President Obama and his daughters showed up unannounced at Breakout Waikiki, a live action escape room site, during their Hawaii vacation — one year after the attraction tweeted at POTUS challenging him to try his hand at the game.
"To be totally honest, we didn't know that they were coming. It was 100% unexpected. They booked under a different name,” MacGregor Greenlee, general manager, told BuzzFeed News. “An hour earlier, Secret Service showed up."
Greenlee says that the Obamas were able to successfully break out of Mission Manoa, which he says is “one of our harder rooms.”
According to White House pool reports, Obama spent about an hour and half inside of Breakout Waikiki, but only had an hour to complete the game. According to Greenlee, they beat the game just in time.
“They were yelling screaming having a blast. They broke out with 12 seconds left,” Greenlee says.
“Abby Wambach and Sydney Laroux broke out with about a minute left,” he added, in reference to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Players who took on the same escape room last year. “Technically, they beat POTUS.”
Breakout Waikiki describes itself on its website as a “top rated live action escape game. Your goal is simple: You have 60 minutes to breakout from one of our real life escape rooms. Crack the codes. Use your gut. Solve the riddles. Find out if you have what it takes to breakout in time.”
“They were in a room where you're a secret agent and terrorists come and grab you. It was Malia who did a lot of the work,” Mitch Massey, shift leader, said. He agreed that Mission Manoa is one of the harder rooms to break out of.
On meeting President Obama, Massey said, “I got to tell him that I was in Iraq when I voted for him.”
Greenlee says he was the one who composed the tweet last December. “I was sad that nothing came of it but this more than makes up for it.”
The White House did not respond to request for comment.
Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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