Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez, Nevada Student, Wins $100,000 At Dr Pepper Million Dollar Tuition Giveaway

On Saturday, during the halftime of the SEC Championship game, Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez, of Reno, Nevada, put big-time college football scouts on notice when in 30 seconds she threw 13 on-target passes into a large Dr Pepper can.


She was competing for $100,000 in tuition money, the grand prize in the Dr Pepper Million Dollar Tuition Giveaway.

Emotional and obviously very happy, Padilla-Rodriguez said, "Dr Pepper is seriously the best thing that's ever happened to me," as she was presented the oversize check at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, where the championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and LSU Tigers was underway.

Padilla-Rodriguez, a University of Nevada, Reno student, told Tracy Wilson, CBS on-field reporter, that she had "practiced just about every day, with a bunch of stacked trash cans, and I had our starting quarterback, Cody Fajardo, help me out."

In addition, Padilla-Rodriguez counted on the help of "a friend, an aspiring engineer, [to] come up with my technique."

The preparation paid off. During an intense 30-second throw-off from about five yards away, Padilla-Rodriguez bested her rival, Alabama's Katelyn Watson of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, sinking 13 of 16 passes, a 81.25 percent completion rate.

"This is so important to me," she said in tears after her victory.

To put it in perspective, Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers' star QB, leads the NFL in passing with a 70.5 percent completion rate.

With the tuition money, as she put it in her entry video, Padilla-Rodriguez -- an Englsh and History major in her university's honors program -- hopes "to go to law school and later receive a nomination to the supreme court; I want to help voice the opinions of others while simultaneously changing the lives of underprivileged children through my future court decisions."

In case you were wondering, LSU won, 42 to Georgia's 10.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the SEC Championship game and Dr Pepper Million Dollar Tuition Challenge took place in Reno, Nevada.