Tiebreaker Rule Leads to Booing at Dr Pepper Challenge

Tabatha Wethal Headshot

The result of the annual football-slinging contest to win tuition money at the SEC championship game Saturday received booing from the crowd after a little-known rule decided the ending, but the sponsoring company came through in the end for both tuition-hopeful competitors. 

The Dr Pepper Challenge, a ritual where students sling footballs into giant cans to win $100,000 for college, had two women going head-to-head at the LSU-Georgia game in Atlanta. The two women were tossing footballs with precision into the tall, Dr Pepper-sponsored receptors, opting for the more-accurate chest pass over the traditional football throw, the Associated Press reported.

Baylor student Reagan Whitaker and St. Augustine student Kayla Gibson exchanged leads multiple times.

The winner was set to receive $100,000, and the runner-up would get $20,000, the AP reported. 

After two ties, Whitaker was declared the winner on a technicality; Those viewing at home heard the CBS broadcaster say that Whitaker won an earlier tiebreaker. Dr Pepper said in a statement that Whitaker had scored the most points in the preliminary round.

After crowd jeering and boos, it was announced in the fourth quarter of the game that both Whitaker and Gibson would receive the full $100,000 in tuition each. 

Top-ranked Georgia beat No. 11 LSU 50-30.

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