A McHenry County College student who competed in the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway contest received $7,500 for tuition from the company.
It was three times the original planned amount for those students who didn't make the finals on Dec. 1 during the Big 10 Conference football championship game in Indianapolis.
Layla Piorkowski, who competed for a $100,000 scholarship from the company, but came up short, was slated to be awarded $2,500 from Dr Pepper for being selected to participate in the contest.
The company decided to triple the award amounts for those who did not advance to the finals because there was a "great bunch of students this year and [Dr Pepper] really wanted to help them," said Lauren Samaha, who handles public relations for the company.
Piorkowski, a McHenry High School West Campus 2011 graduate, is completing her associate of science degree, and plans to go to Illinois State University and study biology.
In the contest, contestants have 30 seconds to throw as many footballs as possible through a two-foot hole in an oversize Dr Pepper bottle from five yards away.
- Joseph Bustos