Both Dr Pepper SEC Tuition Challenge Contestants Win amidst Controversy

  • Dr Pepper was ridiculed for its handling of a college tuition giveaway at halftime of the SEC championship match. 
  • After two tie-breaking games, the brand declared one player the winner. 
  • The company decided to award $100,000 to both contestants. 

Louisiana State University wasn’t the only one getting trampled halfway into its SEC championship against Georgia on Saturday — so was Dr Pepper after a controversial ending to its halftime college tuition giveaway contest. 

After the annual contest, in which contestants throw footballs into large cans filled with soda, turned into a confusing tie-breaker, the beverage company was rebuked by the crowd and social media.

After the two players — Reagan Whitaker of Baylor University and and Kayla Gibson of the University of St. Augustine — each scored 11 points in the first round, they advanced to a second round, but tied in that one, too. Whitaker was declared the winner due to time constraints. This was based on an obscure rule which counts points from a previous qualifying round.

The decision was not well received. The crowd erupted into boos as #JusticeForKayla quickly took over social media. 

Many users expressed their dissatisfaction with the rule via Twitter.




Others pointed out how “depressing” the contest is. 



Dr Pepper seemed to be taking the outcry seriously. By the fourth quarter, CBS reporter Jenny Dell announcedThe company decided to award $100,000 to both contestants.  

Dell stated, “Well, you all saw that the Dr Pepper halftime tuition giveaway was an unprecedented tie.” Dr Pepper has just informed us that they will award $100,000 to both finalists. Kayla Gibson, Reagan Whitaker and the other finalists will take home $100K. Bravo, ladies! And a great job by Dr Pepper. 

Insider reached out to Keurig Dr Pepper for comment. Since 2008, the contest has been run by the company. It has given away more than a dozen prizes. total of $13 millionTuition at college 

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