ANN BAILEY: Devils Lake woman to compete for a chance to win $123,000 in tuition
Kara Pappas-Guy is hoping her football ability will land her some college tuition money. The 19-year-old Devils Lake woman isn't planning on applying for a scholarship to play on the gridiron. Instead, she's competing to win a chance at $123,000 ...
Kara Pappas-Guy is hoping her football ability will land her some college tuition money.
The 19-year-old Devils Lake woman isn't planning on applying for a scholarship to play on the gridiron. Instead, she's competing to win a chance at $123,000 in the Dr Pepper Million Dollar Tuition giveaway.
Pappas-Guy, who will earn an associate degree from Lake Region State College in May, last September was researching online ways to defray tuition costs when she saw information about the Dr Pepper tuition giveaway. She put together a short video about her life and why she deserved the tuition money, and then sent it off to be judged.
Less than two weeks later, Pappas-Guy got a call that she had been selected as a finalist by a panel of judges, including ESPN football analyst and Hall of Fame head coach Lou Holtz. Pappas-Guy's video was chosen from thousands of entries, according to a news release from Dr Pepper.
In Pappas-Guy's video, she talks about how the challenges she had growing up in a family which had little money and how she wants a better life for her daughter, Lilly, now 18 months.
"I want to give her everything I didn't have," Pappas-Guy said.
Pappas-Guy plans to attend college in Harrisburg, Pa., or Eerie, Pa., and earn a bachelor of sciences degree in forensic chemistry and toxicology.
"I hope it will pay off all of my school so I don't have to go into debt," she said during a telephone interview with the Herald. "Once I get my career going, I want to give Lilly a stable home."
Guy was notified in late September that she was selected to be a finalist.
"I was in a state of shock. I didn't know what to say. I'm very excited." She's also nervous because there's a big amount of money at stake, she said.
"It's really nerve-wracking."
As a finalist, Pappas-Guy will travel to Dallas this weekend. She will compete in a preliminary competition on Saturday with four other contestants who, like her, will be throwing 10 footballs from 5 yards away into a 2-foot hole in an oversized Dr Pepper can replica. The two contestants who throw the most footballs into the can in 30 seconds will advance to the finals, which will be held during halftime of the Big 12 championship game on Sunday.
The winner will receive $123,000 and the runner-up will receive $23,000. The three contestants who don't advance to the finals will receive $5,000 in tuition.
Pappas-Guy was a tomboy growing up and played football with her family, so she's not a stranger to throwing the ball. One of her Lake Region instructors advised her to "zone everyone out" and concentrate only on her throw, she said. Meanwhile, she's been practicing her quarterback skills as the weather permits.
"I have a tire and I put a laundry basket in the back of it, so when I throw it, it lands in the basket." Pappas-Guy feels pretty good about her chances of winning, but isn't making any predictions. She knows that her practice is not a guarantee or success because things could go wrong during the competition.
"For me, being a tomboy, I think I have a decent amount of experience at throwing a football... I guess I give myself a 50-50 chance."