The new college football season has a lot of people excited, but perhaps no one more than Walsh University nursing student Molly Brown.
Brown, who volunteers at Akron Children’s Diabetes Camp, won $100,000 in Dr. Pepper’s Tuition Give-Away Contest during last year’s Big Ten Football Championship game.
FoxSports and Dr. Pepper are filming a commercial about Brown, which will be shown during college football games this season.
“It was the best day of my life; life-changing, really,” said Molly, who won the contest by throwing the most (18 of 30) footballs into a giant Dr. Pepper bottle target hole within 30 seconds, standing 3 yards away. She competed against one other contestant after making it into the finals.
Molly, a junior at Walsh, learned about the contest by reading about it on the side of a Diet Dr. Pepper can and sent in a video application expressing her love of nursing.
“I love little kids and I love nursing and I would honestly still do this even if I never got paid to do it,” she said.
Once she found out she would be one of the finalists during the Big Ten Championship game between Ohio State and Michigan State in Indianapolis on Dec. 7, Molly got serious about winning.
She read the fine points of the rules and decided to use a chest pass (basketball style throw) rather than the football pass used by her competitor, who was from Minneapolis.
The Walsh football coach gave her access to footballs and the team’s facilities and her dad practiced with her daily. A neighbor made a wood cut-out of the Dr. Pepper can following the exact dimensions of the target she would be using on the big day.
Molly felt as ready as she could be on game day. Focused on getting as many footballs into the target as she could as quickly as possible (on live TV and before an audience of thousands), she had no idea how she was doing compared to her competitor.
It was only when Brutus Buckeye threw his arms around her and embraced his fellow Buckeye from North Canton that she knew she had won.
Watch Molly’s winning chest press style:
Molly said the $100,000 will cover the cost of her nursing undergraduate education and will likely also give her money for graduate school. She hopes to come to Akron Children’s next year for her pediatrics rotation and is set to graduate in 2016.
She said it may sound corny but she truly believes in the words she expressed in her video application, that getting the financial help (she was paying her own way through college) would change her life and, as a nurse, allow her to then touch the lives of others.
“One person has the power to make a difference,” she said. “I want each child I come in contact with to know they are one of a kind and they have a purpose in the world. I am so thankful I know my purpose – to pursue the field of nursing and share my smile, my time and my positive energy with everyone I come in contact with.”