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'Seven years of regret': Raunchy leg piece wins bad tattoo competition at Edmonton Expo Centre

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Friday night was a celebration of mistakes for a small group of body art enthusiasts.

The Ben Alway Memorial Bad Tattoo Contest was held at the Edmonton Expo Centre as part of the Edmonton Tattoo and Arts Festival.

Legacy Tattoo Removal organized the competition in honour of former tattoo removal expert Ben Alway who died in 2023.

"People submit some of their mistakes or some of the tattoos that didn't turn out to their expectations, and we judge them and we laugh," said Legacy Tattoo Removal co-owner Madi Rawson.

The contest was free for festival attendees, with prizes awarded to the three worst tattoo owners.

The winner was an X-rated Dungeons and Dragons leg tattoo, which owner Blaine had done eight years ago.

Blaine said he came up with the concept while "three sheets to the wind."

When he finally followed through with it, the execution was below expectations.

"It was seven years of regret," Blaine said. "The first year I was like, 'Yeah, this is alright. It's not terrible, right? Right?'

"And then I talked to enough people and, oh yeah, it's terrible."A raunchy Dungeons and Dragons tattoo took top prize at the Ben Alway Memorial Bad Tattoo Contest at the Edmonton Expo Centre on April 20, 2024. (Sean McClune/CTV News Edmonton)

Blaine's adult-themed artwork won Legacy's top prize of a $500 gift certificate to go toward erasing the inky mistake.

"Our mentor Ben would have really loved that that tattoo won the contest," Rawson said.

Blaine's happy to have a head start on removing his raunchy tribute, but it's not the design or subject matter he regrets.

"I want it to look like it should have looked in the beginning. So I'm just getting it removed to put it back on again, but not terrible," he added.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Sean McClune

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