The competition was streamed online and viewers could vote for their favourite candidate. When the votes were counted on Monday, Leikola had collected 158 945 votes. In second place was Saad Haroon, from Pakistan, with 59 213 votes.
Leikola’s joke in the semifinal round about the planet’s international monetary woes hit the jackpot:
“Countries don’t owe money to each other, countries owe money to banks. If the countries owe money to banks how stupid are the countries to pay. Like the country has an army. The bank has four cashiers and a cleaning lady.”
Leikola wins 10 000 US dollars and a national comedy tour.
The competition was the brainchild of Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who plans to make it an annual event. He said he hopes it can show the world that if people from different countries laugh together, they can set aside other differences.
Watch Leikola’s final round below: