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MCC student’s tuition bid comes up short

McHENRY – A local student’s bid to win a $100,000 scholarship came up short on Friday.

Layla Piorkowski, a second-year McHenry County College student, did not advance into the final round of the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway contest at the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.

Contestants have 30 seconds to throw as many footballs as possible through a two-foot hole in an oversized Dr Pepper bottle from five yards away.

Piorkowski, who is completing her associate of science degree, with plans to go to Illinois State University and study biology, had a lot of preparation leading up to the contest.

To practice for the contest, she received tips from a friend who was a football player in high school. She also threw footballs into a garbage can mounted on a ladder.

“Once you get there and the timer goes off, all the practice goes out the window,” Piorkowski said after Friday’s preliminary round. “The pressure takes over, and you’re throwing as fast as you can.”

Only two people advanced to tonight’s final round during halftime of the Big Ten Championship game.

As part of the contest, Piorkowski will receive $2,500 to use toward tuition and will attend the game.

In Piorkowski’s video entry to Dr Pepper, the aspiring marine biologist talked about the importance of keeping water safe, clean and fresh.

Piorkowski also has jobs at Kathryn’s, a bridal and dress shop in McHenry, and the McHenry Parks and Recreation Department while being a full-time student.

Hers was one of about 5,000 videos submitted for the annual contest. Dr Pepper has giveaways at the Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-12 Conference football championship games.

This weekend, 20 people had the opportunity to compete for the four $100,000 prizes.

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