Update: Cadet Christopher Blaney of Canfield, Ohio, a sophomore majoring in mathematics in the College of Science who is a member of the Air Force ROTC program, beat out the four other finalists to win the $100,000 Dr Pepper 2013 Tuition Giveaway during halftime of the ACC Championship game Dec. 7. He won the final round by throwing 14 footballs through the target to win by five.

Blaney shared his thoughts on the win saying, "Thank you to everyone who supported and helped me along the way. I never imagined anything like this could ever happen to me and it hasn't yet sunk in. Looking back, I can definitely thank my cadet experience for helping me keep my composure and represent the university well."

Cadet to compete for scholarship at ACC Championship Game

BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 3, 2013 -- One excited member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will be at the ACC Championship this Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., competing for $100,000 in the Dr Pepper 2013 Tuition Giveaway.

Cadet Christopher Blaney of Canfield, Ohio, a sophomore majoring in mathematics in the College of Science who is a member of the Air Force ROTC program, was selected as one of five finalists to compete for the grand prize during the ACC Championship game. 

Blaney’s video about being a cadet in the Corps of Cadets and his dream of serving in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot before becoming a math teacher earned him a spot in Charlotte. As one of four children, Blaney was looking for ways to ease the burden of paying for college for his parents.

During each of four conference championship games, two finalists will have the opportunity to throw footballs from the five-yard line into a two-foot hole in an oversized Dr Pepper can replica. The student who successfully completes the most throws in 30 seconds will win $100,000 in tuition, with the runner-up taking home a $20,000 tuition prize. Three contestants invited to each game who do not advance past a preliminary throw will receive $2,500 in tuition.

Blaney shared his thoughts on the event, “This whole experience is unreal. It all started with missing out on a $3,000 grant from financial aid, and now I have the opportunity to graduate from college with no debt. I feel if it wasn't for the unique experience the corps has given me, I would not have stood out as much for this competition. At this point I just hope that I can stay calm at the competition and represent Virginia Tech and the Corps of Cadets well.”