controversial and all, but it’s still the president. Hard to believe.”

Bill’s wife Amy later added, “I still don’t think Bill knows it was the president of Rotary who called him the next day. Sure, he tells this story to anyone who will listen, but I’m not going to burst his bubble at this point.”

Mike Hartman | Stock Island Marina Village GM | Best Marina

“I was born bald,” said Hartman. “It was a condition that I just learned to live with. But after my Bubba I woke up with this

incredible head of blonde hair. It was like Christmas. Well, like Christmas with awesome hair.”

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