KEY WEST, Florida Keys - A Massachusetts restaurateur won a Facebook-based competition Monday seeking the man who most looks like Ernest Hemingway.
Richard Costello, 71, of Chatham beat 86 other entrants in the Virtual "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest staged on the Florida Keys tourism council's Facebook page.
He wins a trip to Key West to compete in a preliminary round of the live Papa Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. The competition is to take place at Sloppy Joe's Bar during the island's July 17-22 Hemingway Days festival.
Last week, Facebook users voted for their top choices after entries closed June 22.
The results were announced after a panel of previous look-alike winners including Chris Storm, president of the Hemingway Look-Alike Society, ranked Costello first from among 10 finalists.
After Costello decided to grow his beard out in January, his white whiskers drew notable remarks from friends about his likeness to Hemingway.
I love [Hemingway's] wildness for journalism, his life lessons he spoke for people's rights, and spoke the truth, said Costello.
In addition to an opening bout with fellow aspiring "Ernests on either Thursday, July 19, or Friday, July 20, the prize includes air travel, accommodations for two at the Cypress House, a day of fishing during the Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament and two Key West attractions passes.
The annual Hemingway Days celebration commemorates the author's literary prowess and exuberant lifestyle during his decade-long residence in 1930s Key West. Other festival highlights include an awards ceremony that caps the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and a tongue-in-cheek "Running of the Bulls."
Event information: www.sloppyjoes.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest