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You Could Win $55K For Finding Unusually Shaped Cheetos

If you've ever taken the time to inspect individual Cheetos in your cheese-dusted fingers before furiously popping another in your mouth, you know those flavor-packed gobs of crunchy puffed corn look downright weird up close. But have you ever spotted one that resembles a flamingo? Or a mullet? If so, you may have a chance at winning up to $55,000 from Frito-Lay, which just opened a brand new museum in NYC dedicated to remarkable and unusually shaped Cheetos specimens to kick off its search for even more.

Courtesy of Frito-Lay

The new museum, which is located inside the Ripley's Believe It or Not! space in New York's Times Square, is curated with a collection of exceptionally shaped Cheetos submitted by the public. The exhibit, which features a staggering 128,900 individual Cheetos of all varieties, is presented in an immersive mirror-lined "infinity room." On display, you'll find a Cheeto that resembles a cat stuck in a tree, a girl rollerblading, a trotting turkey, a swimmer, and a pineapple (which frankly looks more like a human heart, but we'll let it slide).

Courtesy of Frito-Lay

Most importantly, the museum opening coincides with the kickoff of Frito-Lay's second annual search for weirdly shaped Cheetos. Last year's hunt was quite the success, so the company is opening up another call for submissions to add to their collection, and offering cold hard cash to those whose picks are voted to be the best. 

To enter the contest, you'll need to snap a photo of a one-of-a-kind Cheeto (only Cheesy or Flamin' Hot crunchy varieties are eligible this time) along with a creative description of its shape and resemblance, to CheetosMuseum.com. Alternately, you can submit it via Twitter or Instagram using #CheetosMuseum #Contest.

Courtesy of Frito-Lay

Every week through August 6th two winners will be announced -- one Cheesy and one Flamin' Hot -- and each "owner" will receive a $5,000 prize. Then in August, all of the winners will be put to a public vote, and the person with the Cheeto that earns the most votes will score an additional $50,000.

You can submit as many times as you want, so keep your fingers cheese-dusted and your eyes peeled.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.