UK student selected as finalist for Dr. Pepper Challenge at SEC Championship game

UK student selected as finalist for Dr. Pepper Challenge at SEC Championship game
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 2:33 PM EST
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - UPDATE: Rachel Hughes was a finalist in the Dr. Pepper Challenge. During halftime of the SEC Championship game, she had a chance to throw footballs to win a $100,000 scholarship. She came up just short of the grand prize.

But, Hughes will still take home $20,000 for tuition, money she said will go toward vet school.


A Madison County native has the chance of competing during the halftime show of the Georgia and Alabama game.

It’s called the Dr. Pepper Challenge where students can win a major scholarship.

“I got a phone call saying that I was selected to go to the SEC Championship game as one of the finalists so that was super big and like a huge deal, it just seems super unreal,” said Rachel Hughes.

Hughes is a junior at the University of Kentucky with big plans for the future. She hopes to become a practicing veterinarian and open a facility for rescues to become trained therapy dogs.

The goal of the Dr. Pepper Challenge is to get as many footballs into a Dr. Pepper can that’s only 5 yards away, but while it seems close, it may not be so easy.

“Usually around 13,14 is my pretty consistent average, I think I found what works for me and hopefully it is just enough,” said Rachel Hughes.

Training for the Dr. Pepper halftime football challenge isn’t something most college students would do in their free time.

“Just kind of working on, like, finding what technique works for you because everybody is going to do it a little bit differently,” said Hughes.

The award for first place in the challenge is a $100,000 scholarship, which Hughes says would be life-changing.

“This would set me up literally for the rest of my life,” Hughes said. “I’m just going to be able to do more of the things that I want to be able to do that just aren’t as practical without that.”

The SEC Championship game with Georgia vs Alabama will air right on WKYT on Saturday.

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