'Bringing Up Bates' Family Offfers Fans the Chance to 'Be 20th Bates for a Day' in New Sweepstakes

The large Bates family, focus of the reality television series 'Bringing Up Bates.' The program is scheduled to debut on UP TV on New Year's Day 2015.
The large Bates family, focus of the reality television series "Bringing Up Bates." The program is scheduled to debut on UP TV on New Year's Day 2015. | (Photo: Courtesy of UP)

Gil and Kelly Jo Bates became reality television stars after they showcased their 19 children on the UPtv show "Bringing Up Bates." Now they want to give one fan the chance to join their family by competing in the "Be the 20th Bates for a day" challenge.

While "Bringing Up Bates" has only been on television since January, over 10,000 fans of the show have already signed up to join the competition in which one grand prize winner and a guest wil receive a free trip to Rocky Top, Tennessee, to appear on the set and film with the family.

"Viewers find the family very relatable and this gives them an easy mechanism to share their love and appreciation for the family. It's also an opportunity that's rarely provided in the entertainment space," said Richard Turner, vice president of digital media at UPtv network, to The Christian Post.

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The Bates family is a Christian household consisting of 10 girls and nine boys who Gil supports with his family tree cutting business. The family doesn't spend time watching television and have decided to forego birth control in order to let God decide their fate.

The cast of 'Bringing Up Bates' on UPtv.
The cast of 'Bringing Up Bates' on UPtv. | (Photo: Courtesy UPtv)

Turner, who told CP the sweepstakes is the network's most successful to date, said the idea came about after a Bates family member invited an UP employee and their family to the set of "Bringing Up Bates."

"We thought, how many fans would love this," Turner recalled. "My family would love to do this!"

Thousands have taken to Facebook, Twitter and the UPtv website to apply for a chance to be flown to Tennessee with one guest where they will appear on the show and receive spending money — a package worth $2,750.

After the submission deadline on July 30, 100 finalists will be chosen to submit a video explaining why they should "Be the 20th Bates for a day."

Turner said the winner will be chosen based on their passion for the show, creativity and sincerity. He encouraged fans who have yet to do so to apply.

"This is an opportunity unparalleled in TV," Turner emphasized. "Not only will you get to spend the day with your favorite TV family, but you'll also likely be featured throughout an upcoming episode!"

Gil and his wife, Kelly Jo, previously spoke with CP about battling with the idea of joining the world of reality television. It's something that we prayed about as a family for a while when we were first approached, and it was a goal of ours to be involved in ministry in some way and we felt like this is a way we could encourage other families," Kelly Jo said.

"We know how much we have been encouraged from people coming in and seeing other families going through their struggles, their challenges, maybe getting advice from them," she added. "And so, we thought this would be a way to encourage families not to give up, to put your priorities where they need to be. Our priorities are God, family, and our relationships."

Gil admitted that creating "Bringing Up Bates" was a risky venture. Still, he hoped it could be a blessing for those who watched.

"We never really thought about taking our family public. After praying about it, we said that we did have a lot of stuff to work on, but we wanted to encourage," Gil said. "It was a big risk but we looked at all the people who helped us through the years and we're grateful to hopefully be a blessing to others and give back."

The "Be the 20th Bates for a day" sweepstakes page is a Top 10 destination on UPtv's website. For more information about the sweepstakes, please click here.

"Bringing Up Bates" airs on UPtv at 9 p.m. EDT every Thursday.

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