DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — In a national contest that saw controversy in one competition, a Duke University student won $100,000 for tuition after tossing footballs with precision over the weekend.
The Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway Contest 10 finalists took to the field during the halftimes of ACC, Big 12, SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 NCAA conference championship games.
During the 14th annual event, finalists tried to throw the most footballs into an oversized Dr Pepper can in 30 seconds.
Daniel Yaari from Aventura, Florida, who also attends Duke University, was the winning contestant in the BIG 12 Conference Championship toss on Saturday.
In the SEC championship competition, two college students each wound up winning $100,000 in tuition Saturday, shortly after boos filled Mercedes-Benz Stadium because of a confusing ending in the contest.
Fans at the LSU-Georgia game jeered when one of the competitors appeared to capture the Dr Pepper ball toss competition in overtime on a technicality.
The two women were tossing footballs with precision into the sponsored Dr Pepper buckets, both opting for the more-accurate chest pass over the traditional football throw. It was clear they had practiced — a lot.
And why not, with so much at stake?
Baylor student Reagan Whitaker and University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences student Kayla Gibson exchanged leads multiple times in regulation. In overtime, they tied again, but Whitaker, of Allen, Texas, was declared the winner.
The winner was set to receive $100,000; the runner-up would get $20,000.
The fans who skipped their halftime hot dog run to watch were baffled by the conclusion, and they sounded their displeasure.
Those viewing at home heard the CBS broadcaster say something about Whitaker winning an earlier tiebreaker. Dr Pepper said in a statement that Whitaker had scored the most points in the preliminary round.
It all worked out in the end, though.
It was announced on the broadcast in the fourth quarter of the game that Dr Pepper would gift both Whitaker and Gibson, of Fontana, California, with $100,000 in tuition.
Top-ranked Georgia beat No. 11 LSU 50-30.
The Associated Press contributed to this report