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momondo announces DNA Journey Competition winner, Manuel Martínez

In April 2016, the travel site momondo invited 67 people to take a journey based on their DNA. They were offered to take a DNA test and to have their experiences recorded and 16 of them were portrayed in the film “momondo – The DNA Journey”.

As part of this campaign, momondo launched a competition, giving people from all over the world the chance to take part in the journey and win one of 500 DNA kits.  

Worldwide, a total of 170,378 people joined in and shared how they would open the world through travelling.  

Following this, 500 of these people won a DNA kit and went on to discover their heritage as revealed through their own spit sample. By filming themselves reading their DNA results, they then entered themselves into momondo’s competition to win their own DNA journey.  

The first prize winner earns a journey to all the countries found in their own DNA, and second prizes will send 17 local winners to one country found in their DNA.    

“Each of our participants had an extraordinary story to tell. But in the end, Manuel Martínez stood out with his self-reflective and moving video. He sees the world with open eyes, and we believe that he is the right person to carry our message with him on his journey. We are happy to announce Manuel as our global winner of The DNA Journey competition”, says Lasse Skole Hansen, spokesperson for momondo.  

“I feel so connected to the world”, said global winner Manuel, after opening his DNA results live on camera.  

Born and raised in Mexico, his surname always revealed his European roots and left him wondering about his heritage. Still, the mechanical engineering student says he would have never dreamt of finding out that he is from all over the world and has ancestors of Asian, African, Southern, Eastern and Northern European as well as Native American decent.  

“After I sent in my DNA test, I started asking my family about my heritage. I discovered that my background is much more diverse than I originally thought. My father’s ancestors came from a small town in Northern Italy. My mother shares her maiden name with a tiny village in Portugal. It would be interesting to start my journey in these two cities, get to know the culture and find out how the locals live there today. But I am also very excited about travelling to Eastern Europe as well as Africa and Asia!”  

When he submitted his video, Manuel was living in Germany, but by the time he won The DNA Journey competition, he had already moved on to Greece.  

“I am a travel addict. My parents took me on many holidays when I was little, so I fell in love with travelling when I was a kid. From my experience it is the people you meet on your trip that make you remember a place. I always felt the urge to make a difference in this life and would like to be a messenger between people from different cultures,” states Manuel.

A further second prize winner from Burley-in Wharfedale, Yorkshire, England was Liz Valentine. An assistant manager of a picture framing shop, Liz won 1000 Euros in momondo’s competition, to travel to Spain – a country in her own ancestral DNA.

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